Happy Train Your Brain Day!
If you’ve spent any time on the internet (and I’m assuming you have since you’re reading this blog) then you’ve probably heard of “brain training” most likely in the form of “brain games.” If you haven’t heard of this recent trend, then here’s the basic premise: The thinking goes that we can train our brain much like we train our body with exercise by playing games or doing other cognitive tasks in order to boost our attention and memory. Unfortunately, the science hasn’t really bore this out. Currently, there isn’t much research to back the idea of brain training in this way.
However, there are many ways that we know of to improve our brain’s health and therefore effectively increase attention and memory. And the best way we know how to do this is by the old standards of nutrition and exercise. Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally and are part of a healthy eating plan. Exercise provides numerous benefits to your brain including pumping more oxygen to the brain, stimulating new connections, and reducing stress hormones.
Sleep and relaxation are also vitally important for brain health. Sleep energizes, improves mood, and helps to retain new learning. Relaxation decreases stress hormones which have been shown to literally age the brain. Check out this post for some tips on relaxation!
Social interaction is another critical pillar of brain health. Spending time with loved ones and having an active social life reduces memory decline and has other protective effects especially as we age. Finally, and probably more in-line with the idea of “brain training”, another way to improve brain health is by staying curious. Be a lifelong learner by going back to school, taking a class, learning a new language or instrument, or taking up a new hobby or skill like photography or carpentry.
So, how do we train our brain to improve our attention and memory? By improving our brain health! Eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep, manage your stress, spend time with loved ones, and never stop learning!