The human mind is an amazing thing. It's more impressive than any supercomputer, capable of solving complex problems. It can take into account all kinds of variables and process details that it's not fully conscious of.
With such a great device at your disposal, taking care of your brain should be a priority. Listed below are 10 incredible ways we can affect our brains, both good and bad. Take the time to consider how you're treating the most valuable asset you own.
1. Food. Food affects more than just our bodies. It affects our brains as well. The Mayo Clinic says that since the heart runs every part of the body, eating a heart-healthy diet will help keep the mind healthy. Also, eating green leafy veggies, nuts, berries and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids help with cognitive function and slow mentally degenerative diseases.
2. Art. Art triggers multiple areas of the brain to work all at the same time as it tries to process what it sees. Mic states that art also reduces stress, so you can get that added benefit whether you're looking at someone else's art or creating your own.
3. Exercise. Many people think of exercise as a dirty word, but in reality, it's highly beneficial to mental health. Harvard Medical School states that 150 minutes of exercise a week helps improve memory and thinking skills, sleep, and mood. It is also useful in reducing stress.
4. Sleep. Sleep, or the lack thereof, eventually takes its toll on the mind. WebMD states that lack of sleep impairs judgement, creates depression and makes people irritable. This can destroy relationships and jobs.
5. Stress. Everyone knows that stress is bad, but did you know how much it affects your brain. The Mayo Clinic says that stress impairs focus, creates headaches, fouls up the mood and shows itself through even physical ailments.
6. Cell phone usage. WebMD says that using a cell phone stimulates the glucose metabolism in the brain. Is this good or bad? Well, further study is required to determine the long-term effects.
7. Sugar. Do you ever crave something sweet? Chances are what you're really craving is a dopamine high says WebMD. Eating sugar releases dopamine, a feel-good hormone, into the brain, so the more you eat, the more you crave.
8. Recreation. Everybody enjoys taking a day off and going to the beach or playing a round of golf. Taking time to simply relax seems like a small piece of heaven. Unfortunately, many people feel guilty when taking that time off. NCBI can take the guilt out of recreation. According to their study, recreation helps reduce stress and enhances mood - necessities of life.
9. Lasting love. Dating and falling in love can be stressful, but having lasting love turns from stress to a "buffer against stress" according to Harvard Medical School.
10. Music. "'Music is structural, mathematical and architectural. It’s based on relationships between one note and the next. You may not be aware of it, but your brain has to do a lot of computing to make sense of it,' notes one otolaryngologist" in John Hopkins Medicine.
By taking time to relax, your brain can actually do more than if it never gets any downtime. By feeding it healthy foods and giving it proper stimulation, you can give your brain a healthy and productive life!
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