Mind Over Matter: 4 Practices To Help Keep Your Brain In Shape
Mind over matter—these days, this proverb feels extra relevant. From mental wellness, to focus, to stress management, the health of our mind is central to our quality of life. So how do we keep our mind in its very best shape? We make brain health a part of our daily routines.
Why does brain health matter?
A healthy brain is the baseline of any thriving lifestyle. In terms of wellness, it comes before the quartz crystal face rollers, infrared saunas, and plant-based meat alternatives. A healthy brain1 helps us harness our own potential, solve life's inevitable problems, sort out emotions, and manage stress. And this brilliant organ (which research suggests may be more powerful than all the digital computers in the world combined) does these things all on its own. But that doesn't mean we can't lend a hand.
We can do that by adjusting our routines and activities to cultivate the brain functions we appreciate most, like focus and stress management. And sometimes that's as simple as taking vitafusion(™) Brain Food gummy vitamins to help nourish your brain.* Getting more intentional about brain health is pretty straightforward, but potent—here's what it looks like.
Begin a regular meditation practice.
Intuitively, we all know that meditation is probably a good idea (and it is), but we rarely prioritize it. The truth is that if we understood just how beneficial meditation is for our brain, it would be easy to make it a nonnegotiable part of our daily routine.
We've all heard that meditation helps with stress—but there's so much more to it. A regular meditation practice has been proven to literally change the brain. In one study, Harvard neuroscientists found that after just eight weeks of regular meditation, participants' brain cortex thickened in key areas responsible for factors like cognition, memory, and compassion. Meditation works wonders on the brain—50-year-old meditators have the same amount of gray matter in the brain as 25-year-olds... And this just scratches the surface of how many benefits there are.
Make a brain health supplement part of your morning routine.*
Our brains are constantly running the show, but we can assist them by providing the ingredients that help nourish it. vitafusion Brain Food is a gummy supplement that nourishes the brain with important nutrients.* It includes a daily dose of ashwagandha, a popular Ayurvedic herb that has been used for thousands of years to help with stress.* To help support focus, the Brain Food formula also includes phosphatidylserine, a phospholipid/fatty acid that is a critical component of cells, including cells in the brain.* Just two Brain Food gummies also provide vitamins B6 and B12, essential nutrients to help nourish our brain.*
Get serious about hydration.
As if you needed another reminder to drink more water... Hydration is actually key to supporting our brain function. Considering water is responsible for 75% of our brain mass2, it's understandable that dehydration affects our brain health. Studies3 have shown that for middle-aged adults, dehydration requires the brain to work harder to complete a task, resulting in fatigue and changes in mood. Dehydration has been linked to impaired attention, executive function, and motor coordination. For the sake of your brain, stay on top of your hydration goals! Make it easier by infusing your water with fruits, set reminders on your phone to drink up, and make every work break a water break.
Play games that help with cognitive training.
Games and puzzles? We have to be real with you; some of these practices and routines are actually a no-brainer. Studies show that cognitive training can yield improvements in attention, memory, and processing speed—meaning that you now have a worthy reason to play "brain-training games" like crosswords and apps like Luminosity (basically a workout for your brain). But under the "use it or lose it" philosophy, research also indicates that persistence is key to maintaining benefits. A fundamental part of brain health is simply using our brain: Play challenging games, learn something new, get creative!
Brain health is an everyday intention.
When it comes to brain health, there isn't a single solution or quick fix. Brain health is an everyday intention. Just like we work out and nourish our bodies—our brain needs exercise and nourishment, too. Thankfully, nourishment is exactly what the ingredients in vitafusion Brain Food help us do.* Instead of taking your brain for granted, think about how fascinating "thinking" really is (that's a brain exercise right there). Embrace the lifestyle of brain health, and show your mind that it matters!
Devon Barrow is a Branded Content Editor at mindbodygreen. She received her degree from the University of Colorado. When she's away from her desk, Devon is teaching yoga, writing poetry, meditating, and traveling the world. She's based in Boulder, Colorado.
Devon's first book, Earth Women, is coming soon. To learn more, join the mailing list, and receive updates, head to www.devonbarrowwriting.com.