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The Nine Habits of Highly Effective Brains

sharp brains—————

While we are still (hope­ful­ly) enjoy­ing some down­time, let’s review some good lifestyle options we can all fol­low to not only main­tain, but improve, our vibrant brains.

1. Learn more about the “It” in “Use It or Lose It.” A basic under­stand­ing will serve you well to appre­ci­ate your brain’s beau­ty as a liv­ing and con­stant­ly-devel­op­ing dense for­est with bil­lions of neu­rons and synaps­es.

2. Take care of your nutri­tion. Did you know that the brain only weighs 2% of body mass but con­sumesgood brain food over 20% of the oxy­gen and nutri­ents we intake? As a gen­er­al rule, you don’t need expen­sive nutri­tion­al sup­ple­ments, just make sure you don’t stuff your­self with the “bad stuff.”

3. Remem­ber that the brain is part of the body. Things that exer­cise your body can also help sharp­en your brain: phys­i­cal exer­cise enhances neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis (the cre­ation of new neu­rons), at any age!

4. Prac­tice pos­i­tive, action-ori­ent­ed thoughts until they become your default mind­set and you look for­ward to cre­at­ing some­thing beau­ti­ful every new day. Too much stress and anxiety–either induced by exter­nal events or by your own thoughts–actually kills neu­rons and pre­vent the cre­ation of new ones. physical exercise for brain health

5. Thrive on Learn­ing and Men­tal Chal­lenges. The point of hav­ing a brain is pre­cise­ly to learn and to adapt to chal­leng­ing new envi­ron­ments. Once new neu­rons appear in your brain, where they migrate and how long they sur­vive depends on how you use them. “Use It or Lose It” does not mean “do cross­word puz­zle num­ber 1,234,567”. It means, “chal­lenge your brain, and often, with new activ­i­ties beyond your com­fort lev­el.”

6. Explore, trav­el. Adapt­ing to new loca­tions forces you to pay more atten­tion to your envi­ron­ment. Make new deci­sions, use your brain.

7. Don’t Out­source Your Brain. Not to media per­son­al­i­ties, not to politi­cians, not to your smart neigh­bour… Make your own deci­sions, and mis­takes. That way, you are train­ing your brain, not your neighbour’s.

8. Devel­op and main­tain stim­u­lat­ing friend­ships. We are social ani­mals, and need social inter­ac­tion. Which, by the way, is why ‘Baby Ein­stein’ or so many of those edu­ca­tion­al apps have been shown not to be the panacea for brain devel­op­ment.

9. Laugh. Often. Espe­cial­ly to cog­ni­tive­ly com­plex humor, full of twists and sur­pris­es. Bet­ter, try to become the next Jon Stew­art.

Now, remem­ber that what counts is not read­ing this article–or any oth­er– but prac­tic­ing a bit every day until small steps snow­ball into auto­mat­ic, inter­nal­ized habits.

Keep in mind that “cells that fire togeth­er wire togeth­er”… so, start improv­ing one of these nine habits today. Revis­it the habit above that real­ly grabbed your atten­tion, and make a deci­sion to try some­thing dif­fer­ent.

SharpBrainsGuide_3D–> To learn more about all this, check out The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: How to Opti­mize Brain Health and Per­for­mance at Any Age

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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