People apparently understand why it is important to keep the heart healthy. Make a search on Google and you see a great number of articles written about the whys and the hows of keeping the heart healthy.
Unfortunately, you can’t say the same thing about people and brain health. Make a similar search on Google and you see fewer articles written on the subject.
It is time that people get to understand why it is important to keep the brain healthy.
A healthy brain can make all the difference in your ability to cope with life’s challenges. It is a huge part of your being able to do the things that make life happy and meaningful – whether that means doing your job well, taking care of your loved ones, studying, doing volunteer work, enjoying the great outdoors, practicing yoga, being productive, or doing whatever you find important.
A healthy brain is essential for enjoying life. It contributes to inner strength and a sense of well-being. It helps you cope with problems. It makes it possible for you to stay mentally engaged and active, even as you age.
Importance of Having a Healthy Brain
Why is it important to keep your brain healthy?
- A healthy brain enables you to think fast and efficiently, regardless of the situation.
Everyone wants to be able to think on his feet – to come up with sensible solutions, to make prudent decisions, and to come up with the right answers quickly. A healthy brain makes this possible.
- It strengthens focus and memory.
You do any job more efficiently if you have a sharp memory and the ability to focus.
A healthy brain helps you retain important information – be it your kids’ birthdays, what to get from the grocery store, or what was discussed during your most recent meeting with your boss.
It enables you to find the right words, remember names, and carry on engaging and meaningful conversations with other people. Being able to remember important details makes you feel confident and sharp in everything that you do.
- It gives you the enthusiasm and energy to try new things.
A healthy brain does not only speed up thinking or sharpen your focus. It also makes you more curious, creative, and excited to engage in new activities and to try the unfamiliar. It stimulates you to learn, develop new skills, and grow.
- It promotes sharp listening skills.
Being an effective listener does not only require that you hear what the other person is saying. It also means being able to correctly understand or interpret what you hear.
A healthy brain allows you to do this. It helps you to listen, understand, and remember what was said. This skill, in turn, helps make your interactions easier, more productive, and more interesting and fulfilling.
- It helps you stay on top of things.
What does your to-do list look like?
It probably includes items like pay bills, run errands, drive the kids to school, prepare dinner, go to choir practice, go to the gym — on top of the things you have to do at work.
A healthy brain enables you to be more efficient, to do things faster, and stay on top of things. It allows you to do things well. It even allows you to do more than what you are presently doing.
- It enhances moods.
A healthy brain responds well to intellectual stimulation. When you challenge the brain with interesting and thought-provoking exercises, it produces chemicals like dopamine that put you in a more positive frame of mind. You feel upbeat, vibrant, and capable. You feel good.
- It makes you stay sharp even as you age.
The brain slows down with age. As you grow older, you may be wiser but you may also feel less sharp. This development, although natural and expected, can also affect your self-confidence.
When you have a healthy brain, however, you can age, grow in wisdom, and still enjoy a fast and sharp mind. You can enjoy the self-assurance and wisdom that come with age, as well as youthful memory, focus, and mental agility for a longer period of time.
The Importance of Instituting Lifestyle Changes that Make the Brain Healthy
There are many factors that affect healthy brain function. These include hypertension, diabetes and other chronic health conditions. These include your family history and the predisposition for certain chronic diseases. These include the way you live your life. These factors put you at high risk for premature cognitive decline and brain disorders like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, mental disorders, strokes, and brain cancer.
Although you can’t change your genetic make-up, you CAN introduce lifestyle changes to bring down the risk of developing brain-related issues and slow down the age-related decline of brain function.
Research shows that the lifestyle changes that keep your brain healthy are the exact same changes that have positive benefits for the heart and your overall health. So it really makes a lot of sense to start incorporating these changes into your life right now.
- Get the proper nutrition.
- Exercise on a regular basis.
- Get enough rest and sleep.
- Maintain emotional connections with yourself, family, and friends.
- Learn to manage stress.
- Give your brain the stimulation it needs.
- Cut out cigarettes.
The list is not that long. Moreover, statistics DO show that a healthy lifestyle does not only reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other similar serious health conditions; it also improves brain function. It protects you from brain-related issues. And it significantly slows down cognitive deterioration.
Age and Brain Changes
Your brain continues to go through changes through most of your life. It develops new connections. It repairs broken connections. It adapt to what you experience and learn.
As you grow older, particularly as you get past the middle age, the brain goes through changes that result in the gradual decline in mental facilities.
As you age, you become more forgetful. You lose sharpness of mind. It takes you longer to mentally process things, to generate solutions to problems, and to come up with decisive actions. You lose mental agility, focus, and concentration.
It is important to keep the brain healthy at every age, but even more importantly as you age. The thought of mental decline may be off-putting. However, by continuing to apply the lifestyle changes already mentioned, you can enjoy a healthy brain and everything that it involves – sharp memory, better focus and concentration, effective communication and understanding, and a high quality of life.
While you can’t do anything much about your genetic make-up, taking the steps to keep your brain healthy is largely within your control. Live a brain-healthy lifestyle – and you can be mentally fit, learn and try new things, take well-considered risks, be creative, and generally enjoy life for a long time.