From sunbathing to hugging – 10 surprising things that will boost your brain to think sharper, faster and more intelligently…
- Figures show 1 in 6 employees suffer mental health issues that affect their work
- Neuroscientist Keiron Sparrowhawk has devised an app to help workers ease pressure on their brain function
- But he also offers 10 tips on natural ways to boost your brain function
- Even a hug, some gardening and some sunbathing can make a change, he says
In an age of mobile communication, our brains are permanently whirring.
Whether it’s work in the office, work out of hours, or life outside, we are constantly expected to be on-call and on-form.
And the pressure can be excruciating.
Figures show that one in six employees now report suffering mental health issues driven by this intense demand, and that this means they struggle to perform their work.
But how and what can employers and staff do to improve their mental health and ‘thrive not survive’ at work?
Neuroscientist and cognitive health expert Keiron Sparrowhawk agrees that there needs to be an intense push in medical research and provisions to support workers.
Sparrowhawk is now the CEO of My Cognition, a firm developing apps and tools to help with brain training and treating mental health issues.
But, he adds, there are some lifestyle habits we can practice to alleviate our stress.
Even something as simple as a hug from a loved-one can do wonders for our cognition, he explains.
‘All workplaces need to address the brain health of their employees – poor brain health means poor mental health,’ Sparrowhawk, who trained at the University of Aberdeen and worked at the University of Cambridge, says.
‘There are simple practices that we all can adopt daily to boost our moods and functioning to ensure staff at every level are thriving not just surviving at work.
‘Crucial to this is assessing our cognitive health. The World Economic Forum has stressed that cognitive wellness is essential to business success and yet nurturing brain health at work is too often overlooked. Cognitive fitness is just as vital as our physical fitness, if not more.’
Here are his top 10 tips for brain fitness…
1. GET ORGANIZED
Declutter your home and work space as much as possible. Clarity of thought boosts productivity. A cluttered desk, lost diaries, disorganized schedule planners and so on all add to your stress. Start with your work station – tidy desk, tidy mind!
2. WATCH YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
Numerous studies have shown people with diabetes suffer greater cognitive decline than non-diabetics. Don’t miss breakfast or skip meals. Keep a supply of nourishing snacks and avoid caffeine.
3. BE CAREFUL OF HORMONE IMBALANCE
Women can suffer memory problems when their estrogen dips and in men the same can happen due to low testosterone. Thyroid imbalances can also cause forgetfulness and sluggish thinking.
Take up a fun hobby or old interest that you used to love. Studies have found that the brain benefits from variety and change. Be sure to take yourself away from technological devices regularly too and do something creative or very different from your 9-5 job.
5. CHECK YOUR MEDS
A lot of prescription and over the counter medications can affect your memory; cold medication, sleep aids and antidepressants to name a few. You should always check the possible side effects.
6. IT’S GOOD TO TALK
Be aware of emotional difficulties. These can take just as heavy toll on the brain as physical problems. Mental sluggishness and forgetfulness are common symptoms of depression. Speak to an understanding work colleague, friend or professional about your feelings. This first step creates significant stress reduction.
7. RUN SPEED MEETINGS
Too many hours are lost due to long meetings at work. Implement a time limit on meetings of 30 minutes max where possible to keep the brain fresh and ready for its next task.
8. REGULAR – NOT OCCASIONAL – EXERCISE
Use your lunch hour to get some fresh air. Walking is one of the best cardiovascular exercises and practically anyone can manage a walk outdoors at some point.
9. GET IN THE SUN
Just getting outside into the fresh air boosts your brain and gives you a blast of natural Vitamin D from the natural light – a recognized brain booster.
10. LOVE AND FRIENDSHIPS
Never neglect your personal relationships. Spending time with friends and family is essential to balancing out your brain’s busy button. A hug is good too – it boost serotonin, the happy hormone.
Link original – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4499900/10-tips-boost-brain-fitness.html?ITO=applenews