By: Jameka Grant
The human brain is arguably the most important organ in the body. It’s function is to make us feel human. This powerhouse allows us to coordinate actions and reactions, think and feel, and enables us to have memories and experiences. Our brain processes our visions and helps us see our mission through as to why it’s so important we care for our body so we can live life fully expressed. As we welcome in Brain Awareness Week (March 16 – March 22) we want to list the five pillars to achieving optimal brain health.
Movement and Fitness
Moving our body is unique to everyone. Whether it be an early morning walk/jog, yoga flow, or dancing in the mirror, active movement brings wellness to your brain. Did you know that 30 min. of physical activity can increase your mood, enhance learning and help you produce healthy thoughts? It’s true, physical exercise aids in the creation of dopamine’s which make the mind and body feel happy. How will you get in movement today?
We are what we eat. It’s true, our organs fuel themselves using the foods we choose to eat. By choosing to eat foods that contribute to our health, we can keep homeostasis within the mind, body and spirit. Foods that aid in brain health are foods that are high in antioxidants (such as blueberries, avocados, bananas, chia seeds, and pomegranate juice) and Omega 3 (found in fish oil). Give your brain a dose of self-love by incorporating foods that bring wellness into your body as opposed to foods that dehydrate your brain and body. How will you incorporate more healthy foods in your diet this week?
We live in a time where napping is seen as being lazy. Let’s debunk that theory. Through sleep and rest, the body is gifted energy, a stronger immune system and an enhanced mood. By resting, we are able to process life’s stresses with more ease and clarity which allows us to live life fully expressed. If you don’t have time for a power nap throughout the day you may like meditation. Breath work is used to help improve a wide range of skills that require the support of the brain such as increased willpower, attention to detail, focus, stress management, impulse control and self- awareness. Through meditation and rest, we are benefited by feeling more balanced in our minds and bodies.
Just like we work out our bodies for physical fitness, the same applies for keeping the brain fit. Its a muscle and needs to be exercised. Here are some ways to keep your brain active – meditation, reading The Good Book, engaging in stimulating conversation, picking up a hobby such as painting or writing poetry. There are many apps developed to help people become mentally fit. How will you engage your mind this week?
Call up a sister friend for a green smoothie date to chat about your days. Don’t text her or slide into her DM’s. Keeping the brain engaged through conversation and sisterhood is shown to be good for both the brain and the heart. Let’s get back to connecting with friends through meeting up in the physical. Surrounding yourself with friends is known to reduce feelings of isolation, which improves one’s mood, and opens the mind up to healthier perspectives in regards to self-esteem and belonging, which all contribute to overall wellness in the brain. It is proven that those who do not have a social community or feel connected, may experience memory loss, depression and anxiety. I know sometimes solitude is bliss, but as humans, we thrive off human connection and so does the brain. For brain health, let’s gather again as a tribe and support each other into growing healthy. Where will you and your bestie go to catch up?
Brain health is important and essential to living life fully and boldly. Gift yourself some of the practices listed above so you can thrive. Wishing you wellness sis!