6 Lifestyle Choices to Boost Your Brain Health
Written by Gurleen Khaira
We all know how to keep our body healthy: go to the gym, eat your vegetables, stay away from the chocolate aisle at the supermarket. But what can you do to keep your brain healthy? Well, to help boost your brain health, we have found the top 6 lifestyle habits you can adopt!
1. Less multitasking Now I know what you are thinking; you have 100 things to do and only 24 hours to do them in, so you make effective use of your time and multitask. However, this may not be very good for your brain. Trying to do your chores whilst writing a report or reading a book means that your brain is constantly switching back and forth between different tasks. Naturally, this increases stress levels and mental fatigue, you basically tire yourself out. Also, doing multiple tasks at the same time reduces the chances of successfully completing anything. This reduces the release of dopamine, which hinders your brain health. Instead, try making a ‘to do’ list, and complete one task at a time. This should help with organisation and keep stress levels to a minimum
2. Sleep! Sleep Sleep! Sleep is so important for your brain health that we had to do a whole separate blog about it. Getting the right amount of sleep helps to learn new skills and knowledge better. This is because sleep is involved in the process of consolidating information. To make sure you get between 6-9 hours of sleep every night, avoid caffeine before going to bed, stay off your screen for at least 2 hours before you go to sleep, and make sure your bedroom has the best environment to help you sleep.
3. Salut, Hallo, Hola That is how to say ‘hello’ in French, German and Spanish. Learning a new language can improve memory and cognition, and has even been related to slowing down Alzheimer’s. So, now might be a good time to take that Spanish class you always wanted to.
4. Be social That’s right, going out with your friends and socialising actually improves your brain health. This is because our brain relates to other people, we have similar experiences and ways of communicating which creates a sense of community. In fact, studies highlight that increased social activity in those over 55 helps to prevent age related decline of the brain, So now is the time to call your friends and make plans for the weekend.
5. Play games Whether it's downloading a number game on your phone, or filling out the crossword in the newspaper, games with numbers and words help improve your brain health. This is particularly the case for those over 50, with studies highlighting that regularly playing number/word dames helps to improve attention and memory.
6. Learn an instrument Remember when you were younger, and decided to take up piano or drum lessons? Well, it's time to get the keyboard and drum set out again (or whichever instrument you want to play). Learning a new instrument changes brain waves which can improve learning and hearing, whilst also preventing age-related decline.
How can MindMate help? Find yourself playing fun memory games that stimulate your brain on the MindMate app. You can make this into a fun competition with your friends to see who gets the highest score! To be more organised and to reduce stress, use the diary feature to plan your day.