So often when we talk about living a healthy lifestyle, all the focus is on the lower parts of our body, primarily our heart health and getting into better physical shape. Very little is ever mentioned about keeping our brains healthy until we’re talking about the latest statistics about Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Let’s start thinking about our body as a whole, including our brain. Very often when we adopt healthy habits to lose weight or to fight off Type 2 diabetes, our brains will benefit as well; but in order to make these changes stick, we need to fully understand the results our bad habits have on our brain health.
1. Reduce your stress level. Any kind of stress releases the hormone cortisol, which over time can kill brain cells and cause the brain to physically shrink in size. Cortisol affects the prefrontal cortex, which is the area responsible for memory and learning. To reduce your stress level, start with daily aerobic exercise, meditation, or...
Our brains are the miracle powerhouses of our bodies. This extremely complex organ controls all our bodily functions so, for obvious reasons, we should do everything in our power to keep our brains functioning healthfully.
One simple way to keep your brain healthy is to get enough sleep. In today’s busy world, too often we stay up late to finish work, finish housework, or to finally relax with our spouse. But then the vicious cycle starts again too early in the morning when we awaken to get ready for work, to feed the kids, or to get a jump-start on that work deadline that’s hovering over our head.
Scientific Proof Your Brain Needs More Sleep
Without sleep your brain can’t function properly. Your reflexes are slower, you’ll have difficulty focusing on tasks, and you’ll have difficulty learning new things. Sleep is also extremely important to your brain’s neurons and their ability to communicate with each other.
The National Institute of...
Health experts often bring out the phrase, “Use it or lose it,” when speaking about our body’s muscles. If you don’t use your muscles regularly, they will atrophy and you will lose strength, especially as you age. To combat atrophy and muscle loss, you need to engage in strength training exercises. Did you know the same is true for our brains?
As we age, our cognitive reserves start to fade and we find ourselves searching for lost words or taking longer to perform mental tasks. With the preponderance of news about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, retaining those cognitive reserves becomes even more important than in years past.
Here are some ideas for giving your brain a workout so you can remain sharp as you age:
1. Learn new things. Experts believe that when the brain is passive and unengaged, it will atrophy. The brain wants to learn new things and the best way to keep your brain healthy – just like with your other muscles – is to make...
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve seen myriad news reports over the years about how to live a healthy lifestyle and why healthy living is so important. Those news reports and articles often mention losing weight as the ultimate goal – probably because of our obesity epidemic and the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes – but we sometimes forget the unseen benefits of exercise on our bodies.
1. Improves your HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Cholesterol is a natural compound found inside our body’s cell membranes but increased levels will increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Triglycerides are the fats that accumulate in your blood stream when you indulge in an unhealthy eating regimen. Improving both of these levels keeps your blood flowing easily, which reduces your risk of stroke, which is good news for your brain.
2. Improves your heart and lung health. If you get winded walking down your driveway it’s a sign that your lungs...
Did you know that cognitive decline can begin as early as your late 20s and early 30s? A University of Virginia study published in 2009 discovered “top performances in some of the tests were accomplished at the age of 22. A notable decline in certain measures of abstract reasoning, brain speed and in puzzle-solving became apparent at 27.”
Considering figures from the Office for National Statistics, for 2015-17, show in the U.K. women's life expectancy from birth remains 82.9 years and for men it is 79.2, that’s a lot of years to live with decreased brain function. But there’s good news here: We can improve our brain’s function based on our life choices. We can actually control how smart we become!
Nutrition is the very basic foundation of all health, including brain health, so making wise choices in what foods to eat not only helps your body stay healthy and trim but also helps improve your brain function. Do you suffer from brain fog and have a hard...
Creating and following a schedule is the best way to use all of your time as efficiently as possible. Working on a schedule helps you meet deadlines, keep appointments and stay focused on the task at hand. But, following a schedule can be difficult - especially if you aren’t used to planning out your day. Here are some things to keep in mind while making and maintaining your schedule.
Make a To-Do List
The first thing to consider when setting up a schedule is knowing what you need to accomplish. Make a list of everything that you need to get done in a day, as well as a list of leisure activities or other things that you would like to do. Once you’ve made your lists, you can decide how much time you need for each activity and use this to develop a schedule. Schedule high-priority activities first and work everything else in around them.
Use a Planner
Record all of your scheduled events in one organisational tool like a planner. You can use a physical copy or an app on...
A disorganised, overflowing email inbox can be a daunting obstacle to overcome. Spam and junk email quickly adds up to a constant stream of distracting correspondence. This clutter can make you less productive, especially if email is a major part of your job. Not only that - important messages can end up getting lost among all of the others. Here are a few suggestions for clearing out your inbox and for keeping all of your important email organised.
Unsubscribe from Junk Mail
It’s much easier to delete a junk message in your inbox than it is to unsubscribe from recurring correspondence. But, does this save you time in the long run? It may take a minute or two but look into removing yourself from the mailing lists of sites that frequently send unwanted messages. This will keep junk messages from showing up in your inbox to begin with and save you the trouble of getting rid of them.
Folders and Categories
Many email services allow you to create folders within your inbox. By...
One popular definition of mindset is "a disposition, attitude or mood." That being said, it makes sense that clearing your mind of clutter goes a long way in helping you get more organised. Let's face it - when you're not clear-headed, it's very difficult to practice organisational skills. Keep reading to find out more about organising your mindset. There is no reason to put it off for another day.
Write Down Your Feelings
One of the best ways to clear your mind of clutter is to take the time to write down your feelings. You can either do this in a journal that you keep, or a piece of paper that you throw away once you're finished. Recent studies indicate that jotting down negative thoughts really does help to clear your mind and make you feel better.
More and more stressed-out individuals are using meditation to clear the clutter in their heads. When life is hectic, do you ever feel as though you're having a non-stop conversation (with yourself) in your head? If so, it's...
We all want to be able to organise our schedules and have the commitment to maintain them on a day-to-day basis, but how? Creating a workable schedule is typically time-consuming and often results in a frustrating battle with your calendar.
Organisation is beneficial for everyone and can be easily adapted to suit individual needs. And believe it or not, being organised in your everyday life actually saves you time and money. Here are a few of the reasons why.
Efficient and Stress-Free
If you keep your belongings organised, you don’t need to spend time looking for them when needed. This is especially handy in the case of important yet rarely used items, such as insurance or tax information.
The key to keeping things organised is to come up with a place to keep something and stick to it. If you want to keep important mail in a desk drawer, make sure you keep all of your important mail in that drawer. Don’t be afraid of sorting your things too much. The more...
If you can say to yourself, “I have a problem getting things done and it is because I lack self-discipline”, then you are taking responsibility for your problem, and you’re in the right place to move forward and do something about it.
Here are this week’s tips to help you tackle your self-discipline issues.
1. Cultivate Self-Honesty
The next time you tell yourself or someone else that you’re “too busy” to do something, try changing that message to yourself or to others. Try saying “I don’t want to…” or, “It’s not important”, instead of “I’m too busy”. (“It’s not important for me to meet with my top client” will give you quite different feeling than “it’s not important for me to organize George’s sock drawer”.)
Speaking your truth helps strip away excuses or evasions: You can instantly see when you need a dose of self-discipline, when you need...