It only takes a bad morning to send the best of your days downhill.
Call it a mood, phase, or spell of gloom - changing the word won’t disregard the fact that even with the best of physical health, your performance can hit a drastic low when your mind isn’t as healthy.
Yet, the best meditation sessions can prove to be ineffective if your body doesn’t have all that it needs to keep your brain functioning prim and proper.
Opt for a cognitive supplement that gives your mind its daily dose of quality enrichment, calm, and agility. Do remember - therapy works best when you put your heart and mind into it!
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Cut Through the noise
Cognitive and mental well-being refers to your ability to learn, reflect, remember, and take decisions. Every sphere of a person’s life, including academic/professional performance, financial management, personal healthcare, and even socializing skills can be impacted by poor cognitive health. And there’s no one else to blame for it except one’s poor choice of lifestyle, diet, and cognitive exercises. So, if you’re also noticing signs of a slipping mind, it's time to act NOW and think FAST.
The science behind sharpening your cognitive skills is rather simpler than expected. It is not just about taking the right supplements. Your brain needs constant engagement to stay active, something that can come in any of the following forms:
- Physical activity: Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function and brain health by increasing blood flow to the brain, promoting the growth of new brain cells, and reducing inflammation.
- Sleeping: Sleep is important for consolidating memories and allowing the brain to rest and recharge. Chronic sleep deprivation can have negative effects on cognitive function.
- Cognitive activities: Activities such as reading, doing puzzles, and learning new skills can help keep the brain active and improve its critical/analytical abilities.
- Stress Management: Chronic stress can have negative effects on cognitive function, but practices such as mindfulness, meditation, and yoga can help your brain develop an edge over unwelcoming situations.
- Socialize: Meeting friends and family can help improve cognitive function by providing opportunities for mental stimulation.
- Keep learning: Continuing to learn throughout life can help promote cognitive health by keeping the brain active and engaged. This can involve taking classes, learning a new language or skill, or simply challenging yourself to do things you’ve never tried before.
A variety of cognitive supplements are available in the market, each of which has different functionality. They are typically rich in antioxidant and adaptogenic compounds that rejuvenate the neurons to increase the latter’s capabilities. Some of the most popular (and well-acclaimed) supplements are:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Particularly EPA and DHA help improve cognitive function, memory, and mood. They’re abundantly found in fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines.
- Bacopa monnieri: An Ayurvedic herb that has been used for centuries to improve cognitive abilities. It works to prevent free radical damage on brain cells, allowing them to develop.
- Ginkgo biloba: Ginkgo biloba is a therapeutic herb used in traditional Chinese medicine. It increases blood flow to the brain to reduce inflammatory reactions.
- Rhodiola rosea: An adaptogenic herb that reduces fatigue and stress by increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
- Phosphatidylserine: A phospholipid that is important for brain cell function and communication. When the neuron network is strong, you won’t suffer a single thought lost in oblivion!
Physical exercise can boost your cognitive strength by manifolds. And the best part is, it doesn’t matter which form of exercise you opt for. As long as you’re doing it regularly for a significant amount of time, you can get the following cognitive benefits from exercise:
- Improved memory: Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which improves the delivery of oxygen and other vital nutrients to the brain cells. With the right nutrition, your neurons develop the ability to remember things for a pretty long while. Exercise has also been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is important for memory and learning.
- Enhanced cognitive flexibility: Cognitive flexibility refers to the brain's ability to switch between different tasks or thought processes. Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive flexibility, possibly by increasing levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which are neurotransmitters that are involved in attention and motivation.
- Reduced cognitive decline: Regular exercise can help increase the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that is involved in the growth and survival of neurons in the brain. This in turn can reduce the risk of dementia in adults.