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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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      Sean Kim

      Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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      Last Updated on April 6, 2020

      10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

      10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

      Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

      Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

      Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

      So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

      1. Be Authentic

      To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

      Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

      Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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      2. Listen

      Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

      To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

      Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

      Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

      3. Become an Expert

      Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

      You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

      4. Lead with Story

      From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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      If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

      5. Lead by Example

      It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

      ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

      We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

      6. Catch People Doing Good

      A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

      Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

      7. Be Effusive with Praise

      It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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      Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

      8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

      I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

      The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

      If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

      9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

      The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

      The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

      If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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      10. Understand Your Lane

      If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

      Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

      You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

      Final Thoughts

      Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

      It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

      More Tips About Making Influence

      Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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