Do you ever feel like your brain needs a little extra support? Sometimes, negative thoughts can be sticky, and it becomes much easier to lay in bed and stare at the ceiling rather than bring yourself to do something about how you feel. We have found some easy ways to support your brain this month!
Exercising your brain
To support your brain, you need to exercise your brain. Letting your mind fall idle isn’t good for it. It’s important to take time to relax, but you also need to keep your mind active so it doesn’t slip into negativity. You can keep your brain active by curling up with a good book, writing in your journal, doing a logic puzzle, enrolling in a course that you’re curious about, or gardening.
One of our therapists, Vivi, has been using this tool, Brain HQ, for different brain exercises and brain training! Their online exercises work out attention, brain speed, memory, people skills, navigation, and intelligence.
Laura has been using Lumosity, which provides brain games to exercise your mind and sharpen your cognitive skills!
It is easy to fall into a depression if you’re spending every day by yourself. With a lot of people now working from home, we are lacking in human connection. Our brains operate much better when we set aside time to regularly connect with friends and family. Sharing parts of ourselves with others enrich your life and keeps your brain cells strong and healthy. Because humans are wired to need connection, it is beneficial for our brains once we receive it.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a regular meditation practice. When meditation isn’t part of your daily routine, it becomes easier for your “monkey brain” to take over. This is the part of your brain that is activated when your mind is just wandering and not being present. It makes us ruminate, worrying about things that happened in the past or the future. When you have a strong meditation practice, you alleviate anxiety and depression and have an easier time focusing on what you need to get done throughout the day. That doesn’t mean that your mind doesn’t still wander, it just means that when you build your meditation practice and make it a habit, it’s easier for you to get back to being balanced when something comes up.
One of our practitioners, Vivi, has been using this meditation app, which gives you guided meditations and teachings that will help you get through your day.
Laura has found that this youtube channel has been extremely helpful for guided meditations, especially when you’re having trouble sleeping.
Getting adequate sleep
In order to support your brain, you need to be getting enough sleep. If you’re not sleeping enough, your brain doesn’t have enough time to regenerate. When you get enough sleep, the neurons finally have their break and can rest and repair while you rest, making it so your mind works more quickly and accurately the next day. Without sleep, your mind has more trouble thinking quickly and creatively–it will only want to shut down and crawl into bed. The average adult needs about 7.5-8.5 hours of sleep a day. Give your brain the support it needs, and allow yourself to rest and recharge.
Eating a proper diet
Food is fuel to your brain. If you’re not eating or drinking enough water, your brain simply won’t be able to function properly. If you are only eating processed foods and junk food, you aren’t giving yourself the energy you actually need. Some great brain foods include avocado, blueberries, walnuts, eggs, salmon. It’s also important to make sure you are staying hydrated. The brain is 80% water, and even being a little bit dehydrated makes you feel fatigued and contributes to a loss of mental clarity.
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Alli Cravener is a social media coordinator and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University and has found her niche uniting concept and content in the realm of mental health and the expressive arts. Alli’s interests include painting, history, learning about other people, and wearing the color pink. She likens herself to a “mouse in a palm tree”, and she loves it that way.