Most people take their brain for granted. Indeed, chances are you have never actively thought of a way to improve your brain health, except for passing thoughts about how you could likely enhance your memory.
First off, supplements are not the means to an end. Sure, you will likely reap short-term benefits on aspects such as focus or clarity, but over the long haul, you will be no different from how you started.
Rather, a better approach to improving your memory and brain health is by cultivating habits that encourage healthy brain function, allows sufficient recovery, and aids in the natural process of delegating.
Wondering what are the habits of the ultra-efficient? Read on to discover the potent “no brainer” strategies they use.
Sleep Like You Were Meant To
Did you know, that we are SUPPOSED to spend about 33% of our lives asleep? Yet, many, if not most, adults only get about 6.5 hours sleep nightly, when they should get at least 8.
Sleep is important for two main reasons in the context of brain health; it is able to repair damaged cells from both the periphery and the brain itself, and a lesser known but critical action on compartmentalizing memories.
If you hope to turn your short-term memories into long term ones, you must experience deep sleep, which usually occurs about 60-90 minutes after entering sleep. Your energy levels and efficiency will speak mountains about why good sleep is so important.
Besides the well-documented benefits on physical health, exercise also exerts numerous benefits on brain health too. Enhanced blood flow to the brain as a result of exercise helps keep you alert and focused, while the boost of feel good endorphins produced as a result aid in blunting the stress hormone cortisol, fingered in poor retention and memory abilities.
Executive functioning is critical for maintaining brain health, and boosting memory. Executive functioning allows our brain to delegate tasks on levels of importance, form mental “notes,” and bottom lines, and to block out unnecessary tasks that would detract from efficiency. Think of it as the CEO of your brain; bottom line is what’s required.
Do One Thing At A Time
Multi-tasking isn’t hot; it’s not the latest in trend, nor is it smart. Why? Because multi-tasking makes you less efficient, decreases your ability to remember and translates to poorer memory.
Forgot to return that phone call you received while you were writing up that report, sending emails and conferencing with a client? Now you see what we mean. At a maximum, do no more than two tasks at a time- if possible strive for one.
Learn Something New
Having your brain do the same thing day after boring day is not going to make your memory better, or improve the overall health of your brain. In fact, one of two things is likely to occur; your brain either begins slacking on you because it is familiar with the tasks that need to be done, or efficiency increases in a few tasks but at the expense of many others. Think of your brain as a muscle, one that can be trained by applying new “stimuli.”
By doing the same tasks over and over, your brain becomes much too accustomed and does not have the incentive to change. By trying out new things, learning a language for example, your brain is forced to come out of its comfort zone. As the popular saying goes, “when you stop learning, you start dying.”
Schedule Regular De-Stressing Sessions
As levels of neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin increase, so does your ability to form memories, perform tasks efficiently and to focus. The key to achieving this? Keeping cortisol levels low. However, cortisol levels will spike the higher the stress you experience, so try including yoga sessions into your weekly wellness plan.