11. Meditate to keep your brain sharp
Regular meditation can make your brain younger than actual age. In a new study of regular meditators and non-meditators, scientists found “at the age of 50, brains of meditators were estimated to be 7.5 years younger than those of controls”. It was also observed by various other researchers that meditation prevents loss of brain cells a pattern associated with aging.
Meditation is one of the scientifically proven ways to combat stress, pain, anxiety, and depression. Guess what? You don’t need particular spiritual beliefs to meditate.
Are you ready to try?
12. Yoga is the door to sharp brain
Even a single class of yoga makes you feel relaxed and stronger. Why?
Yoga reduces the level of cortisol the stress-causing hormones in our body and increases the sense of well-being and self-control. Hence, medical practitioners recommend yoga for improving mood and emotional regulation for both healthy and individuals diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
The deep breathing and meditation work on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis of the brain, which controls your sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight response that keeps your body cued up) as well as the parasympathetic nervous system (this tells you to chill out). It enhances mindfulness and helps you live in the present.
The ultimate goal of yoga is to be calm and alert without going to flight or fight response. When your body is calming down, your brain gets the message that all is well. Daily yoga keeps your brain sharp at any age.
13. Take control of your emotions
You can’t control the things that happen to you but you can always control how you react to your emotions. You need to put 100% concentration on things that can make a big difference in your life. It will help you get rid of fear, helplessness, exhaustion, sleeplessness, and insecurities.
Control your emotions to move forward. If you are stuck or unable to address them, you will lose your focus and brain efficiency.
Start by being honest about your feelings and thoughts and it will foster a deep trust and inner peace. You’ll find it easier to channel the emotion into producing the behavior that you want. Identify and label your emotions as you experience them and associate words with what you are feeling. Hence, you can relax and find out what’s behind your emotions.
14. Don’t smoke
Do you know smoking harms almost every organ of our body including the brain?
Nicotine in cigarettes is as addictive as heroin. Excessive smoking leads to the development of extra nicotine receptors in the brain to accumulate a large dosage of nicotine. When the brain stops getting this substance, one feels irritation, anxiety, and strong cravings according to the National Institute of Health.
According to an article published in Neuropsychopharmacology Cigarette smoking also increases the risk of –
- major depressive disorder,
- alcohol consumption,
- poor cognitive function and forgetfulness
- increase impulsivity
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
Avoid tobacco in every way and keep your brain sharp and young!
15. Avoid alcohol abuse
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, excessive alcohol consumption has various damaging effects on the brain including blackouts and memory lapses, deficiency in thiamine, brain shrinkage and Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome (which is characterized by the paralysis of the nerves regulating the ey movement, mental confusion, and difficulty with muscle coordination).
Alcohol abuse is also a major risk for several brain disorders including dementia. Experts recommend a maximum of two drinks a day.
16. Think positively about aging
You must have heard of Ruth Ginsberg (80 years old), the famous super ager. She is popular as Supreme Court justice, a feminist icon, and a whip-smart thinker. Now, why do you think her brain works so incredibly even in the 80th decade of her life? Experts say that she is all optimistic about her life and about aging. That is her only secret to happiness and good health.
According to Joel Kramer, director of neuropsychology at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, people who are optimistic age better. It ensures that your sharp brain will function at its best in your golden years.