Practicing brain health is extremely beneficial for brain injury victims and also for those who wish to delay or prevent the symptoms of aging. Making brain healthy choices plays a critical role in thinking, feeling, remembering, working, playing and sleeping. It is important to be physically active, eat a brain healthy diet and to keep socially active. It is also necessary to stay mentally active. By strengthening brain cells and increasing the connections between the cells, new nerve cells may be created.
Researchers feel that those with low levels of education have a higher risk of Alzheimers later in life possibly due to a lower level of lifelong mental stimulation. That’s not to say that well educated people do not get Alzheimers. They do. But symptoms may appear later in their lives than those with less education.
It is important to stay curious and commit yourself to lifelong learning by attending lectures and plays, enrolling in continuing education courses, playing games and doing memory exercises.
The brain has the ability to change and adapt following a brain injury and even into old age with the right stimulation. This is especially true for the learning and memory areas of the brain. One way to help with memory is to chunk numbers like phone numbers, credit card numbers and license plate numbers. But other things can be remembered this way also, i.e.: a grocery list. If you have four vegetables to get, five items of meat and three breakfast requirements, remembering the number of items in each category helps you to recall what they are.
Healthy relationships stimulate our brains also. Researchers are discovering that those with the most active social lives have the slowest rate of memory decline. Besides spending time with friends and family, volunteer, join a book club or any other kind of social gathering.
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Laughter also encompasses several areas of the brain even when we are laughing at ourselves. And if you spend time with children, laughter will almost certainly be your companion because children laugh more than adults do. It is important to avoid stress when possible as it destroys brain cells. You can de-stress by doing meditation. It is believed that meditation can change the actual brain.
Brain enhancing foods are fruit, vegetables, fish and the omega-3s. A Mediterranean diet is a brain healthy diet. Also, it’s a good idea to decrease the amount of salt in your diet and to keep alcohol consumption at a minimum as well. Challenge your brain with brain exercises in some form on a daily basis. Add color to your life as color also stimulates the brain, as does music. It is important also to make regular visits to your doctor as some prescriptions and over-the-counter medications can fog your memory. Also conditions such as a thyroid problem can make you foggy-headed.
Other things that contribute to a healthy brain are playing video games, really listening when people are speaking, reading the news, debating, redecorating, redesigning and rearranging, and taking the B vitamins but especially Vitamin B12.
Another important thing to consider when thinking of the health of our brain is the question of whether we have a purpose in our life. Having a purpose keeps the mind youthful and active.
Sylvia Behnish has written numerous articles relating to family issues, motivational topics, entertaining, travel and brain injuries. For more information on any of these topics, go to her site listed below. She has recently published her first non-fiction book entitled “Rollercoaster Ride With Brain Injury (For Loved Ones)” and her first fiction novel entitled “His Sins”, a three generation family saga.
Either of the above books can be ordered by e-mail at the following blog:
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