There is a random question on many personality exams that asks if you prefer an ailing body with an able mind or an ailing mind with an able body. We don’t see why it needs to be a choice? For most of our lives, we’re taught the value of taking care of our bodies. But are we taking the right steps now to protect our minds for the future? With a plethora of debilitating mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, should we be doing more?
Neurodegenerative diseases occur when brain cells begin to die and there are less and less nerve cells and connections. This means to keep your brain healthy, you must protect your body at the cellular level. Most doctors and scientists agree on several preventative methods to helps us ensure a long future for our memories and mental capabilities.
8 Longevity and Health Tips for Your Mind
Your mind is a muscle and just like the rest of your body, if you want it to grow and stay fit, you need to use it. This can be as simple as the Sunday crossword. Chess. Sudoku. Card games. Riddles. It even helps to read and write, like a basic journal and the morning paper. Try to constantly learn new things, even if it’s cooking a new type of cuisine or basic car maintenance. Take on mentally stimulating projects, fun or practical or both, like wheel throwing, sketching or playing an instrument. Try to think of ways that incorporate memory and motor skills. Many studies show learning a new language is an incredible challenge that goes a long way to protect you from dementia. Another method of prevention is to expand your mind by using your opposite hand. So if you’re right handed and always brush your teeth and do your hair with your right hand, start doing it with your left. This helps to connect new neuropathways in your mind giving you more usable cells and connections.
Exercise isn’t just for a great physique, although that’s an excellent benefit. Getting your blood pumping helps protect your cardiac health which can directly affect the health of your mind. Like all muscles, our brains need good circulation and a constant influx of fresh oxygen. Our blood is what carries that oxygen. When we exercise, our body is cued to carry more oxygen-packed blood to our muscle. As it gets to the brain, it fills the area that controls thoughts and messages the body to start creating more synapses and nerve cells. All that exercise also releases endorphins which can help with our next tip!
Your Emotional Health Matters
It’s really hard to be mentally alert, focused, motivated and self-caring, if our emotional health is struggling. Over 60 million people live with some form of anxiety, depression or sleep disorder in the United States alone! That’s a huge part of the population that struggle daily with cognitive acuity. When you compound anxiety, stress and emotional disorders with lack of sleep, as they are often hand in hand, you get an incredibly stressful environment for the body and the mind. For serious conditions, it’s wise to see your doctor and see what prescriptions are available. If your physician thinks a natural course of action would do the job, then consider Terra Origin Inner Balance with powerful adaptogens to moderate stress responses and emotional drains. Combine that with Terra Origin Healthy Sleep supplement and you will be on your way to better mental performance!
Nutrition Never Stops
Nutrients are not just for skinny jeans! We need to eat right for the cellular development in our brains. Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in mental health, so if you do not eat fish at least twice a week, a supplement would be a great addition to your diet. It’s also important to regularly consume antioxidants. Your brain oxidizes over time just like an apple turns brown when exposed. By eating foods rich in flavonoids, you can protect yourself from inflammation and free radicals. Bring on the dark chocolate and red wine, in moderation of course! It’s also essential to include all colors and textures in your fruits and vegetables. Aim for four servings a day to power up your mental energy.
While yes, a walk through nature goes a long way in removing stress, we are referring to the many wonderful plants and herbs in nature. Ancient sciences have been guarding mental longevity and performance long before we understood cellular decline. Many of us are familiar with Ginkgo Biloba for mental energy, but the Chinese knew its benefits long before it became popular in mental stimulants. It helps supply greater blood flow to the brain and acts as an antioxidant. Scientific studies have shown it may slow down cognitive diseases and help preserve memory. Dairy foods, pasta, rice, eggs and peanuts play a major role in the next brain super-nutrient, choline. This supports your nervous system and may enhances memory by protecting your mind from age-related decline. Ayurvedic practitioners have been using Bacopa Monnieri for thousands of years to help preserve a sharp mind and faster recall. There are so many more, but you don’t have to go foraging. Choose a supplement made to protect your mind, like Terra Origin Healthy Brain.
There are three major health components that can give your brain a long future, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. If your blood pressure is high, you need to look at your diet and your stress levels because this elevation has been directly linked to neuro decline. If your LDL is elevated, your body and your mind could be at risk. Check with your doctor to see if your diet, exercise, weight and habits need tweaking to bring levels back down. Dementia has also been linked to diabetes, so do all you can to keep your blood sugar within a normal range.
It should come as no surprise that the major toxins which hurt the body also hurt the mind. If an ailing mind is of concern to you, then it is very important to stop using tobacco products of any kind. It’s also wise to drink in moderation as heavy alcohol use is often linked to dementia. The only healthy regime would be moderate red wine, one 1 to 2 glasses every couple of days with friends. When kept in safe quantities, there does seem to be a correlation between social drinking and mental health.
Channel Your Inner Socialite
Speaking of being social, there is also quite a bit of evidence to suggest hanging out with friends and new people is a great way to keep fresh synapses and mental stimulation. People with an active social life have been shown to live longer, healthier and more mentally alert lives. So get out there and start mingling!