How to Keep Your Brain Healthy?

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Over the past years I have been devouring research after research on the question: “how do you keep your brain healthy?” One of the things I fear the most is “something” happening to my brain. Maybe it is not becoming of a positive psychology and NLP trainer, and it is perhaps a little dramatic. At least I am not obsessing yet when I lose my keys.

In many ways, your brain is your more valued possession. Without it you don’t exist. You need it to be who you are, do what you love, and not be a burden to the people you love the most.

As I got older, I first saw my grandfather struggling with memories, but he was still fine and married at 86. It wasn’t until his late 80s and into his 90s that his memory got worse. But now I have an aunt who has Alzheimer’s, and 2 of my best friends’ parents struggled with the disease over the past few years.

It is interesting how we spend a lot of time keeping our bodies healthy yet completely neglect our brains. Perhaps even sacrifice our brain for our body. But what can we do to keep our brain healthy for old age too?

Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important ways to keep your brain healthy. In so many ways, not only does a good amount of sleep make your day better, your learning and emotional regulation better, it is also the best garbage collector. What does that mean? When we sleep “debris” out of the brain is removed we do not need. When this is not removed, it builds up, and it starts causing all sorts of issues as we age.

Learn

Scientists have discovered people who have gone to college are less likely to develop problems in the brain as they age. So do people who keep learning new things, like to discover new avenues, and are active in the pursuit of purpose and meaning.

In fact, during autopsies, researchers made remarkable findings. People who only had a mild version of Alzheimer’s in the brain displayed the illness in huge ways. While people with a very diseased brain due to Alzheimers barely had any. Why is this? Because those of us who continue to explore, learn, and expand our minds are more flexible inside the brain. If one part of the brain gets diseased, another part of the brain takes over.

Move

Being inactive or sedentary is one of the most significant risk factors for dementia, while staying fit allows us to fight it off.

Before some of you freak out, there is no need to be. It has also been discovered that not a lot of movement is needed. Even walking for 2 minutes daily makes a big impact if you usually don’t walk much at all.

Moving has so many other benefits to the brain at the same time. It improves our strength, stress management, mental health and immune function.

Movement reduces inflammation inside the brain and stimulates the growth of new cells. This is especially true for cardiac exercise.

Watch What You Eat

Some people I know may want to make us believe that gluten and meat will cause brain decline, while kale and Spirulina will save us. No, this is not really how it works.

It is a varied diet with vegetables, berries, beans, whole grains, fish and poultry, also known as the Mediterranean diet that points to better brain health. Personally, I eat a high vegetable, high protein diet with few carbohydrates and very few sweet fruits. The latter I only eat when I am in the NLP training in Bali, as the fruit there is just to die for.

A good rule of thumb for brain health is to stay away from refined sugar, consume enough Omega 3-6, and drink lots of water.

Conclusion: How Do You Keep Your Brain Healthy?

Starting the day by sacrificing sleep is not the best way to start your morning. Keeping your brain healthy can be done in various ways, and at the end of the day, a healthy lifestyle includes all of the above.

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