Cognitive health and wellness 🧠

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful and safe day πŸ™‹πŸ»

Though we are moving fast in the field of science and technology, but are we taking enough care of our cognitive health? Just the way as we do for our physical health. Due to awareness around maintaining a healthy lifestyle, our life expectancy has increased twofold. Still, at the same time, there is an emerging number of brain and cognitive issues. These chronic brain issues significantly affect life, making it disabled for living. The WHO has rightly pointed out that in recent years to come, one out of every five individual will be affected by either dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, the problem is severe, and there is an urgent need for proper care and development of cognitive health and functions as one age from a young child to growing older.

Usually, the brain functions and coordinate through four different areas to carry out our daily activities.
1.Memory: Recalling the memory, working memory and problem solving using past experiences.
2.Executive function: Planning, decision making, organizing.
3.Speed/Accuracy: How fast and efficiently, one can complete a particular task?
4.Concentration: Keeping the mind focused on a specific task despite the interruptions, noises, distractions.

Cognitive health and fitness are at its best when in our day to day circumstances, we can do the right thinking, right ways, and at the right time:
1. Approaching a problem or an issue, by flexible thinking and not linear thinking. Keeping an open mind, thinking with multiple approaches and self-regulating.
2. Being able to focus and be attentive on a particular task within the day to day environment of distractions, interruptions and noises.
3. A working memory, recalling memory and problem-solving.
4. Cognitive strength of being both resilient and vulnerable.

When our brain and cognitive domains are not at our best, due to improper sleep or dehydration or any stress, we face several issues like:

1.Brain fog, foggy memory, forgetfulness.
2.Poor mind control
3.Lack of focus, easily distracted.
4.Unable to make decisions
5.Slow while performing the task.


We have already known the fact of Neuroplasticity and that the brain is changeable. It has amazing capacity of learning and storing informations. To know more, here is the link https://healthhappinesshealing.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=2676&action=edit. By practising and repeating things, new synaptic connections can be made or strengthen the already existing neural pathways. More synaptic density allows more flexible thinking approaches. So, there are several ways; we can keep our cognitive health intact :
1. Learning new things, languages, hobbies, music like an instrument and so on.

2.Trying to have new experiences like walking in a new direction, travelling to a new place, exploring a new idea, creativity, trying a unique taste.
3. Being more attentive of the environment like the smell, sound, any physical sensation.


4. Solving problems, trying math, puzzles.


5.Physical movement: Cross crawling exercises, hand body coordination like juggling, weight training, resistant activity.


6. Consuming brain nourishing food. If you want to know more about the food and it’s importance to brain health, here is the link https://healthhappinesshealing.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=3922&action=edit

Thanks for reading.

Blessings and much love to all πŸ’

 

 

 

 

Post: How about a smart healthy brain πŸ˜‡πŸ˜, anytime, any age? : 5 ways to facilitate the process.

Hello everyone ! Have a wonderful weekendπŸ™‹πŸ»

Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis, two terms commonly used when it comes to brain health. We, just don’t need to dive so much into Neuroscience to learn what they mean and how we can help ourselves to keep our brain healthy. Brain health is important because as long as our brain is healthy, we keep learning new things and our memory is intact. As ageing progresses, we can prevent ourselves from certain chronic conditions like dementia, Alzheimers and Parkinson’s disease by maintaining good brain health.

Neuroplasticity, meaning that our brain is continuously changing through our entire lifetime depending upon our experiences, the environment, habits, behaviour. Neural pathways keep rewiring and dewiring depending upon what is necessary and what is no longer useful. Therefore, being in a positive environment, thinking and feeling positive is all very important.

Neurogenesis meaning formation of new neurons, that is our ability to learn new things and retain in our memory. Previously, it was believed that neurogenesis stopped once we reach our adulthood, that is around the age of 20. Now, researches have shown, that neurogenesis occurs throughout our lifetime. So, we can learn until the day we die. In our brain, the neurons are formed from the neural stem cells and progenitor cells which are in the Hippocampus mainly and also in other regions of the brain. Though every day, new neurons are formed, before, they could get matured, many of them get pruned. A special protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) has been identified which is responsible for promoting the maturation, survival and maintenance of the neurons.

So, how do we facilitate this process of neurogenesis and maintain the level of BDNF? 5 simple ways

1. Exercise: Any exercise which can increase the heart rate mainly aerobic exercise, running, brisk walking.


2.Food: Rich in omega 3 fatty acids like fishes (salmon, tuna, sardines), avocados, chia, hemp seeds and nuts. Other sources which help are turmeric, blueberries, goji berries, lotus roots, algae, green tea, coffee. However, too much caffeine is detrimental to neurogenesis.

3.Emotions: Experiencing positive emotions like joy, excitement, love and feeling good, stimulate Neurogenesis. Such emotional experience can appear by being creative, learning a new skill, going out in Nature, proper sleep, listening to Nature sounds, good music and sex. A positive relationship with partners, peers, relatives is helpful. Being in chronic stress, anger, anxiety are detrimental to neurogenesis.

4.Mind stimulation: Cognitive abilities like reading, learning, memorizing, discussing new ideas, taking up music lessons, problem-solving, all stimulate neurogenesis. Cognitive reserve (resilience against brain damage) can be built up by engaging mind stimulating activities or intellectual work.

5.Meditation: Prayers and meditation can stimulate neurogenesis. Practising mindfulness, compassion, being in silence, stillness all facilitate neurogenesis.

Some lifestyle factors which can decrease neurogenesis are a high intake of carbohydrate, sugar, fried foods, inflammatory foods, chronic caffeine intake, smoking, alcohol, obesity, chronic stress, lack of sleep, negative emotions like sadness, depression, lack of engagement, boring life. Direct trauma to the head can be very detrimental to neurogenesis. Nowadays, even environmental pollution is quite hazardous to brain health.

If you are intending to learn more about lifestyle changes that you can do to improve your brain health, I recommend the book: Neurogenesis diet and lifestyle by Dr Brant Cortright

Thanks for reading. Take care.

Blessings and Much love to all πŸ’