10 Easy Ways To Keep Your Brain Happy & Healthy

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Brain, and especially cognitive health is a big topic right now, and with good reason. After all, while our brains are just a big pink squishy blob rolling around inside us, they are also important when it comes to things like paying attention, understanding things, speaking and remembering! The good news is you can keep your brain in super, tip-top cognitive condition by trying one or more of the suggestions below. Read on to find out what they are. 

  • Move your body 

When you think of exercising, do you internally groan? Well, the good news is that while exercise is crucial for your brain health, you don’t have to start doing ultra marathons to see the benefits. Instead as little as only 10 minutes of activity can help boost the areas of the brain associated with recall, and memory. That means you could go for a quick walk, do a 10-minute YouTube fitness workout, or even lift weights in your living room to see the mental and cognitive benefits associated with exercise. 

  • Play games 

No, we’re not talking about game-playing in a reality TV, real housewives way, but playing games like chess, or mahjong that stimulate the brain. Indeed, mahjong in particular is great for cognitive health as it encourages players to use their memory and flex their brain muscles with calculation and strategy. 

Mahjong is so good for the brain that studies have shown that even a month after playing a game, the cognitive benefits are still noticeable. Of course, when you play with others, mahjong can be a very social game as well, and this can provide additional cognitive and mental health benefits. You can even get ahead of the curve and impress all your friends with your skills by practicing playing online first! 

  • Get reading 

Ready can be great for both mental and cognitive health. Cognitively reading fosters connectivity in the brain which means we become mentally faster and more alert. In terms of mental health reading can be hugely helpful as it allows us to enter a flow state – a state in which we are focused on the flow of performing a specific task. Similarly reading can be great for helping people feel connected and less alone, especially when they recognise a part of their own experience in the story or account they are reading. 

To that end, why not invest in yourself and your cognitive health by treating yourself to that best seller you wanted? Better yet, why not find a local book club where you can get together with other like-minded folks and discuss a different read every month? Then you’ll get not only the cognitive benefits of reading but the benefits of making new friends and engaging in lively conversation as well. 

  • Be mindful of your alcohol consumption 

You already know that alcohol is not great for you, but did you know that overconsumption can be very bad for your brain? Yes, that’s right, drinking 14 or more units in a single week can significantly boost your chances of developing dementia later on in life! 

With that in mind, you may wish to lower your alcohol consumption by at least a few units each week. Happily, there are many ways of doing this without feeling like you are missing out including choosing alcohol-free spirits along with mixers which can provide the feeling of having something special without the added risk of alcohol. 

  • Get good sleep 

Sleep truly matters when it comes to brain health and in particular memory. Indeed, studies have shown that middle-aged people who get good quality sleep are much less likely to suffer from cognitive decline as they age! 

Of course, not everyone can fall asleep easily or stay asleep throughout the night, so if you are struggling with sleep, it’s worth getting it sorted. This may mean some simple lifestyle changes such as switching your phone off 2 hours before bed and doing more restful things like reading, meditating, or taking a bath. Managing stress, through journaling, exercise and therapy can be helpful too as you’ll have less on your mind preventing you from drifting off. 

However, if this doesn’t work then you may want to ask your doctor for a sleep study as this can help identify any specific issues that are causing problems like sleep apnea. 

  • Learn a new language

Learning a new language is a great way of taking care of your brain. Indeed all the listening, speaking, memorizing, and thinking involved makes taking a language class ideal for anyone wanting to boost their cognitive health. 

There are so many ways to learn a new language these days too. You can attend a class with others, which provides you with the benefits of being social, and also the support of your peers as you all go through the same experience together. 

Alternatively, you can use computer software or an app to help you learn. Apps such as Duo Lingo gamify learning languages and make it fun with bright animations. Apps like this also allow you to easily fit learning a language into your daily responsibilities if you have 5 mins free on your commute, or a quiet 10 minutes at lunch you can use them to practice. 

  • Go outside 

It’s old wisdom that as human beings we need to spend time outside every day to stay mentally well. However, in our busy modern society, we so often forget this and get carried away with whatever tasks we are doing on our brightly lit computer screens. 

Indeed, many doctors and mental health professionals are now formally recommending spending at least a small amount of time outside in the natural sunlight during the day. (Although, if you live in a place that’s hot or with a high UV index it makes sense to use sun protection during this time.)

One option for spending more time out of doors is to fit a small walk into your day. It might help you to have a purpose for your walk, so you could set a specific route, or pop to the shops and stock up on store cupboard ingredients for dinner. For those working from home, it can be useful to leave other members of your household in the morning. Then you can have a quick walk and return refreshed and ready to start the day. 

Other options include eating your lunch outside on your break at work or taking up a sport or activity that requires spending regular time outside such as gardening, running, or cycling. You could even just spend some time sitting in your garden in the evenings rather than on the sofa inside. 

  • Check your hearing 

Another way you can take good care of your cognitive health is to make sure you get regular hearing tests. This is vitally important because hearing decline is linked to cognitive decline and issues such as dementia. Experts think that this is because even the brains of those with hearing loss actively listen for sounds, and this can stress the brain and create cognitive problems. 

Happily, it’s pretty easy to get your hearing tested. All you need to do is to go to your local audiologist and listen to some sounds through headphones. They will then provide you with a graph of your results known as an audiogram. It’s important to ask them to explain your audiogram to you because some people lose the ability to hear high frequencies while others lose the ability to hear lower ones and everyone; ‘s hearing and experience will be different. 

  • Meditate

Meditation is another activity ideal for those looking to take care of their cognitive health. Indeed, meditation is good for our cognitive functions in a range of ways. The first is that over time practising meditation can help us manage stress, and lower cortisol in our systems. In turn, this can reduce the stress we place on our brains. Similarly, meditation is known to encourage neuroplasticity, which can help ensure that we can continue to learn new things. 



Lastly, from a more mental health perspective, meditation can teach us a great deal about how to relate to our minds wisely. This includes recognizing that our feelings are always real, but do not represent facts, that our thoughts don’t have to be meaningful, and that we can choose which train of thoughts we follow, and which ones we ‘hop off’ and ignore. All of which ultimately can help us be happier, more peaceful, and less stressed which can only be good for our cognitive health. 

  • Dance 

Last of all, if you want to keep your brain healthy, moving your body through dance is a great activity. This is because not only is putting on some tunes and boogying away in your kitchen a lot of fun, but taking dance lessons is great for your brain too as it encourages coordination and memory. Then there are the additional benefits of dance classes that come with this including plenty of socialization and new friends, which is also great for the as well as increased fitness, and even better bone density as you age!

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Master reviewer of all types of products. Love XL Fountain Sodas!! Cheer Mom extraordinaire. Socialite to all things small town and founder of Come socialize and connect with me.


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