During this global pandemic, we all have been consumed by anxiety in some or the other form. The fear of losing our jobs, salary cut, and work from home, along with virtual online classes for kids – Coronavirus has toppled the world beyond imagination. This has also been the time when most of us have reignited our creative curiosity and are looking for different mediums to put in our energy for a more fulfilling and gratifying experience.
Even though the lockdown has been removed, the fear of the pandemic widening its clutches is worrisome. With the turmoil around, it is important to keep our brain in tip-top shape. Here are some simple habits that you can make a part of your daily routine to keep your brain young.
Young Brain = Happy Brain
1. Love learning
The greater the chronic stress, the greater the signs of aging in cells. It’s time you diversify your interests. Learning rejuvenates the brain by generating new brain cells. It also enriches brain networks and opens up new routes. Engage in a mentally stimulating activity and push yourself to the next level. If you play a musical instrument, push the boundaries of your musical ability, commit yourself to performance, or consider learning a new instrument.
2. Move that body
As we grow old, our brain cells start losing tree-branch-like connections between them. These connections play a pivotal role in our thought processes. If you spend your days on the couch munching Lay’s, your body as well as your mind is going witness a serious downfall than it would otherwise.
Physical activity has direct benefits on the structure and functioning of your brain. Get moving. Avoid long periods of sitting at work or at home in front of a screen. If you are struggling to exercise for 30 minutes each day, it’s crazy to spend more than an hour sitting in front of a screen in the evening.
3. Stay connected
People who live socially engaged lives experience slower cognitive decline. While we know that right now isn’t the time to make dinner plans with friends and family, technology has provided us with enough advancement to be in constant touch with our loved ones, virtually.
Face Time your friends, family or do a group call and have a little fun. Organise a virtual party and this way you can have your glass of wine without feeling guilty about it. It’s a powerful stress-busting medicine.
4. Set a challenge
Take up any activity that closely engages your focus and is strongly rewarding. To keep your brain young and supple, try out different activities that challenge and excite you: playing Ping-Pong, doing jigsaw puzzles or contract bridge, learning a new language, or a dance form. Don’t let mediocrity take over you. Give yourself reasons to learn new things. Keep yourself engaged, and see how mentally fulfilling it can be.
5. Laugh a little
Humour is the only thing that helps us sail through rough times. It works as a brain booster and stimulates the parts of our brain that use the “feel good” chemical messenger dopamine. Laughter is not only pleasurable but even addictive to the brain. Furthermore, laughter lowers blood pressure, boosts immune function, releases feel-good hormones, and protects against stress, anxiety and depression.
6. Cherish Sleep
Disrupted sleep has a direct impact on the brain’s functioning. It can impair your memory and may even contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Remember, good sleep is fundamental to brain health as your brain needs rest to clear of the toxins, negative thoughts, and emotions.
Give your body a minimum of 7-9 hours of sleep. Get in sync with our circadian rhythm and adjust your sleep time according to nature and not the other way around.
Try and practice these habits to make sure your brain stay young and supple. There are no shortcuts around these essentials. Include brain-boosting foods like nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables to balance it with nutrients to optimize the brain’s functioning.
Do write to us if you find these tips helpful. Share your thoughts on the same. We’ll be happy to hear from you. Till then stay home, stay healthy.