Keeping Your Brain Active: 10 Tips to Take Care of Your Brain
It has long been thought that the creation of new neurons stop at the age of 20 years. But we know today that this is false. Our brain create a new neurons throughout life, as long as we do not lock our brains into the routine. Here are 10 tips to keep your brain active during all the years of your life.
Top 10 Tips to Keeping Your Brain Active.
1- Change Your Habits
When skin ages, wrinkles appear. When the hair ages, they become gray, then white, or rare. But when the brain gets older, what happens? . The speed at which information is processed decreases, making it harder to do many things at once and focus your attention. Why? For a long time it was believed that our stock of neurons was fixed at birth and that it inevitably decreased over time, leading to a decline in cognitive abilities. But we know today that it is not the main cause of cerebral aging and that new neurons can appear in certain structures such as the hippocampus.
So why is the brain aging? The cerebral aging keeps a part of mystery, answers Jacques Touchon. But we know that the brain has the scars of all the trials that have been going on throughout life. Brain trauma, vascular lesions, the effects of toxic substances such as alcohol, all of which accumulate over a lifetime and impact brain function. In the same way that some people see their hair just grow into adulthood while others keep a mop of hair all their life, we are not equal in the face of aging brain. We do not all have the same genetic equipment to resist the aging process.
If we can not change our gene pool, we can help slow the aging process. How? Partly thanks to a phenomenon called brain plasticity. If the brain is stimulated, it develops new synaptic connections and new networks, explains Jacques Touchon. We thus create a “brain reserve” that compensates for the impairment of functional networks caused by brain damage. A reserve that is constituted from childhood and that we can continue to feed throughout life.
And to stimulate the brain there is no mystery: You have to use it. Those who have practiced an intellectual exercise all their lives are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, a pathological form of brain aging that causes memory and behavioral disorders and progresses to dementia. This disease is characterized by abnormal deposition in the brain of two proteins causing lesions. People who have stimulated their brains throughout their lives may very well have deposits of these proteins, but at home it does not cause deterioration of cognitive functions. The well-trained brain “compensates” indeed these lesions thanks to the extraordinary neuronal plasticity, which remains the best anti-aging weapon.
An experiment demonstrate that rats’ brain cells are renewed 2 times less if they remain isolated and are never exposed to new situations.
Therefore it’s necessary to, regularly, surprise the brain so that it can regenerate itself. For example; You can, sometimes brush your teeth with your left hand (if you’re right handed), change directions when you walk your dog, do not always occupy the same place at the table.
2- Have a Good Sleep
Everyone knows that the quality of sleep has an impact on our health. It is during the night that the brain regenerate itself, evacuates toxins and dissolves nerve tensions. But many of us are subject to chronic stress that results in a high level of brainwaves. And it hurts a lot of the brain that can no longer manage emotions and negative thoughts and ruminations are more intense. Sleeping becomes difficult, sleep becomes fragile and no longer provides the necessary brain cleaning. One wakes up tired, the brain in apnea, foreign to the world and to oneself. So, be sure to sleep well, and avoid anything that can upset your sleep.
During the day! We must start by adjusting the biological clock, which governs the production of melatonin, the hormone regulating sleep. Exposing to natural light in the morning, going out for a walk or using a light therapy lamp, can re-synchronize its biorhythm. To relieve stress, practice 5 minutes of deep breathing exercises, 3 times a day, inflating the belly with inspiration. In the evening, eat light at least 2 hours before bedtime. Avoid sleeping pills and go to bed only when physical fatigue is felt (yawning, blinking eyes, heavy eyelids …). To feed your brain in positive thoughts, write on a notebook your 3 benefits of the day, that is to say 3 small pleasures experienced since the morning. And the next day, wake up with natural light. Your neurobiological awakening will be only better. If not, use a dawn simulator.
3- Live the Moment
Every morning we do the same things. Wake up in a hurry, take a shower and get dressed, automatic gestures with the mind occupied in brooding the worries of yesterday and the concerns of the day. We do not take advantage of the present moment with our loved ones and we throw ourselves without realizing in the infernal spiral of stress.
To appreciate the present moment, opt for meditation that improves concentration. Meditation is an excellent tool to achieve this, as its practice requires a focus on the present by letting the negative thoughts go away.
Medical imaging studies have shown that meditating regularly remodels the brain by developing particular brain regions related to positive emotions. Gradually, the brain is less distracted, he enjoys better shared happiness. The ideal way to strengthen one’s attention skills is to meditate 25 minutes a day. A coach or downloadable apps on your smartphone can help you.
4- Video Games Rather than TV
Video games are often demonized, but do not be afraid. A study shows that playing 30 minutes a day increases the volume of gray matter. This fun activity, which sharpens the sense of observation and requires action planning, is more conducive to brain health than television, to which we are passive. Platform games (Super Mario type) are to be preferred, as the sets and challenges proposed change constantly.
Shooting games, violent and repetitive, are rather harmful.
5- Avoid Overwork
Overwork occurs as a result of intense efforts. It may be physical activity, but in some cases it may be intellectual overwork.
Overwork causes sleep disorders, a feeling of permanent anxiety, depression and the most serious cases of depression.
listen to music while you are going to work, take a shower and change your clothes when you return from work, at night, etc.. Other emotion control techniques can also be effective, ; Like remembering beautiful memories. Visualizing or mentoring a happy event induces changes in the brain that have a positive effect on mood. It has indeed been proven that it activates the same brain circuits as those involved when we had this positive experience. The sensation of pleasure then takes over and mutes the stress that binds the brain.
6- Choosing Adapted Food
The brain is too greedy! It consumes 20% of the energy provided by the feed, while it represents only 2% of the total weight of the body. The contents of our plates thus have a considerable impact on him. To boost its performance and regeneration capabilities, choose its favorite foods.
A balanced diet, rich in fiber, promotes the creation of new neurons. Conversely, ingesting too much sugar and saturated fats limits the renewal of these cells.
A well-oiled brain also needs omega-3 fatty acids. It’s found in mackerel, sardines, seafood, rapeseed oil and nuts. He is also fond of vitamins B6 and B12, necessary for the manufacture of brain hormones. To refuel, eat bananas, eggs and cabbage. And vitamin D (butter, offal, fatty fish) is essential for the memory, since it protects the cells of the hippocampus, the cerebral area involved in the storage of information. Eat also green leafy vegetables (salads, spinach, cabbage …). According to a recent study by the University of Chicago, they delay cognitive decline by eleven years thanks to their high vitamin E, B9 and carotene content, which moderates inflammation. Also remember to hydrate yourself well (1.5 l of water per day). Water deficiency causes drying and shrinking of brain cells.
7- Control Your Blood Pressure
If cerebral arterial hypertension causes less immediate complications such as cerebrovascular accidents (ischemia and cerebral hemorrhage), other neurological diseases related to a rise in blood pressure inside the vessels of the brain are more frequent. These include vascular lesions caused by arterial hypertension (even treated) and hypertensive encephalopathy, leading to an attack of the intellect or even a real dementia
Too high blood pressure can cause small imperceptible strokes, the repetition of those strokes spoils the brain. A decline in memory and reasoning skills can result. Studies have shown that treating hypertension is one of the best ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
8- Do Sport
Physical activity, even moderate, is essential for cerebral agility. It increases the oxygenation of the brain and stimulates the genesis of new neurons. Experiments conducted on young adults have proved it. From 6 weeks of regular sports (3 times a week), cognitive functions improve, especially memory, concentration and potential for creativity. An Israeli study also suggests that this counteracts the risk of depression and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Focus on physical activity such as weight training, and endurance sports such as swimming or cycling. There is no need to turn yourself into a high-level athlete, the important thing is regularity. And avoid violent sports, like boxing. Repetitive traumatic shocks can lead to early senile dementia.
9- Expand Your Circle of Friends
Expanding one’s circle of relationships is a great stimulus. The new encounters favor the creation of connections between our little gray cells. They also improve our mood and creativity by secreting oxytocin, the hormone of attachment.
Multiple studies confirm the link between love and the physical and mental health of individuals. It is even indispensable to the survival of the human species. Without love, a child unrelated to his mother may die. At best, he will have to deal with developmental shortcomings.
10- Beware of Information Overload
Being a victim of ” infobesity” is simply receiving too much information flow that prevents you from sorting relevant information useful for the one who is not, for your personal or professional life. We note a growth of this phenomenon with the arrival of the Internet, which has generated:
- An increase in information consultation platforms, such as social networks, Internet sites or e-mails.
- A growth in the number of creators of informational content, such as bloggers, influencers, media, or independents.
- An abundance of information flows that reach us today from everywhere, including Facebook and email.
When we are subjected to an “information overload” (profusion of futile information), our attention and decision-making abilities are quickly goes down. To keep a brain in good shape, better avoid zapping from one page to another on the internet and spend too much time on social networks.