Habit hacks for brain health

Habit hacks for brain health

by Ashley Tan 28 Feb 2020

In a world that has become increasingly hectic and fast-paced, self-care has taken on a position of vital importance. However, one aspect of the body that we often neglect is the mind – after all, it’s easy to forget that the brain is the single organ in our bodies that controls our every thought and move. In order to ensure overall health and wellness, going that extra mile to care for your brain is essential.


One way to maintain brain and mental health is to keep a daily journal that you pen your thoughts in by hand. Several research papers and studies have revealed that writing by hand not only improves your memory, but also integrates and coordinates information from both the right and left sides of your brain to boost perception.


The process of writing also provokes deeper reflection, which could stimulate creativity whilst evoking feelings of calmness and relaxation. All of these are especially important for brain health, especially if you feel like you lead a dreary life where you’re constantly required to go through the motions to complete expected tasks.


We live in a world where successes are celebrated, while failures are frowned upon. Because of this, it has become a natural instinct for your brain to covet successes over failures. When your brain perceives an event as a personal victory, it releases dopamine, which is a chemical released during pleasurable situations. This helps you retain information on the things you did to attain these successes, such that you are able to replicate the process again to achieve similar outcomes.


So how exactly can you optimise this learning function? In order to keep your brain motivated, try achieving and tracking a “success streak”, where you successfully achieve specific goals several times over a short period. These events will cause your brain to release more dopamine, and impel it to continue seeking to strive to achieve the same feel-good effects. A good hack within this hack is to recognise the smallest of victories as well. Your successes will ultimately help your brain stay healthy, while you stay happy!


Lastly, staying hydrated is another way to maintain and improve brain health, though this tip is often overlooked because of its apparent simplicity. However, considering that 73% of your brain consists of water, replenishing your body with water is essential to ensuring that your brain continues functioning properly. Most studies have shown that the amount of liquid we lose daily through perspiration, urination, bowel movements, and breathing is equivalent to 10 cups of water, which is considerably a large amount of fluid. In fact, by the time you feel thirsty, it’s likely that you are already dehydrated. This means that you should set constant reminders to drink lots of water – not only does this ensure optimum brain health, but it also brings plenty of other benefits such as assisting with weight loss, boosting energy, and getting rid of toxins stored in your body. 


While the tips listed above which aim to help you preserve or enhance your brain health may not be necessarily instinctive, this shouldn’t discount their importance. A happy and healthy mind is a big part of a happy and healthy life, and taking the effort to care for your brain means that it’s one less thing you and your loved ones need to worry about!