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A Brain-Boosting Way To Start Your Day, From A Memory Coach

Hannah Frye
Author:
November 23, 2023
Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
By Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.
Woman with red nails putting toothpaste on a toothbrush
Image by Studio Firma / Stocksy
November 23, 2023
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A healthy brain, like any organ really, starts with a nutrient-rich, balanced diet—no questions asked. However, there are plenty of steps you can take beyond the food (or supplements) you consume to support brain longevity, too. 

According to memory coach Jim Kwik, author of Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life, there’s one easy step you can take first thing in the morning to boost your brain health—here’s one tip he recently shared on the mindbodygreen podcast

Want a healthier brain? Brush your teeth with the opposite hand

You should really try brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand, Kwik says, because it stimulates a different part of your brain.

“Not only that, it's a nice way to force yourself to be present,” he adds. Rather than letting your brain wander to your daily to-do list or ruminate on the previous day, this simple switch can pull you back to the moment, creating an unintentional mindfulness session. What’s more, completing this one, fairly simple task first thing in the morning sets up the rest of your day for success, he says. 

“I think that focus bleeds into other areas of your life, like when you're on Zoom and other things. It’s a nice gateway habit,” he explains. 

Essentially, presenting yourself with this small challenge in the morning can set you up for better focus and mindfulness the rest of the day—so it's worth the two extra minutes of morning attention.

Other mental exercises

Brushing your teeth isn’t the only opportunity to shake up your routine for better brain health. Below, find a few more ways to take your brain for a workout: 

  • Walk backward (safely) 
  • Turn off your GPS when possible to rely on your memory
  • Go for a stroll rather than scrolling social media
  • Eat with the opposite hand
  • Learn a few words in a new language 
  • Practice meditation

The goal isn’t to overwhelm your schedule with an endless list of activities for your brain. In fact, a small mindfulness challenge is more powerful than you think. So pick one or two new mental exercises and stick with them—whether you notice the benefits right away or not, you’ll be doing your brain a favor. 

The takeaway

Simply brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand can stimulate different areas of the brain and support a mindful start to your day. Once you complete one challenging task, you’ll be prepped and primed to take on the rest of the day with confidence. Want more brain-boosting tips? Check out the full episode below:

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