Helpful tips on how to take care of your brain for International Self-Care Day (July 24)
Most of us are familiar with the concept of #selfcare and how it has flooded our news feeds with colorful images from the extravagant—pampering with expensive massages or taking fancy trips—to the ordinary—soaking in a bath or skipping your workout in favor of drinking wine. Messages regarding the importance of self-care have become so consistent, almost insistent, that the idea of taking time to take care of you seems, well, exhausting. However, self-care doesn’t have to require a ton of time or money, and it also doesn’t have to be perfect.
If we shift our mindset about the intention of #selfcare from “this thing to be checked off our to-do list,” to a holistic approach to taking care of yourself, we may find self-care more attainable. Self-care won’t look the same for each person or even from week to week, but it should include your physical, mental and emotional self, and that includes brain health!
According to a 2019 brain health survey conducted by The Harris Poll, nearly all Americans would like to improve their brain performance. Yet, few put their brains at the top of their wellness routines. But what’s causing this disconnect? Maybe individuals aren’t sure where to start when it comes to brain health? Regardless of the reason, we’ve compiled a list of expert tips to put your brain at the top of your #selfcare list.
Turn Inward with Meditation. Adopting a meditation practice and reflecting on your thoughts and feelings can have a real impact on your brain. In fact, brain imaging techniques are revealing that this ancient practice can profoundly change the way different regions of the brain communicate with each other—and therefore how we think—permanently. Over time and with practice, our more primal responses to stress seem to be replaced with more thoughtful ones.
Say “No” More to Stress Less. Stress can wreak havoc on our bodies and our minds, but we often overlook the serious impact it can have on our brains as well. In the face of stress, our brain goes through a series of reactions—some good and some bad—designed to mobilize and protect itself from potential threats. Even among otherwise healthy people, stress can lead to shrinkage in areas of the brain associated with the regulation of emotions, metabolism and memory.
Eat Whole Foods & Supplement to Support. While whole foods are certainly better for us than processed foods, we can also make an effort to select more specific brain-healthy foods to support our brains from a diet perspective. Those foods include berries, like raspberries or blueberries, and broccoli—both rich in antioxidants. Additionally, reaching for more healthy fats in the form of avocados or raw nuts supports our brain health. Even with a healthy diet of whole foods, it may still be worthwhile to look into supplements as a great way to help lend an extra helping hand of support to the many complicated internal workings of your amazing body. Neuriva is a great way to show your brain some love and attention, with a combination of two clinically proven ingredients—coffee cherry extract and Phosphatidylserine—that are sourced from nature. Learn more about Neuriva’s ingredients.
 Ireland, Tom. 2014, June 12. What Does Mindfulness Meditation Do To Your Brain? Retrieved from https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/what-does-mindfulness-meditation-do-to-your-brain/