How to improve brain function: Top 11 recommendations


Posted on Sep 24, 2022      53


Preface

Improving brain function immediately makes a qualitative difference in your life. It happens by developing logical thinking, imagination, memory, spatial orientation, ability to learn and decide, receptivity to new knowledge and skills.

What stimulates the brain?

1. yoga.

The combination of meditation, breathing practices and physical exercise helps maintain the integrity of the brain by affecting the cells of the organ on a chemical level. Because of its neuroprotective properties, yoga not only prevents the loss of gray matter but also helps to increase its volume. When the content of this component in the prefrontal cortex decreases, memory deteriorates, pain is poorly tolerated, and emotional problems arise.

Regular exercise positively affects the left hemisphere as well, increasing the volume of gray matter. This area of the brain handles:

  • social behavior;
  • emotions;
  • reading, speech and writing;
  • verbal thinking and memory;
  • perception of events;
  • self-awareness;
  • cognitive abilities;
  • decision-making.

Yoga classes can be replaced (or supplemented) by breathing exercises, visualization practices, and stretching, all of which improve brain function.

2. Meditative techniques.

Meditation and mindfulness practices not only help one cope with anxiety and increase concentration, but also improve the function of brain regions related to memory, empathy, learning, regulating emotions and self-esteem.

Two-month sessions increase the density of the hippocampal matter (an examination with an MRI scanner allows you to see the difference). The volume of gray matter in the cerebellar amygdala, the centers responsible for stress and anxiety, decreases.

Positively, meditative practices influence the state of the brain of elderly people, compensating for age-related thinning of the organ’s cortex.

3. juggling.

Juggling with several objects not only improves coordination, posture, vision, reaction, endurance but also promotes growth of gray matter, strengthens intercellular contacts. It also increases the volume of another component of the brain - white matter, comprising neurites (branches that serve as conductors of nerve impulses).

interesting facts

Participants in one study practiced juggling for half an hour a day. After six weeks, a significant increase in the volume of gray and white matter was noted, spatial thinking and sensory system functioning improved. And positive changes were felt by all who took part in the experiment - no matter how well they mastered the juggling practice.

4. Cardio training.

Improves heart and vascular function and increases endurance. They also make it possible to prevent age-related changes in the brain structure, which may provoke impaired cognitive functions.

Interval training loses out to less intense aerobic exercise, which many people love (for its ability to speed up the metabolism and burn fat quickly). Walking, running, and other activities of this type promote neuronal growth.

Complement your workout with asynchronous rotations (for example, when you rotate your right hand away from yourself and your left hand towards yourself). Such movements engage both hemispheres of the brain, evenly developing logical and figurative thinking.

5. Oxygen.

You can combine the performance of this item with physical activity, doing exercises in the fresh air.

You can start by simply holding your breath (on exhalation), at least for 15-30 seconds. Oxygen-enriched blood provides full nutrition to the brain, and this is necessary for effective brain function.

From more hard practices - rhythmic breathing. Within 10 minutes, one must alternate between breathing in, holding the breath and exhaling (for every 8 beats of the pulse).

6. Cleansing.

The blood and blood vessels are the first ones to get rid of the accumulated “garbage” (toxins, components of medicines, unabsorbed compounds).

Increase the permeability of the membranes, reduce the viscosity of the blood and remove toxins will help:

  • drinking fluids - water, morsels, natural tea (in total - 2-2.5 liters per day);
  • purify and strengthen blood vessels with carrot, cabbage, apple, pumpkin juices;
  • water with lemon clears the blood vessels of cholesterol (to merge the result will help to collect tea from the leaves of oregano, clover, lime flower, St. John’s wort, currants, strawberries);
  • Garlic, onions, horseradish, parsley, buckwheat contribute to detoxification.

7. Starvation.

Fasting practitioners are familiar with the feeling of lucidity of consciousness that appears at the end of a period of abstinence from food intake. It’s as if the brain is rejuvenated, reactions become faster, concentration increases, and complex tasks are solved without effort.

Increases the production of growth factors - compounds that stimulate the regeneration of neurons and other cells, provide resistance to stress, and prevent neurodegenerative diseases.

Even a short fast (24-48 hours) can be beneficial. For those who find it difficult to decide to give up food for 24 hours at once, you can try intermittent fasting, fasting for only 12 hours. Bonuses will be increased energy, better insulin absorption, a healthy heart, and a strong immune system.

8. Omega 3 fats.

Fatty acids found in mackerel, walnuts, salmon, chia seeds, fish oil, herring, flax seeds, tuna, whitefish, sardines, hemp seeds, anchovies, natto, egg yolks increase brain and hippocampus volume.

9. Playing musical instruments.

The effect of this factor is illustrated by the example of children under 7 years of age - mastering any of the musical instruments increases learning ability, improves brain function and sensory functions. Systematic training reduces dependence on working memory. The acquisition of specific cognitive skills allows many tasks to be handled automatically.

Sensory and motor experiences create emotion and movement, and the centers responsible for reward are engaged. Therefore, playing also increases mood and brings pleasure.

Learning to play at a young age improves the interaction of hemispheres of the brain, qualitatively changes the composition of white matter, allowing you to maintain these advantages in adulthood as well.

10. Sex.

Regular intimate relationships improve cognitive function, accelerate neurogenesis (neuron production), support long-term memory, and protect against stress.

11. Mental activity.

The brain needs a load, otherwise thinking functions will inevitably suffer. And it should be not only the usual activities - it is useful to be distracted from routine, studying foreign languages, solving problems, puzzles, (there is no unambiguous opinion about the positive effect on the brain of solving crossword puzzles, although this activity strengthens memory).

Training can be carried out in any place: in a company, one should try to remember the names and faces of new acquaintances. Don’t rely on your phone memory, but train your own by remembering mobile numbers and addresses. Try to reconstruct the timeline of events, remembering everything that happened.

Such practice will not only develop memory, logical thinking, and increase attentiveness. The ability to fix the smallest nuances will help you better understand people, allow you to enjoy each day, noticing the pleasant little things.

Do not let the brain to relax, use these simple tips, then performing even complex intellectual tasks will not cause difficulties.


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