Last month we discussed The Science Behind Setting New Year’s Resolutions, ultimately determining we should all make New Year’s resolutions – even if we don’t stick to them. According to Dr. Glenn Miller of Harvard Medical, psychologically, the start of a new calendar year creates positive changes in our mindset.
There is something incredibly motivating about making resolutions on the first day of the New Year. Setting small, positive goals can benefit your confidence and wellbeing, as they’re easier to achieve. We’ve come up with some small, practical ideas that can benefit your mental wellbeing and brain health in 2019.
Meditation is a wonderful way to give your mind a relaxing “time out” while resetting your body with quiet and calm. In fact, research has shown even minimal amounts of daily mindfulness, and meditation exercises can change your brain and improve your health and general wellbeing.
Like all things in life, practice makes perfect, and meditation is no different. If you are new to meditation, we suggest setting a few time slots a week aside – even if it is only for a few minutes. Additionally, recent access to meditation apps will help you get started on the path to learning the meditation and relaxation techniques that will work best for you.
Nutrition and Exercise
This is one we all know and commonly struggle with. Regular exercise and a healthy nutrition plan create a solid foundation for both physical and mental health. However, research has shown lifestyle changes which include improving diet and regular exercise helps to lower occurrences of heart disease, cancer, and other major diseases. Additionally, these same lifestyle changes have been shown to also slow or reduce your risk of cognitive decline, which is a precursor to Alzheimer’s and other dementia related illnesses.
If you are looking to make healthy changes to your nutrition and exercise routine, start with small changes. Drink more water, sleep longer, exercise a few times a week. Before you know it, you’ll be creating patterns of behavior that will improve your health and wellbeing.
Use it or Lose it!
Your brain is a muscle, and just like every other muscle in the human body – if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it! Regardless of your age, one simple way to encourage brain health is to stimulate your mind with problem-solving challenges. Best of all, this doesn’t have to be work!
Completing a puzzle, playing strategy games, or learning a new language are a few ways to strengthen your memory. If you aren’t interested in taking up a new hobby, try developing an existing skill. The key here is to make sure you are stimulating your brain with new and challenging tasks.
Relax and Unwind
Stress can wreak havoc on both your physical and mental health. While small levels of daily stress can be expected, when left unchecked stress can lead to a host of physical, psychological, emotional, and behavioral problems. Common complications and symptoms of stress include:
- Mood swings and depression
- Struggles with attention and concentration
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
- Physical aches and pains
- Loss of energy
- Increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- And more
Whether you have fallen into the habit of working long hours or simply can’t find enough hours in the day to complete your tasks, you may benefit from setting aside some time each day to simply relax and unwind. Relaxing gives your mind and body a chance to recharge and get ready for the next day.
Don’t have enough time to relax every day? Start by blocking out some “you” time each week. During this time, do something that relaxes you, such as taking a warm bath or listening to relaxing music.
The Brain Workshop
At the Brain Workshop, our brain training is designed to improve mental performance. Whether you seek to develop your career, improve your attention or memory, or simply want to improve your brain health, we can help. Our programs concentrate on skills development at the cognitive level. Stronger cognitive skills mean stronger mental performance, and that’s good news for adults looking to fulfill their new year’s resolutions and professional goals.
If you are interested in learning more about how the professionals at the Brain Workshop
can help you on your path to reaching your goals, improving your wellbeing and brain health, schedule your assessment today.