Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be switched on all the time, to feel like your mind is sharp and clear and be able to accomplish everything you need? Imagine waking up every morning with the ability to use your brain in exactly the right way, thinking clearly and with the ability to focus.
The brain is a fascinating machine, and there are some simple things that you can do to improve your mental acuity so you can operate on a higher level and get your mind firing on all cylinders. These simple brain boosters can be included in your everyday life to ensure that you are getting the most you can from your memory, your logical thinking and your creativity. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of rehabilitation for your brain.
1) Stay Mentally Active
One of the newest innovations emerging from research into the link between staying mentally active and improving brain function is the growth of so-called brain training apps that can be played on a smartphone. Study of these apps suggests some correlation between regular use and a reduction in impairment of mental speed, executive functions, short- and long-term memory, attention and analytical ability.
Another simple and easily accessible way to stay mentally active is to read — light literature, blogs and even news articles can help keep your brain moving. Reading something that interests you will fire up your neural pathways, and can introduce you to new language, widen your vocabulary and introduce new thoughts or ideas.
2) Eat Healthily
Aside from the general health benefits of a wide, varied diet that involves all the major food groups, eating well can also help you access more of your mental strength and abilities. When it comes to boosting your brain power, there are all sorts of food that have been scientifically tested to have a positive impact on your mental abilities. Look out for the following super brain foods to give your mind a boost:
- Fatty fish: Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, fish like salmon, trout and herring are a great brain food for a reason. Omega-3 fatty acids help build brain and nerve cells, and a lack of Omega-3 is linked to both depression and learning impairments.
- Coffee: This popular morning drink contains both caffeine and antioxidants. Studies have confirmed that drinking three to four coffees a day improves alertness and mood, and drinkers demonstrate sharpened concentration in the short term.
- Super greens: Broccoli is the most well-known of the super greens as it has a high concentration of vitamins, including Vitamin K. Vitamin K contributes to the formation of sphingolipids, an essential part of brain cell fatty acid construction.
- Berries: Blueberries are highly regarded as a source of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances that work against brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases by improving communication between cells.
- Turmeric: A popular spice used in many different cuisines around the world, turmeric contains curcumin. This ingredient has a proven capacity to cross the blood-brain barrier and is linked to the growth of brain cells, improved memory and a reduction in the effects of depression.
Some other brain-boosting foods include eggs, avocado, pumpkin seeds and nuts.
3) Get Moving
The hormones and other substances that the body creates and releases during exercise may help increase memory, protect the brain against degeneration and improve general cognition.
There have been many studies on the link between general brain health and exercise, including one in 2013 that looked at a molecule called irisin and neuroprotective effects that the body releases during endurance exercise. There is also a link between general cardiovascular fitness, improved motor skills and academic performance.
According to the CDC, any amount of physical activity can help. You should aim for 150 minutes of moderately intensive physical activity a week.
4) Improve Your Sleep
Studies have proven that lack of sleep is detrimental to the mental and physical health of both humans and animals, because it is when we sleep that our memories are consolidated and we can make the most of insightful thinking.
During REM sleep, we are dreaming and forming procedural memories. During non-REM (deep) sleep, we are forming declarative memories. According to the experts, the perfect amount of sleep is 7 hours a night as this is when we display the highest cognitive performance. Those who get between 6 to 8 hours a night have a higher volume of grey matter throughout the brain.
It has also been demonstrated that more sleep than the ideal 6 to 8 hours can actually have detrimental effects, so aim for around 7 hours a night for the best results.
5) Consider the Pros and Cons of Rehabilitation for Your Brain
A scientific approach to improving brain function includes mapping the brain, measuring and recording activity, then using stimulation to rewire and improve the way your brain is working. One of the many benefits of outpatient care includes this kind of immersive monitoring, though there can be pros and cons to neuro rehabilitation.
At FHE Health, our Neuro Rehab program combines the latest in EEG measurement and recording with cutting-edge electrical and vibrational stimulation to help you understand more about the inner workings of your mind on a scientific level. To start, we use electroencephalography (also known as an EEG) to measure and record the electrical activity in the brain so we can pinpoint any activity outside the norm. This can show us the physical changes that might have occurred from substance misuse disorder and alcohol addiction.
Using a computer simulation to map brainwaves, we can see the dysregulation of sensory information processes that happen when dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain are affected. We can then begin neuro-stimulation, which uses tiny electrical or vibrational impulses to encourage neural repair processes. This process also combats the symptoms of dysfunction that manifest as withdrawal, including cravings, depression, anxiety and memory loss.
EEGs are an evolving science. It can be difficult to figure out where in the brain certain electrical signals are coming from, and many sessions may be needed over time to verify the data and develop more targeted solutions. Neuro rehab has pros and cons, but the ultimate goal is to help you learn how to control and self-regulate your brain activity — and therefore your thinking.
Seek Out Your Best Brain Health Today
Soothe substance abuse, depression, anxiety, insomnia and other disorders of the mind with the help of a supportive outpatient program. Contact FHE Health to discuss neuro rehab and boost your brain.