Our habits play an important role not just on our physical health but also our brains. You’ve most likely experienced this yourself when felt that high after going for a run. Or when you feel more motivated to take on the day after a five-minute meditation. Even a cup of coffee can make a difference! It’s obvious how great the impact these activities have on our brain.
You know what this means? It means there is no limit to your brain’s ability to improve. By doing the right habits, your brain can produce new cells and form neural connections that allow you to perform cognitive tasks better. Here are 5 simple habits you can do to achieve that.
1. Manage your stress levels
Studies show that chronic stress can actually impact your brain structure making it more susceptible to cognitive decline. In one study, they found that young people who experienced chronic stress were more likely to have mental problems later such as anxiety and mood disorders. Some even develop learning difficulties.
You may not feel the effects of stress right now but over time , it can affect you’re thinking leaving you in a constant state of fight or flight. That’s not a way to live, and that’s certainly not a way to think. You need to develop effective coping strategies to fight the negative effects of prolonged stress. For some people, doing a 5-minute meditation everyday works. Some take the steam off through exercise. Learn to identify when these stressful moments occur and be prepared with practices that help you cope.
2. Try mindfulness meditation
Meditation is a form of exercise for the mind. You focus on just “being” instead of doing. Yes, even thinking is doing. Through mindfulness meditation, you just observe your thoughts and acknowledge them as they are, just thoughts and let is pass. This helps calm your overactive mind allowing you to look at the bigger picture. Studies have shown that training the brain to be mindful is associated with better focus and improved working memory capacity.
Try mindfulness meditation whenever you feel overwhelmed or stressed out. It’ll bring you back to the most important thing which is the present allowing you to focus only on the task at hand. You can also practice mindfulness which is the act of paying full attention to what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter what it is whether it’s washing the dishes or walking the dog. By simply focusing on the present, you’re able to think clearer, make better decisions, and feel more at peace.
3. Get enough sleep
It’s a known fact that getting the right amount of sleep helps you to think clearer. It puts you in a good mood and gives you enough energy to get through the day. Even a quick nap to recover from the previous night’s lack of shut eye will help you feel re-invigorated.
Sleeping is an essential part of daily life. Your body needs it, especially your brain. During your sleep, your brain consolidates memories and clears itself of toxins accumulated during waking hours. But did you know that sleep also helps you master a new skill faster? One study found that the learning brain benefits during sleep because during this time, you have more energy and there’s less distractions.
To get the best sleep, make sure to minimize screen time when approaching bed time. The light and stimulus in electronic devices are designed to keep your mind awake. Also, your bedroom is a place of rest and relaxation so make it a point to maintain a comfortable environment. You want your body to associate it with sleep so it’s easy to get that much needed rest.
Get some sunshine
4. Develop a growth mindset
Having a growth mindset means you are open to learning new things and improving your abilities. It’s not enough that you go out and do novel things like flying a kite or watching a different genre of movie. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about doing activities that actually challenge you and bring you out of your comfort zone.
Good examples of activities that promote brain growth include learning a new language, taking up a course to improve your current skill set, and taking up a new hobby you normally wouldn’t take. There are many skills that you can develop throughout your lifetime. Pick one that interests you the most and embrace the challenge. Your brain will thank you for it.
5. Try brain boosting supplements and herbs
Cognitive decline is a normal part of life. As we age, our brains don’t function as well as it used to. Modern research, however, has paved the way for supplements and herbs that help prevent this from happening. Nootropics in particular, are getting more attention these days for their ability to not just improve brain performance but also protect it against neurodegenerative conditions.
Natural nootropics have been around for thousands of years –think herbs like bacopa monnieri or gingko biloba. It was only in the recent decade did scientist find new ways to incorporate these ingredients and create unique formulations designed to boost cognitive function as well as enhance mood, focus, and brain health. Flow State is a nootropic supplement that can deliver all these benefits. It’s made using potent ingredients such as gingko biloba, L-carnitine, and L-glutamine all of which help you achieve that peak of state of performance while supporting brain growth.
Whether your goal is to become more efficient at work or you want to fight the cognitive decline that comes with aging, these habits are guaranteed to help enhance your brain’s function and learning ability. We are lucky to have brains that have the ability to change and grow. Take advantage of it and perform these habits consistently. It’s never too late to start and begin experiencing the benefits of a healthier brain.
What about you? What habits are you taking to improve your mental performance? Share your thoughts in the comments below.