People have always attempted to stop the effects of time on their minds and bodies alike. In Ancient Greece, people thought that the gods consumed ambrosia, which gave them strength and immunity from the sands of time. Ambrosia, the fountain of youth, or some experimental drug that would grant us perfect health – anything that would allow us to stay young a little bit more.
Luckily, we don’t have to journey to the depths of the Amazonian rainforest. There are much simpler ways to boost the performance of your brain.
Interactions with other people
Books and movies often portray geniuses as people without any social skills, but it appears that having regular interactions with a diverse group of people is excellent for the brain. It may be counter-intuitive, but it’s the same as with our assumption that effective cough medicine should be bitter. Just because something is pleasant (well, to most of us) doesn’t mean that it isn’t also fantastic for our cognitive abilities!
Interacting with our friends reduces our stress levels, challenges us, and provides us with a different perspective on things. You can go even further and play some games that will also stimulate your brain. One such example is Scrabble, a word game that will make you discover the weirdest words. If you are bad at it, and your morals are rather questionable, you can use Unscramblex.com to check if there’s something to be done about this bizarre combination of letters.
If there were a drug that would have the same effects on our bodies and minds as exercising does, people would pay astonishing sums for it. But because it is free, people prefer to stuff their bodies with different pills and torture themselves with the most grotesque diets.
Some people may argue that they don’t have the money for the expensive equipment, nor time in their hectic lives. Those excuses are misguided. To exercise, you need comfortables shoes or, if it’s snowing and your willpower is somewhat limited, your room will be sufficient. That’s all.
Exercising helps you oxygenate your brain, making you more energetic and sharp. It is also a great way to relieve stress. It will make you feel better, but what is more important is that being stressed out for an extended period of time causes permanent changes in the brain. Jogging a few times a week will not only minimize the damage, but it also promotes the growth of new neuronal connections. It doesn’t have to be a 2-hour training, 5 days a week. It is better to start slow and see for yourself the positive impact on your life.
Even though we spend ⅓ of our lives sleeping, most of us still underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. You often hear about people pulling an all-nighter before an important exam. The truth is, your brain needs sleep to process all the information that you have learned. Without sleep, you won’t be able to focus, and the ability to recall the information will be severely limited.
More and more people have sleep disorders. Why? We surround ourselves with screens, many of us use their phones even in our beds. The problem is, our brains aren’t able to differentiate between artificial light and sun. And when the brain sees that the sun is shining, it concludes that it isn’t the best time for sleep. Another factor that affects our sleep quality is the overconsumption of caffeine. It’s not to say that caffeine is harmful, but try limiting drinking coffee to the first half of the day.
Meditation is an old practice that is more relevant now than ever. It is not to say that people in ancient times didn’t experience its positive effects the same way we do; it’s just that our minds are more cluttered. Our knowledge is incomparably more vast now than ever, but it is not without a price. We are continuously bombarded by ads that are using our insecurities as a tool, and headlines proclaiming the arrival of the great new flood. Sometimes it may feel overwhelming. One way to restore our inner balance is to meditate.
Meditation has numerous positive effects on our mind – it reduces anxiety, stress and allows us to be more accepting of the present. You don’t need to learn any complicated techniques. All you need to do is to find some quiet place, sit down and focus on your breathing. It may seem simple; it is not. Your mind will soon become full of random thoughts that will attempt to overwhelm you. Don’t worry, and focus on the breathing, that’s all.
Just do it
As you have just discovered, you don’t need to break the bank to boost your brain health. On the contrary – the best ways to do that are usually free. You might say that you don’t have much time, but remember that those activities will make you healthier, happier and more productive. It is absolutely worth it. You just need to start and see the effects for yourself!