Lift your mood, decrease anxiety and think better with these 3 easy ways to upgrade your brain:
Breathing can calm your brain and by increasing oxygen consumption, which ultimately lowers the sympathetic response of the nervous system. Stress and emotions can affect the body, and typically, this all stems from the brain. While there is a lot of science that backs how breathing calms the mind to allow it to focus more, we can simply make subtle changes by paying attention to how we inhale and exhale.
2 Ways to improve breathing for brain function:
- Count your breaths: For just a minute or two, count the number of breaths you take. It does not matter how long or deep your breaths are. Simply counting your breaths can regulate the parts of your brain associated with emotion and memory.
- Breathe with your abdomen. Slow, deep breaths can contribute to calming the brain and establishing neural pathways that relax the body. One way to deepen breathing is to focus on breathing with your abdomen and not your chest. Over time, your body will naturally learn to breathe deeper to increase oxygen input to the brain.
Fasting can be like it’s own nourishment for the brain. Typically we are focused on the foods we eat to improve cognition, but merely paying attention to the hours in which we eat may be better food for the brain.
Fasting is different for everyone and does not mean starving the body. Making sure that your body is routinely put into a fasting state no matter the length of the window you go without food can help increase brain function. It has been proven that incorporating a fasting regimen can improve cognitive function by increasing focus, memory retention, and learning capacity.
BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor) is a protein in the human brain that contributes to neural pathways and nerve growth. It has been found that neurons live longer as long as the BDNF gene is contributing to this protein and nerve growth. Fasting can stimulate the production of BDNF, increasing neural plasticity and allowing your brain to continuously adapt, grow, and strengthen its cognitive function.
Some of the common issues that are contributing to everyone’s health in today’s world are anxiety, depression, and sleep issues. It is also commonly known that these problems arise in the brain. What if there was a simple daily part of your routine that could help alleviate all of the above and is as naturally occurring?
Light can create positive changes in the brain. Studies have shown that getting 30-60 minutes of natural blue light in the morning not only improves our mood by can help us sleep better at night. Your brain will control its reaction to fear and be able to handle emotional responses better.
Tip: Go for a 30-60 minute morning walk between the hours of 7 am and 9 am to increase your exposure to natural morning blue light.