As we are aware, continuous learning throughout life is essential to keep “those cogs” active. This can, however, be a challenge at the best of times and never more so than at a time when we are now considering that a ‘new normal’ may be on the horizon. We welcome back Marquis who takes us through 6 areas to consider for our wellbeing that contribute to our brain health.
Having a healthy body means more than just maintaining a good physique. Apart from eating healthy and exercising regularly, it’s also important that you keep our mind in good shape. So, whether we are into athletics, sports, performing arts or pure academics while in college, a healthy brain is important. But, what can we do to maintain a sound mind?
Believe in Ourself
The most important mantra that any person could ever adopt is “I can do this!” Our state of mind can be affected by how we feel about our capabilities. If we think we are not capable, then it can affect how we do things. It can hinder us from accomplishing what, in fact, we can do. So, the best way for us to keep our mind healthy, and at ease, is by believing in ourselves. If we put our mind to it, we can do almost anything.
Sometimes, the only thing that may be stopping us from achieving our full potential is no one else but ourselves.
Getting Enough Sleep
Our brain works 24 hours a day, every day. Even while we sleep, a part of our brain is awake keeping all our body’s systems working. It keeps us breathing, signals our heart to keep pumping blood throughout our body, helps us hold our pee and a few other functions! It helps our whole body to function properly. But for our brain to recover, sleep is important.
During sleep, our brain gets rid of all the toxins that have naturally built up throughout the day, thus refreshing our brain to enable it to function well for another day.
Improving Our Diet
The food we consume also affects our neurological functions. If we want to optimise our brain’s functions, like boosting our memory and concentration, we should include brain foods in our diet. These include fatty fish, blueberries, turmeric, broccoli, nuts, eggs and dark chocolate. These foods are a great source of B vitamins (such as folate), omega fatty acids, vitamin E and antioxidants, which help our brain to stay healthy and protect it from damage caused by free radicals.
One of the biggest culprits when it comes to maintaining healthy brain function is stress. With chronic stress, the body produces high levels of cortisol, or stress hormones, which affects the brain. It can damage brain cells and even shrink down the prefrontal cortex, thus affecting our memory and learning abilities. So to improve neurological functions, avoid stress.
Exercise can benefit more than just our physique. It also supports better brain function. When we exercise, our heart rate increases, which means more oxygen is pumped throughout the body, including the brain. Exercise also signals our body to release happy hormones called endorphins, which aids our neurological functions and nourishes our brain to support the growth of brain cells.
Exercise signals our body to release happy hormones called endorphins.
Our brain is designed to grow and adapt according to our needs. It is designed to learn and create new connections and store new knowledge that will help us in daily life. An active brain is a healthy brain. As a student, it’s important that we keep our mind active so that we can easily cope with the demands of continuous education. As we keep our brain learning, our ability to retain and recall information will improve, making it easier for us to do well in school. This is also why studying and reviewing before exams pays off.
A Personal Note
Our brain is more than just a mass of tissue. It is made for a variety of purposes and we can’t live without it! During our college years, our neurological function matters most, considering that this is the stage when we are beginning to learn the ways of adulthood. That is why no matter how busy we are, it’s important to give our mind a break from stress and overwork.
Live a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly and eat healthy meals that are healthy not just for your body, but for your mind as well.
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).