|Did you know: the heart has an electromagnetic field that is 60 times larger than the electromagnetic field of the brain. When you feel love and appreciation in your heart, your heartbeat stabilises and this energy enlivens and heals your entire body. So what?
You don’t have the be super clever about what you appreciate (feel gratitude for), it doesn’t have to be grandiose or life changing, it can be small things such as: I appreciate feeling the water on my face; I am grateful for this delicious cup of coffee; I appreciate my ability to read; I am grateful to have special friends; etc.
What else can you do to keep your brain healthy and prevent/delay illnesses such as Alzheimers?
Five lifestyle choices you should pay attention to:
A total of approximately 7 to 8 hours are needed for optimum brain health. Memory and learning are increased in all phases of sleep, but mostly in deep sleep.
Sleep is essential for neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the process where new neurons and new synapses are created every day to increase learning and memory. Microglia cells in the brain eat many underperforming synapses each night. This pruning effect during sleep appears to be critical to not have a cluttered brain.
Did you know? Lack of sleep increases the risk of false memories.
Did you know? Not sleeping enough might be the reason you are gaining weight.
Want to improve your ability to solve complex problems, make better decisions, stay focused on a task, be more creative? Include at least 4 x 30 min of exercise in your week.
The brain (2-3% of your body weight) needs constant energy (up to 20% of the glucose you consume and up to 25% of the oxygen you inhale) and constant activity to allow neuro-transmission, cytokine signaling, inhibition of cell death, maintenance of mitochondrial activity and genetic protein synthesis.
Exercise stimulates many critical brain factors, including BDNF and VEGF, GNF and neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.
Did you know? Both strength and aerobic exercise reduce anxiety and depression.
Try and introduce more movement in your day – have standing/walking meetings, take the stairs instead of the lift/elevator, park far away, have a central printer/coffee station to walk to rather than a printer on your desk, have a rotational roster for everyone in your office to once a day play their favourite song and then make sure everybody gets up and dance to this song when played (it is better to do this in the afternoons as it will boost energy and productivity when brain energy starts to fade)
Your brain is the most energy intensive organ in your body and it is a ‘fussy eater’. It is highly sensitive to the food you eat.
“Use it or lose it” – just like the muscles in your body needs to have regular use and exercise to stay healthy and function optimally, your brain needs to stay active.
Ever felt like you had a month-long holiday after spending only 2-3 days in nature?
Many studies have shown the positive impact of exposure to nature (recommended reading and book if you are interested in an in-depth study on the topic of healing spaces, http://www.esthersternberg.com/healingspaces.htm).
Did you know? Even the smallest of animals suffer from mental illness when living in captivity vs. in natural surroundings
None of these activities are rocket science and might sound to simple to be effective, but the research has proven again and again that these are indeed the minimal basic things you need to do to keep your brain healthy. Start with small steps and soon you will be in the habit of doing these without even thinking about it.