The brain is made up of 1 billion neurons. It’s also composed of 75% water. This incredibly complex part of your body needs to be taken care of. If your body benefits from physical exercise, then your brain can also use a regular workout.
Of course, brain exercises are different from physical exercises. It’s more accurate to call them brain training. There is an ongoing debate about the effectiveness of training and exercise for the brain but research suggests that they can provide benefits.
If you want to keep your brain healthy then it’s necessary for you to keep your body healthy. It’s just not going to be possible for you to keep your mind sharp with your body in decline.
That being said, here are a few exercises that you can use:
Exercise #1: Draw a Map
How good is your memory? If you want to sharpen your memory, then there are plenty of exercises that you can use to keep it in great shape. One thing that you can do is to draw a map of your town based on your memory alone.
Once done, compare it with the real thing. If that was too easy for you then maybe try something less familiar for you.
Exercise #2: Try or Learn Something New
Perhaps the best way to give your brain a workout is to try and learn something new. Maybe you can try to learn how to play a musical instrument or you can try to master a new language. These things will require your brain to work harder than ever.
Exercise #3: Practice Using Your Non-Dominant Hand
Another way that you can exercise your brain is by practicing using your non-dominant. If you are right-handed, using your left hand can be so difficult that it would drive your brain to get some exercise.
Exercise #4: Socialize Often
Studies suggest that those who socialize often have a lower risk of developing dementia. So, if you are an introvert, then you should try to seek out some company.
Exercise #5: Meditate
Meditation is an ancient practice that is tied with religion but this ancient practice is gaining notice from researchers for its effectiveness.
Exercise #6: Brain Training Games
There are plenty of brain training games that are available now which you can download. There is still an ongoing debate about the effectiveness of these games but it wouldn’t hurt to try them out.
These are just six brain exercises that you can try.
6 Helpful Tips for Living Your Life with Depression
There is an increased awareness regarding mental health these days. Because of that increased awareness, people who have mental health issues suffer from less stigma now. Still, there are a lot of misconceptions going on about mental health.
One of the most common and at the same time most misunderstood mental health problems is depression. People equate it with sadness. While intense feelings of sadness and hopelessness are really part of depression, it is not limited to that.
The good news is that there are things that you can do to help deal with depression. These are the simple steps that you can take which will help you in dealing with depression.
Tip #1: Create Your Support Network
For some people, this means building a stronger and better relationship with their family. Unfortunately, there are those suffering from depression who do not have families to support them.
If you don’t have a family to support you, then you can join a community that you can find support from.
Tip #2: Cut Down on Stress
Stress causes your body to produce cortisol. This hormone helps your body to deal with the cause of the stress. But if this keeps up for a long time, it will take a huge toll on your body and make your depression even worse. This is why you should use proven techniques for cutting down on your stress.
Tip #3: Have a Sleep Routine
According to researchers, around 80% of people who suffer from depression have problems with sleeping as well. There are several reasons for this connection. You might feel too tired that you feel as if you cannot sleep, or you have a hard time getting out of bed because you feel too tired.
Try to do something about your sleeping problem because that is one way of dealing with your depression. Build a sleep routine that you can do before you go to bed and after you wake up each morning. The routine can help you sleep better.
Tip #4: Have a Better Diet
There is a clear link between diet and mental health. So, your mental condition might be helped if you switch to a healthier diet and eating habits. Go for foods that are rich in brain-essential nutrients. You should aim to eat more foods with zinc, for example, because zinc deficiency can increase the symptoms of depression.
Tip #5: Keep Yourself Busy Don’t Procrastinate
Depression can make you feel tired all the time, preventing you from doing the things you need to accomplish. One way that you can combat depression is by not procrastinating. Just do the things that you can immediately.
Tip #6: Take care of Your Chores
Make sure that you take care of all your chores. Depression can make it difficult for you to do all the chores that you need. You may miss out on paying the bills or doing the dishes. Don’t let that happen because missed chores can add to your problems and make your depression even worse.
These useful tips can help deal with depression. Just keep in mind that depression is a serious mental health problem. To increase your chances of overcoming it, you need to seek help from a mental health professional. No matter how determined you are, you will have a hard time if you try to beat depression on your own.
5 Ways to Deal with Stress
Stress is a natural response of the body. It is used to deal with threats in a quick and effective way.
Although stress is a natural and helpful response of the body, there are times when it can be harmful. When a person is under too much stress, it can be unhealthy.
Symptoms of Stress
So, what are the symptoms of stress that you should be on the lookout for? There are actually a lot, but these are the most common ones that you should be aware of:
- You become easily agitated.
- You feel that you are losing control.
- Having low self-esteem and feeling bad about yourself in general.
- Constant headaches.
- Upset stomach including loose bowel movement.
- Sleeping problems, including insomnia.
You may experience some cognitive issues because of stress. For example, you may experience constant forgetfulness, and you’re constantly worried.
5 Ways to Deal with Stress
Here are 5 important facts about stress that should help you to deal with it:
- Maintain a Work and Life Balance
What is the main cause of your stress? Is it because of your work? It’s important for you to maintain a healthy balance between your work and your life. One of the ways you can achieve that is by reducing the amount of time you spend working. You should do other things that you actually enjoy. Spend time with your family and do the things you are passionate about.
- Exercise Regularly
One of the things that you need to include in your daily life is exercise. On top of making you physically healthy, exercise can also help to make you feel good. Exercise can improve blood circulation, which is instrumental in flushing out the stress hormones in your body.
- Limit Your Drinking
One of the side effects of stress is drinking too much alcohol. Some people turn to alcoholic drinks in order to deal with the stress that they are feeling. While it can temporarily relieve stress, drinking too much alcohol can cause long-term health problems. It can also lead to becoming dependent on alcohol.
- Connect with People Who Support You
Don’t underestimate the power of human connection. Having people who love you and care about can be a powerful means of countering the effects of stress. Tell your friends and family about your struggle and tell them how they can help you.
This might be easier said than done for some people. If you don’t have friends and family, try to make new connections. Find people who have the same interests as you.
- Practice Meditation
Meditation has been a time-proven technique for easing a troubled mind. There are different meditation techniques, so try to find one that you can do regularly. The important thing about meditation is for you to become consistent in its practice. That’s the only way you can feel its stress-relieving effect.
These are just five tips that you can use for dealing with stress. As you can see, all of these are simple ideas that you can do right away. You don’t really have to put up with the stress that you are feeling right now.
5 Tips for Coping with Mid-Life Crisis
Some belittle the idea of a mid-life crisis, but this is a real condition. People do suffer from it, mostly men.
Mid-life is the period from 30 to 70 years old, although the core is 40 to 60 years old. Unfortunately, there is little research on this period and even less on mid-life crisis. That is the reason why there are so many misconceptions regarding this condition.
The Mid-Life Crisis
So, what is the mid-life crisis?
There is no lack of depiction of mid-life crisis in movies, TV shows, and books. Many times the depiction of this condition has been humorous. It has been used for jokes, showing middle-aged men dating much younger women, buying sports cars, and doing other things that do not make sense.
It’s a period characterized by reflection, regrets, and changes. Experts know more about the mid-life crisis now, and one way they are trying to enlighten people about this condition is by introducing a new term to refer to it. Instead of calling it a crisis, they now term it as a transition, a mid-life transition.
Mental health experts say that transition is more appropriate because while it may involve some negative things like depression, it also offers potential for personal growth. It’s important to recognize when the transition is turning into depression because professional help is needed.
Life Circumstances That Lead to a Mid-Life Crisis
Many life situations can lead to a mid-life transition. These include:
- Doubts about one’s career and achievements.
- Questions regarding relationships.
- Doubts about one’s overall purpose in life.
- Concerns about growing old and retiring and changes in the family structure.
These concerns can all be addressed, and all the questions. It might seem like it’s easier said than done, but there are ways that you can turn these questions and worries into opportunities for growth.
Here are tips that you can use to cope with your mid-life transition:
- Question the “shoulds” in your life. A midlife crisis is fueled by questions about one’s choices in life. “I should be happily married by now.” “I should have several children by now.” Sit down and try to think about those “shoulds” that are fueling your worries. Most of the time, you don’t really believe in the external pressures forced on you.
- Find something that you are passionate about. Many of those who undergo a midlife crisis feel a general lack of passion about the things that they are doing. Maybe you should look for something that really interests you and throw yourself into that.
- Start a journal so you can explain how you feel. Usually, a mid-life crisis can be fueled by not knowing exactly what’s wrong. Keeping a journal can help you explore your feelings.
- Start developing a self-care habit. Try to look better each day and go for things that would pamper yourself. Those small things can make you feel better about yourself and help you see yourself in a different light.
- People who go through a mid-life crisis usually feel that they are alone and that others don’t and cannot understand what they are going through. This is a misconception because, more often than not, friends and family are more than willing to offer support and understanding. You will just have to reach out.
Just like with any other period of life, mid-life can be a chance for growth and development. It may take some effort to see things that way, but it will be worth it.
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