😎 Today’s Happy Brain ~ Choose the Right Eating Path for a Healthy Brain

A Healthy Diet Builds Brainpower

Do your brain a favor and choose foods that are good for your heart and waistline. Being obese in middle age makes you twice as likely to have dementia later on. High cholesterol and high blood pressure raise your chances, too. Try these easy tips:

  • Bake or grill foods instead of frying.
  • Cook with “good” fats like oils from nuts, seeds, and olives instead of cream, butter, and fats from meat.
  • Eat colorful fruits and veggies.
  • Eat fish.


😎 Today’s Happy Brain ~ It’s a No Brainer

Meditation is Good for You and Your Brain

There are thousands of years of anecdotal evidence that meditation can help a person psychologically, and perhaps neurologically. The scientific evidence for meditation’s effects on the brain has exploded in the last five or 10 years. Meditation has been linked to increased brain volume in certain areas of the cerebral cortex, along with less volume in the brain’s amygdala, which controls fear and anxiety. It’s also been linked to reduced activity in the brain’s default mode network (DMN), which is active when our minds are wandering about from thought to thought, which are typically negative and distressing. Meditation also seems to lead to changes to the white matter tracks connecting different regions of the brain, and to improved attention and concentration.



😎 Today’s Happy Brain ~ Let’s Get Moving

Weave heart-pumping exercise into your daily routine.

“A surprising amount of evidence points to this as the No. 1 thing you can do to improve brain health,” Gordon says. In addition to lowering your risk of hypertension and diabetes, improving mood and sleep, and helping with weight control, aerobic exercise may activate certain beneficial genes in the brain. Benefits accrue no matter what age you start, he says.”


I’m heading for the gym and the elliptical machine, good for my heart, good for my brain

😎 Today’s Happy Brain ~ Laugh it Up, Often!

Laughter can trigger the brain’s emotional reward center, delivering a heaping dose of feel-good dopamine and mood-lifting serotonin. It can even increase the release of endorphins, the pain-relieving chemicals our brain releases in response to such things as exercise, food and sex.


I think I’ll skip watching the thriller tonight and check out the comedy channel.


😎 Today’s Happy Brain ~ Don’t Shrink Your Brain’s Frontal Lobes

Watch What You Drink

You know that too many drinks can affect your judgment, speech, movement, and memory. But did you know alcohol can have long-term effects? Too much drinking over a long period of time can shrink the frontal lobes of your brain. And that damage can last forever, even if you quit drinking. A healthy amount is considered one drink a day for women and two for men.


😎 Today’s Happy Brain ~ A Happy Brain Keeps Negative Emotions Under Control

Take Charge of Your Emotions

Take charge of negative emotions (worry, anger, sadness, irritation). Negative emotions impairs and overwhelms your prefrontal cortex, the brain’s CEO or executive function region, so that you can’t “think straight.” Too much negative stress damages the ability to focus and harms health. The great news is that the same things that improve health can improve the mind’s ability to manage negative emotions. Sleep well, exercise, do a mindfulness practice or choose the slow lane from time to time, even for a few minutes.

😎 Today’s Happy Brain ~ Challenge Your Brain to Learn

Try Something New – Make Your Brain Learn

Remember trying to talk backwards as a child? Researchers at Duke University created exercises they call “neurobics,” which challenge your brain to think in new ways. Since your five senses are key to learning, use them to exercise your mind. If you’re right-handed, try using your left hand. Drive to work by another route. Close your eyes and see if you can recognize food by taste.


😎 Today’s Happy Brain ~ Exercise Helps the Waistline and the Brain

Can lifestyle practices boost brain health?

Answer: Definitely.

Exercise has a very positive impact on brain health. A 2011 studyOpens in a new window found that for older adults, aerobic training increases the size of the anterior hippocampus, leading to improvements in spatial memory. Conversely, older adults who do not engage in aerobic activity experience a reduction in the size of the hippocampus (the memory center of the brain) at a rate of 1% atrophy per year.


😎 Today’s Happy Brain ~ A Memory Trick

Convert Words to Pictures

This essential tip works for two reasons: First, we naturally remember visual cues better than words, and second, the more senses you involve in learning or storing something, the better you will be at recalling it. Say you need to remember to submit a proposal to a client at 10 p.m. for a meeting the next day. You commit your task to memory by visualizing your proposal—a stack of papers—on top of an alarm clock that reads “10 p.m.” The trick here is to make the picture vivid. So visualize an alarm clock, time flashing, alarm blaring, and focus on it. 10 p.m. … proposal … got it.



😎 Today’s Happy Brain ~ Want to Remember Something?

Clench Your Right Hand When Learning, Then Your Left Hand to Remember

As weird as it might seem, a study actually proved this effective in improving short-term memory.[1] When you’re learning, simply clench your right hand into a fist. And then later on, when you have a need to remember, squeeze your left hand. However, this is only proven to be effective in right-handed individuals. 


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