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5 Essential Activities That Will Make Your Brain Healthier

5 Essential Activities That Will Make Your Brain Healthier

Our brain is the most important part of our body. It’s what makes us who we are, and we can’t live without it. Most of us love taking care of our physical bodies, but we often don’t prioritize our mental health as much. That’s why in this post, we’re going to show you the five essential activities that will make your brain healthier.

Let’s start with:

1. You are what you eat

The first thing you should know about the brain is that it’s made up of 60 percent fat.

60greenbrain

    This means that the more good fat we can put into our bodies, the better it will be for our brain health.

    Some foods with good fat include: mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies, tuna steak, salmon, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, omega 3 rich eggs

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    Simple enough right? Once you have this part down, it’s just about keeping the bad stuff (i.e. sugar, bad fat, drugs) out of the brain.

    2. Socialize it off

    A laugh a day keeps the doctor away?

    Being around people you enjoy is a great way to keep your brain healthy. When you’re laughing and smiling, your brain releases “feel-good” chemicals, such as Dopamine.

    In a study of 2,249 California women published in the July American Journal of Public Health, researchers reported that older women who maintained large social networks reduced their risk of dementia and delayed or prevented cognitive impairment.

    The message is clear: form bonds instead of walls. Come together, instead of isolating from one another.

    3. Learn another language

    Speaking of socializing, a great way to get your social life going while learning a new skill is to learn a language.

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    We’ve written extensively on the benefits of learning a language, but here are the highlights:

    i. Enhances your focus

    ii. Improves your native languages

    iii. Prevents common brain diseases

    In fact, learning a new language can prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by 4.5 years. This is a far more powerful than the best drugs which only delays the symptoms by 6–12 months.

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      via Sunbelt Staffing

      The best method to reap the benefits of socializing and learning a language is not using a software solution, like Duolingo or Rosetta Stone, but by speaking it with native speakers. This allows you to learn a new language while learning about the different cultures of people around the world.

      We all have time to learn something new, and it starts with reprioritizing your schedule for self development.

      4. Sweat it off

      This one should come with no surprise. If you’re doing any sort of exercise, you’re already ahead of the game.

      But Mark McDaniel, PhD, professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, suggests “a combined program of aerobics and weight training. Studies show the best outcomes for those engaged in both types of exercise.”

      So if you’re doing just weight training or just aerobic fitness, it could be worth your while to switch it around once in awhile.

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      5. Plan for the future

      Whether you’re twenty-five years old or about to retire, maintaining a strong sense of purpose for the future is a necessity for keeping your brain alert and healthy.

      Studies show that when individuals were simply planning a trip (i.e. booking a flight ticket), they reported higher levels of dopamine in their brain. This means that just planning for the future alone can be beneficial to your brain, even if you never take that trip.

      Having something to look forward to is what helps us maintain optimism, which is essential for our brain and overall health.

      Continue to improve yourself, develop new skills, and never stop learning. It may just save your life.

      Over to you

      What do you think about these healthy brain activities? Is there something that we missed?

      We’d love for you to share this with your friends and family members!

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      Last Updated on February 21, 2019

      The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

      The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

      In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

      Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

      Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

      Conflicts are literally everywhere.

      Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

      Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

      Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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      Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

      Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

      Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

      The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

      Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

      Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

      How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

      Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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      Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

      Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

      How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

      Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

      Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

      Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

      How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

      Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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      Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

      Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

      How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

      Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

      Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

      Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

      How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

      Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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      Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

      Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

      How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

      Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

      Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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