5 brain boosters!

Wow, Mo is still sleeping amazingly, so I’m going to carry on blogging…

My brain is a bit depleted at the moment. I met a good friend yesterday and found myself saying the sentence “do you like wedding?” to him…when I meant “what is your view on the idea of marriage?”. Yes, brain is somewhat weary due to the lack of sleep. So, I want to find ways to boost its powers. These are quite good ones:

1. Exercise. Yep, regular workouts can reverse ageing in the brain, believe it or not. Aerobic exercise boosts sharpness and speed of thought, and the volume of brain tissue, apparently. A lovely walk is always a good way to incorporate exercise easily into your life. Apparently, and at the risk of repeating myself from a previous post (sorry, brain is slow…), if you add a tree-filled green setting to your walk experience it might increase your memory and attention span to boot. Wonderful!

2. Brush and floss your teeth! Oral health is very clearly linked to cognitive health apparently. I’ve always wondered about the chicken/egg aspect of this, but there you go. It’s proven that mouth illnesses such as gingivitis are associated with worse cognitive function throughout adult life. Plus, if you have a wonderfully minty fresh mouth, you’re more likely to have lots of friends wanting to hang out with you, and a wide network of friends and conversations with good friends are also proven to have great benefits for your brain. So this is a no brainer.

3. Drink sparingly. Sorry… I do love a good glass of red wine after a long day. And there are loads of health benefits to that too, but the operative word here is sparingly. No more than the recommended units per day (and that’s actually a bit less than you think it is…). The link between drinking and reduced brain volume is apparently stronger in women. Oh dear. Savour a glass of red rather than draining and reaching for the bottle. Or make your white a spritzer. Or just enjoy one earthy pint of ale rather than several of lager.

4. Eat blueberries. Ideally when they’re in season (see my earlier post on blueberries…). Truly a superfood, they help to sharpen your thought processes apparently. The dark blue pigment in blueberries is supposedly responsible for cognitive changes, increasing cell growth in a certain part of the brain which is linked to problem solving, memory and learning. So add them to smoothies, have them with yogurt, or just lovingly stuff handfuls of them into your mouth like I do. Enjoy them in season fresh, or buy them frozen as they’re just as nutritious.

5. Meditate. A wonderful stress reliever, meditation is also a way of enhancing your brain’s powers. People who meditate according to a US study apparently showed growth in the cortex, an area of the brain that controls memory, language and sensory processing. I guess meditation is a way of allowing the body and mind to sleep without actually sleeping, just being in the present moment with no distraction of past or future. Sit upright, close your eyes, breathe, and focus on whatever is going on at this present exact moment and nothing else: whether that’s humming of the washing machine, birds singing, people chattering, or just the sound of your own breathing. If any distracting thoughts such as shopping lists or money worries enter into your head, notice them, then allow them to float away. Start with 2 minutes (that feels like ages the first time) then increase. You’ll really feel rested and amazing once you get the hang of it, and you’ll be brainier too!

I can’t believe that Maurice is still asleep. He’s been sleeping for over an hour which is amazing for his brain development, I’m so happy! I might take some time to meditate or brush my teeth or do 5 minutes of Pilates…..

Until the next time…

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