Some say that the brain is the most important thing in our body, so important that some believe that our body is just a vessel for our brain.
It never stop working, even when you sleep the brain keep working. Given how hard our brain has work for us, why don’t we just stop for a while and do things that are nice for our brain. Don’t know how? Why here are 5 things you can do for your brain:
#5 Play Video Games
Scientist has proven that video games has beneficial effects on the brain.
One study show that playing video games can improve cognitive functions such as memory (you can memorise more), concentration, motor skill (you can use each hand to do different thing at the same time), problem solving, and decision making.
Games is not just for kids or young people, in fact old people should play video games as another study show that old people benefit more from playing. It could reverse decline mental functions of the brain up to 5 years.
So its not just good to play video games, but it should be mandatory for everyone to play video games as it improve and maintain your brain.
The brain need exercise just like our body need exercise to be in shape, and playing video game is one of the easiest way to exercise our brain.
Of course you can memorise random stuff or people names as brain exercise, but isn’t it easier to just play video games. You can play video games for hours and that hours spent is not for nothing, its for your brain.
#4 Don’t Stress, Be happy
Stress is the brain number one enemy. Why? In 2014 study scientist has found that continuous or long term stress could cause permanent damage on the brain. It will cause memory loss, anxiety, dementia, alzheimer, and other mental illness.
When you stress your brain release a hormone called cortisol which purpose is to increase blood sugar which would result in a burst of energy. In the old days, we have stress when we getting life or death situation like when you are being chased by Saber-toothed cat which is why we need more energy to run faster or extra strength to fight that beast. Today we get stress when we miss our deadline or work related stuff that isn’t life or death situation and those extra energy is going nowhere.
The cortisol in your brain would cause a decrease in brain cells causing memory loss and lower your immune system making you easier to get sick. Too long and too many of it would result in permanent damage.
So what’s this cortisol thingy means? It means if you get stressed a lot then you would get sick a lot, become forgetful and potentially cause mental illness. In a way its kinda your body tells you that your life sucks and it shutting down itself.
Similarly, by being happy it can help improve your immunity system, improve nerve connections, make better of your thinking and analyze skill, and lesser risk of brain stroke.
Who would have thought that exercising your body has direct beneficial effect to your brain? I certainly didn’t, but study from University of Texas has found that there is direct relation. The study found that old people who exercise has better cognitive function, executive function, visuospatial skills, and processing speed than those who didn’t.
Another study from Georgia Institute of Technology also come with the same conclusion. A simple 20 minute exercise can give you memory boost for 48 hours.
Physical exercise can also release dopamine (happiness hormone) that has proven to fight back stress and depression which mean it can reverse the effect of stress from number #4 above.
Have you exercise today?
You might already know that alcohol cause changes in our brain, but do you know that it could be permanent?
When your brain is still in development, it is wise not to drink too many alcohol. What?? College kids need to be drunk because it is the only time to be drunk and stupid right? Well, if you want the stupidity to become permanent go ahead. Study has shown that teenager that drink a lot of alcohol cause subtle, but significant brain changes. Teenager who drink 4-5 drinks in a day would cause immediate change in the brain. What kind of brain changes are we talking about? Reduced memory, attention span, and information processing.
When can we drink alcohol and be drunk without affecting our brain then? When it is fully developed. The brain is fully developed around age 25 to 27.
The good news is that drinking moderately for older people is recommended. Study shown that older adult that loves to drink moderately has better well-being and cognitive skill.
How much is moderate? About 1-2 drinks per day.
So if you are an old person reading this then go stack your fridge with beer and wine. Those of you who are still in college you might want to think twice about getting drunk.
#1 Get Enough Sleep
Not enough sleep is literally killing your brain. Study from The Journal of Neuroscience that experiment on mice found that prolong sleep deprivation cause 25 percent of the mice brain cell to die.
But that’s research on mice not on human you might argue. But there is another study on human published in the journal SLEEP which study 15 men on sleep deprivation. They found the same thing that those who doesn’t get enough sleep lose some brain tissue.
So next time you stay late to get that deadline done or you haven’t finish your assignment, just go to sleep or it might cause you to permanently be less brighter.
If you still not convinced that you shouldn’t sacrifice sleep for work then remember that sleepiness is also the cause of depression and that would lead to all the bad thing in number #4 above ( memory loss, anxiety, etc )