The human brain is a unique organ. It changes as you age and its functions change too. Mostly the human brain undergoes neuroplasticity. Before move forward with defining this term, we must know what plasticity is. So, the term plasticity is the capacity of any system to change when an external force is applied continuously or when it is being influenced by external stimuli.
Our brain exerts a similar phenomenon called as neuroplasticity. The nerve cells, in response to internal or external stimuli, restructure their structure, functions, and/or connections. The neurons are able to change their strength and efficiency of synaptic transmission through numbers of activity-dependent mechanisms often termed as synaptic plasticity. However, this process may get hampered as we age and several chemical changes that take place soon after in the brain.
In this article we are going to learn 7 ways to keep our brain younger irrespective of our age. These methods are tried and tested but they should not be misunderstood as a cure for any sort of brain disorder or injury affecting one’s cognitive functions. The methods explained below could work as supplementary tools along with existing brain enhancing medicines you are on. Let’s dive right in.
1. Mental stimulation
Research and animal studies have shown that brainy activities support and encourage formation of new connections amongst nerve cells. These activities might also encourage the birth of new nerve cells. This phenomenon is called as neuroplasticity. Also, the brain starts to have a functional reverse with these new cells which can be used in the case of future cell loss.
Solving a word puzzle, reading, learning a new skill, or any work that requires your brain to be active comes under mental stimulating activities.
Working out is not only good for your body but it has positive effects on your brain too. Exercise helps in generating new nerve cells and improving connections between the existing nerve cells. It leads to improved brain functioning. Also, working out on a daily basis lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and reduces stress which ultimately turns into a healthily functioning brain.
3. Watch your diet
Nutritious diet is all you need to make your brain functioning well and youthful. You must ensure that you are taking in all nutrients in right amount to assure your brain is receiving the nourishment it requires. Studies have shown that people who are on Mediterranean style diet which include fruits and veggies along with olive oil and plant-sourced proteins are at low risk of developing cognitive issues and dementia.
4. Keep an eye on existing health issues
Health issues such as high blood pressure increases one’s risk of getting cognitive issues in the old age. Elevated blood glucose levels and cholesterol levels are responsible for the onset of dementia. If you are dealing with any of these issues, you need to take extra care of yourself. Improve your diet, do exercise daily and limit your alcohol consumption and tobacco usage to keep your brain younger and well-functioned.
5. No alcohol and no tobacco
For good health in long term, one has to put restrictions on the amount of alcohol they consume. It is better to quit alcohol but if you are struggling with quitting alcohol, you need to reduce the quantity you consume.
Consuming tobacco in any form is harmful for your body and for your brain too.
6. Express your emotions
Be it anger, jealousy, or anything negative or positive, expressing your emotions is the best way to diminish the weight that you carry. If you are feeling low, talk to a friend; take medical help if needed such as fixing an appointment with a counsellor or psychiatrist.
7. Be a part of social network or group
You alone may not be able to handle your emotions or any type of mental setback you are going through. However, sharing it with others by speaking about it and seeking advice to get rid of that particular emotion or situation would surely help you have a peaceful life. The bonus – your brain will be able to focus on its daily tasks peacefully.
The tips shared above may seem ‘simple’ but they are effective in the long term if followed religiously. We often tend to forget the power of consistency. You need to maintain a consistency while using all or any of the ways explained above to keep your brain healthier and younger. However, you must know that consistency is the key here.
If you are dealing with any psychological disorder, you must speak with your doctor. Taking heal from expert right on time often save you from further complications. Do not hesitate while asking for help. Our brain gets exhausts when it is facing stress on a daily basis. Therefore, do not stress out with the mere thought of seeking help. Just ask!