Keep Your Brain Healthy | 5 to 10 Minutes a Day
Brain health is essential for maintaining mental health and preventing the risk of cognitive decline. The best way to do this is by engaging in activities that stimulate cognitive health, thinking and learning such as reading books or playing board games. Small daily activities like these are easy ways to improve memory and prevent the onset of dementia and for some even depression.
You don’t have to spend hours on end doing these things either — five minutes will suffice! If you’re short on time but still want to get some exercise into your day, try taking part in an activity like walking around the block instead of sitting at home watching TV all evening. Develop healthy habits now, so they become second nature when it comes to keeping your mind active and sharp.
Your brain needs exercise like any other muscle group — but unlike most muscles, there aren’t many ways to get it moving. That means we need to do something special to stimulate our brains when they’re at rest. And one thing that does this really well is meditation.
Meditation has long been known to be beneficial for mental health. It can help reduce stress levels, improve concentration, boost memory and creativity, and promote emotional stability. However, research shows that people who meditate regularly also tend to perform better on cognitive tests such as attention span, working memory capacity, reasoning skills, and problem-solving abilities.
How To Meditate For Beginners
If you’ve never tried meditation before, don’t worry—it doesn’t require years of training. All you need is 10 minutes every morning and evening. Here are five easy ways to get started on your journey toward peace and calmness.
Find the Right Meditation Style for You
There are many types of meditation out there — some people prefer sitting cross-legged on the floor while others like lying down or standing up. Some meditate using mantras while others use visualizations. There are also various styles of breathing techniques used during meditation such as focused breathing where you focus only on inhaling through one nostril at a time or alternate nostril breathing which involves focusing on both sides simultaneously.
Schedule Meditation Time
If you have trouble finding the time to sit still and quieten your mind then try scheduling it into your daily routine as a lifestyle factor. For example, set aside 10 minutes every morning before getting ready for work, so you don’t forget about it when you rush around trying to get everything done. Or maybe you could dedicate 15 minutes each evening once you come home from work.
Setting yourself a goal of 20 minutes per week. This will give you plenty of room to grow over time but won’t feel overwhelming either. And remember: even though this may seem like an insignificant amount of time, it really does add up!
Find a Quiet Place The best place to do any type of meditation is somewhere peaceful and free from distractions. So find a spot away from noise pollution and other interruptions.
Add Some Meditation Exercises
Try adding these simple exercises to help build your meditation skills. Sit comfortably upright with your spine straight and eyes closed. Take three deep breaths slowly counting them in your head. Then exhale all the air out of your lungs completely and imagine all negative thoughts leaving your body. Now repeat this exercise 3 times. A good one is the V-Shaped Breath exercise Start by closing off your left nostril and breathe in deeply through your nose until you reach your diaphragm. Hold your breath for 2 seconds and release it fully. Repeat this twice more. Finally close off your right nostril and breathe in again through your mouth. Breathe normally for 4 counts and hold your breath for 8 seconds. Release your breath naturally. Do this two more times.
One technique I recommend is visualization. Visualize what you want to achieve. Imagine that you already achieved whatever it was you were thinking about doing. See how happy you would be if you had already accomplished your goals. It can take practice to master this skill, but it’s worth learning because it helps us stay motivated and positive throughout our day.
Meditation Techniques That Work Best When you’re feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, etc., meditation can provide relief. Meditation techniques are not just for people who have problems sleeping or anxiety. They also work well as stress relievers. If you need some extra motivation to meditate, try using music while you sit quietly. Music has been proven to improve moods and reduce stress levels. You might enjoy listening to classical music, jazz, rock, country, hip hop, or anything else that makes you feel relaxed.
Controlling Blood Pressure
Meditating regularly reduces high blood pressure and improves blood flow. In fact, studies show that regular meditation lowers systolic blood pressure by 5 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 7 mm Hg. Regular meditation also improves sleep quality and increases self-esteem. There is a correlation between blood pressure and cognitive decline so lowering blood pressure could slow down memory loss.
Physical Activity Doesn’t Hurt Your Brain
The benefits of physical activity go beyond keeping your heart strong and helping you lose weight. Exercise boosts mental health and protects against depression, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and many others. Physical activity strengthens muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, nerves, organs, glands, skin, hair, teeth, and immune system.
Combine Meditation with Physical activities like Yoga
Yoga combines the best aspects of both exercise and relaxation into one simple routine. This ancient Indian discipline focuses on breathing exercises, stretching, postures, deep concentration, and meditation. These practices help strengthen mind, body, and spirit.
Types of Yoga Meditations
There are many types of yoga meditations that will help you relax and improve the way you think. Here is an overview:
1) Breathing Meditation — This type of meditation helps you focus on breathing deeply while relaxing all parts of your body. You may use this technique when you feel stressed or anxious about something.
2) Mantra Meditation — In mantra meditation, you repeat certain words over and over again until they have taken effect. For example, you might say “Om shanti Om Shanti Om”. Or you might chant a prayer from another religion.
3) Concentration Meditation — When doing this form of meditation, you concentrate on a single object, idea, or thought. You try not to let any other thoughts enter your head during this practice.
4) Guided Relaxation — In guided relaxation, you listen to music and follow along with it by repeating certain words out loud.
The Benefits Of A Good Night Sleep
Sleep plays an essential role in maintaining good health. Lack of proper restful sleep leads to fatigue, poor performance at school/work, increased chances of accidents, and even death. The National Institute of Health recommends adults should get seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. However, most Americans only manage six hours per night.
The Benefits Of A Good Diet
Your diet and foods you eat also play a big part in how you feel physically and mentally. Eating nutritious food helps build stronger bodies and minds. For me the Keto Diet has been great because I am able to eat what I love without feeling guilty!
Foods Rich In Antioxidants
Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, olive oil, tea, coffee, chocolate, wine, beer, and spirits.
Unhealthy Foods For The Brain
Include processed meats, fried foods, refined sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, red meat, white flour, salt, caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.
Benefits of Meditation: Stress Relief & Better Mood
When we experience stressful situations, our bodies release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which cause changes in our behavior and physiology. Our hearts beat faster, our palms become sweaty, and our stomach starts churning. We may start worrying about what will happen next and begin planning ahead.
The combination of meditation, excise and good sleep are all you need to live a happy and healthier life!
Here’s a video I’ll like to share it kind of relates to the above topics from a different point of view.
5 Things To Make Your Mornings Better | A Monk’s Perspective
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