Baby Steps to a Healthy Brain in 2023

Lola Magazine Donesa Walker, Education, Health and Beauty


Hydrate Constantly

Eat Well

Attitude of Positivity

Let it Go to Sleep

Think, Meditate, Pray

Help Others

Your Exercise

Hydrate Yourself Constantly to Reach Optimal Brain Health.

Your body uses an enormous amount of the water you take in, but your brain uses more. If you are not providing the right level of hydration for your body, then your brain is starved for the fluids it needs, like the gas in an engine. If you are not supplying enough fuel for your body and brain to function correctly, then you may experience memory loss, especially in the short-term memory area of the brain. There can never be enough said about the importance of H2O.

Eat Healthy Foods, Especially Greens Rich in Magnesium, for a Smarter You.

The brain needs magnesium to build and grow. Eighty-five percent of Americans are magnesium deficient simply because they do not eat enough foods that provide this critical mineral for the brain. Magnesium is one of the essential minerals for the brain, but it is not the only one necessary for brain health. While it is very important to eat foods rich in nutrients to promote physical health, meal times can also boost your mental health. Taking time to have a meal rather than through can be game-changing. Sitting down for a meal with the whole family is a great way to build communication and socialization in young children and adults alike, especially seniors, where socialization is critical for the brain.

Attitude of Positivity

A positive attitude is transformative for the brain. Research has shown that IQ scores can be changed by as much as ten points with positive reinforcement and belief in oneself. One way to improve self-esteem is to look in the mirror and state five positive facts about yourself. This exercise can increase your belief in your ability and your confidence. I call this the Wonder Woman or Superman effect. Knowing that you can is a large part of the battle of self. This process starts with believing that you can, even if you are not quite there yet. Recognizing the growth mindset, or the ability to change and grow, has been proven to be the biggest factor in making significant changes in the brain. If you cannot do it yet, that three-letter word becomes very important—Yet. It does not mean that it is impossible forever. At that moment, it is potential energy, a possibility for the future, something that can be achieved if you put your mind to it and want it badly enough.

Let it Go and Sleep Deep for a Healthy You.

The most significant factors that impact the brain are stress and lack of sleep. Both of these elements are critical for brain health. Reducing stress is essential for good sleep, and deep sleep is good sleep. Deep Sleep is the key to reducing stress. A media diet is a significant component of good sleep and stress reduction. A media diet consists of no more than ten minutes of streaming media multiplied times the age of a child and no more than three hours for an adult. A complete hiatus, or no media consumption, is recommended beginning one hour before bed, especially streaming media. This media break helps your brain reach REM sleep and rest deeply. Sleep is a restorative process for the brain allowing stress to be released and many problems to be solved that the brain has been working on all day. As Queen Elsa says, “let it go.” Neither frozen pipes nor pipe dreams bring about great health. Instead, climb into bed and let it go.

Think, Meditate, & Pray for a Creative Brain.

Many people think meditating or praying is all about getting rid of stress. The truth is these are thinking processes that are critical for creativity. Meditating, praying, and deep thinking allow the brain to reach beyond and think of other possibilities outside itself. These techniques allow the creative juices to flow in art, music, science, religion, and other areas of our society. Focusing on things beyond our control and what our mind can grasp in this finite world allows our brain to imagine the possibilities of a brighter future. A sense of wonderment and belonging happens from allowing the brain to meditate. Pray and think deeply without being task driven. This time of peace allows the brain to put new materials in and make new connections previously not seen or fathomed. This is the reason why play is so critical for children, from recess to imaginary play. We forget as adults how important it is to play. We need to have adventures, laugh, enjoy and create. These joyful and creative activities get our brains firing and wiring and relaxing and growing.

Helping Others

Being helpful leads to a more connected brain with better longevity and less memory loss. One of the most critical factors in avoiding dementia is to stay connected and socially active. Helping others in our society, neighborhood, and other realms of influence allows us to construct and learn new things more effectively and efficiently. The more we reach out to help others, the more we engage our minds as we learn new things, meet new people, and change. Our society benefits and grows from one person helping another. This is exactly how our brains make connections and neural networks. Getting outside yourself and outside your comfort zone to try new things with new people creates new memory banks, new connections, and new neural pathways. A constantly adapting brain assists with the memory processes. When neurons repeatedly fire together, they wire together, which helps prevent dementia.

Exercising Your Brain and Body Makes a Healthier and Happier You. 

Exercising is necessary for both the brain and the body. Getting outdoors and connecting with people and nature by participating in activities like gardening and taking walks is exceptionally valuable for your mental and physical well-being. All these things can lead to a healthier brain and a healthier you.

It is easy to read an article like this and say, “Wow, I already do those things, or I’ve done those things in the past, but I haven’t really noticed any difference.” If you are doing these things, then I encourage you to continue. You may not have noticed a difference because you are a healthier you in both brain and body. If you are not doing these things, start wherever you need to start. For some, that might be simply drinking another cup of water each day, doing a fun activity, or going out to lunch with a friend. Some may need to look at themselves in the mirror and realize the wonderful human being God created is there looking at them. Some may need to eat a little less or perhaps a little healthier. Some may need to stress less, sleep more, and pray a lot more. Wherever you find yourself, I encourage you to find the healthier you and embrace that person in 2023.