Everyone knows how important it is to keep your brain healthy and active, but there are many surprising ways you can stimulate it that you might not expect.
1- Begin Meditating
Not only is meditation good for reducing stress and increasing self-awareness, but it’s also actually a very healthy activity for your brain as well! A recent study by Harvard investigated the mental health benefits of meditating three times a week and found a significant improvement to the participants’ brains. Not only did it improve their memory, but it also had better gray matter density, making it a terrific way for you to start your morning!
2- Be Social
With all of the different ways we can spend time online, you can’t forget to spend time with your friends too. Watching Netflix or going through social media might be relaxing, but your brain needs the stimulation of talking to other people. Research has found that listening to others and thinking about your responses has a unique effect on your brain that’s hard to replicate. Meeting up with people in the real world isn’t just about maintaining a social life, it’s really important for your brain too!
3- Try New Things
Learning new skills will make you a more interesting person, but did you know that it’s also very good for your brain? No matter what skill you decide to learn, you can create new connections and developments in your brain which will keep it flexible and healthy. The more you learn, the more you are pushing your brain to use your neural circuits to save the new information. This helps keep your brain running at peak levels, and fights back against neurodegenerative diseases that can take advantage of a stagnant brain. So no matter if you want to learn how to cook new food, pick up a new language, explore an unfamiliar place, or read a new book, get to it!
4- Start Puzzling!
Though it might be the least surprising item on this list, did you know puzzles can help keep your brain active and thriving at any age? Scientists have found that (similar to trying new things) stimulating your brain with puzzles will help encourage new connections between nerve cells. This extra flexibility helps ensure your brain is running at its best, no matter what the problem it’s facing. You can pick crosswords, math problems, number games, or even actual puzzles, and make some substantial improvements to your brain’s dexterity!
5- Get Some Exercise
Using your muscles and increasing your heart rate can actually do a lot to boost your mental health. Research has shown that exercising will improve the circulation of blood to your brain, which keeps it fueled and healthy. The more you improve the blood flow, the more you encourage the development of new nerve cells and improve the synapses. Even the other well-known benefits of exercising, such as improved cholesterol, healthier blood pressure levels, and blood sugar can all play a part in developing a healthier brain!