FIVE TOP TIPS TO HELP BUILD YOUR BRAIN FITNESS

1. Schedule regular pit stops
All brains need regular refueling and servicing.  Check in to ensure you are taking meal breaks, refueling with those foods that boost energy, cognition and memory and schedule a mental self-check-up.   Ask yourself simple questions like: Is your memory up to scratch, are you forgetting too many things, and are you clear in your thinking when approaching a difficult challenge? If not, it may be time to stop & reset.
2. Check your attitude
How we operate under stress compared to eustress (meaning good stress or beneficial stress) can manifest itself in different ways.  Notice your language; if it’s predominantly negative, what is your mindset?  Attitude evolves as a consequence of whom we hang around and our experience, and it can change with a conscious decision to reframe how we see the world.
3. Stretch your mental muscle
No matter how varied our work, much of our daily activity is repetitive and performed out of habit.  Engaging in new activities, especially those we may not expect to excel in, such as learning to speak a new language or taking up a new hobby or sport, is a great way to give our brains a workout and sharpen our thoughts.
4. Stretch those other muscles
Yes, some good old fashioned exercise is a great way to burn off a few stress hormones, boost our mood and stimulate cognition.  Regular exercise has been shown to prime performance through stimulating cerebral blood flow and releasing neuro-hormones including BDNF which is essential to good neuronal health and neurogenesis (the production, survival and maturation of new neurons).
Many people are on their feet all day, and it’s important to remember that taking 20-30 minutes out for a run, bike ride or gym class is a great way to unwind, relax and feel good.
5. Still Your mind
This can be one of the hardest things to do.  We rush around all day, and it can be difficult to remember how to switch off and slow our thoughts down.  Daily reflection time is a wonderful thinking space that allows us to pause and be grateful for what we have, to consider our achievements, what’s important to us, and ponder our goals.  Whether you take 20 minutes out for a meditation practice, listen to some beautiful music or do some ‘adult colouring in’, finding that mental space is crucial to your wellbeing.
If fatigue, brain fog and frustration have been getting in your way or preventing you from working at your best or allowing you to enjoy what you do, find the time to check in and take that first step to building a fitter, healthier brain.
– DR Jenny Brockis

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