How can a diet help you improve your brain health and mental well-being? What habits and exercises improve brain health? The answers are in this comprehensive report.
16 fun ways to power the mind and increase brain health
When you can’t stop thinking about something annoying, you must find a way to occupy your mind; Whether you’re stressed, sad, or experiencing any other type of negative emotion, you can switch your thoughts and focus on something fun. These fun ways to occupy the mind also increase brain health, offering additional long-term benefits.
This is what the writer Sarah Barclay mentioned – on the site Power of positivity (Power of Positivity) – Explaining that carrying out these fun tasks not only occupies the mind, but also protects the mind and helps in spending free time. If you struggle with overthinking or need to do something in your spare time, these activities are useful and fun.
Choose one or two of these activities to start with, then do more as you wish. As you do these fun things to occupy your mind, your life will improve and you will feel more joyful, and you may also discover a new passion that you can delve into.
1- Learn something new
Learning something new is one of the best ways to occupy your mind and improve your brain health; You can choose a new hobby to focus on, which helps keep your mind busy.
Another option that can be considered is learning a new language or playing a musical instrument. It is also an idea to register for a free semester.
2- Explore a new place
You don’t have to go far to explore a new location; Pick a place nearby that you haven’t been to before, and spend some time exploring it. Not only will it occupy the mind, but it will improve memory, recall and logic.
3- Take a nap
A nap will help you relax and calm your mind, and it will also occupy your thoughts because you can’t overthink while you sleep. Your body and mind rejuvenate while you sleep, which helps improve your overall health.
4- Read a good book to occupy the mind
Reading can clear your mind and help you focus on something other than your thoughts. You can forget yourself in a good book, which can help you pass the time quickly. In addition, reading improves your ability to remember information, making it more useful.
5- Clean or organize something
Cleaning and organizing are surefire ways to occupy the mind. It helps you focus your mind on one task at a time, eliminating the space for negative thoughts. Although these tasks take time, they are useful and the results are worth it.
Writing, of any kind, helps keep your mind busy and improves memory and recall. You can write your feelings in a journal, or you can challenge yourself to write a book. If you are not ready for an entire book, you can start with short stories instead.
7- Make lists
Lists are useful because they can help you organize your thoughts while keeping your mind occupied. You can make lists of anything that comes to mind, including the things you need. Organizing your ideas in a list enhances logic as you work on classification.
Volunteering is the perfect way to forget about your problems for a while. When you are busy helping others, you won’t have time to think about the things that make you upset. In addition, you gain useful qualities such as empathy, compassion, and communication.
9- Do something creative
Doing something creative is a great way to keep your mind busy; Take advantage of your inner creativity and try to draw or paint.
You can also learn calligraphy, which can be soothing and relaxing; Any kind of arts and crafts is good for taking your mind off negative things.
Cooking and baking take a lot of time and occupy your thoughts throughout the process. In addition, reading recipes and preparing dishes helps you remember information. Even better, you’ll have plenty of delicious things to enjoy later.
11- Solve crossword puzzles
Crossword puzzles force you to think of something else that has been occupying your thoughts for a while. It helps you pass the time, and challenges your brain to come up with answers.
12- Take a warm bath
Taking a warm bath can help you relax enough to occupy your mind with positivity. It will help you get rid of negative thoughts or overthinking, and reduce stress.
13- Work in your garden
Gardening will keep you busy for a while, and give you something to work on every day. Plus, spending time outdoors to learn about plants can help challenge your mind.
14- Go for a walk or do other exercises
Walking and other forms of exercise keep you occupied and help clear your mind of negativity. Not only is exercise good for your physical health, it also promotes mental health. Hiking, swimming and yoga are other exercises that can clear your mind.
15- Find someone to talk to
Sometimes talking to someone is the best way to occupy the mind. Ask someone to come to you, call a family member, or visit a friend. You may end up talking for hours, ensuring your mind stays occupied.
16- Watch the sunset
You don’t have to go anywhere to watch the sunset. Watching the sunset will help you feel calm and happy, and push away negative thoughts. Plus, it encourages you to think about all the good things in your life.
A strong connection between the stomach and the brain
In a report published by the newspaper,The IndependentBritish writer Tara Parker Hope says that there is a strong connection between the stomach and the brain, a relationship that begins from the stage of development of the fetus in the womb.
The brain communicates with the gut in a number of ways, including the vagus nerve, a two-way message system that explains why we get upset when we’re stressed.
Food affects the quality of the gut microbiome, and some of these microbes are linked to increased rates of depression. There is also a strong correlation between serotonin in the brain – which is responsible for regulating mood – and the intestines, as only 5% of the serotonin in the body is secreted in the brain, while the rest is secreted in the gut.
Meals high in fat, sugar, salt, carbohydrates and the brain
Many people accept meals rich in fat, sugar, salt and carbohydrates when feeling stressed, believing that they help improve mood, but experts confirm that these foods make matters worse.
Mental health foods
Drew Ramsey, psychiatrist and assistant clinical professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, offers the following foods that are good for mental health and improve mood:
1- green leafy vegetables
Ramsay describes leafy greens as the basis of a diet that improves brain health, because they are affordable, have multiple uses, and contain a high percentage of nutrients compared to the number of calories.
One of the best vegetables is spinach, watercress, cabbage and chard.
2- Colorful fruits and vegetables
Studies show that compounds found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, such as red peppers, berries, broccoli and eggplant, can help fight infections and improve memory, sleep and mood.
The reddish-purple foods are best in this category, along with avocados, which are high in healthy fats that boost phytonutrient absorption.
Sardines, oysters, mussels, wild salmon, and cod are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health. Seafood is a good source of vitamin B12, selenium, iron, zinc and protein.
4- Nuts, beans and seeds
Nuts and seeds, including cashews, almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds, are a great snack, and they can also be added to some foods and salads. You can also add beans, lentils and legumes to soups and salads, or enjoy them as a side dish, because of their nutritional and psychological benefits.
5- Spices and herbs
In addition to their role in improving taste, studies show that some spices help balance the gut microbiome, reduce inflammation and improve memory. Other studies also suggest that the active ingredient in turmeric – curcumin – helps improve attention and cognition.
6- dark chocolate
A survey of nearly 14,000 adults revealed that people who regularly ate dark chocolate had a 70% lower risk of depression, while the same effect was not seen in people who ate large amounts of milk chocolate.