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Mind Health

hands holding a brain glowing with health against a gray background

Our physical health is severely impacted by our mental health, so part of the key to living a long, healthy life is keeping our minds healthy. When it comes to physical health, there are general rules of thumb we all know. Things like eat a balanced diet, exercise, and stay away from drugs and alcohol are all basic guidelines to staying physically healthy. But how, exactly, do we keep our minds healthy? Mind health is a somewhat different concept as compared to physical health. However, some of the activities we do to promote physical health can also be beneficial to our mind’s health as well.

One of these activities is eating a good diet. In fact, the Mental Health Foundation states that a good diet is highly beneficial for mental health. Recent research done by the Mental Health Foundation has also found that certain foods can play a role in the development, management, and prevention of different mental disorders, such as: schizophrenia, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and Alzheimer’s disease.

A few dietary guidelines to follow are eat breakfast, replace vegetable oil with olive oil, and eat a range of brain-friendly foods. For starters, breakfast has not only been found to be the most important meal of the day, but it has also been found to have several benefits for your brain. Olive oil has also been found to have many benefits including its ability to break up clots in capillaries and maximize blood flow. Finally, eating brain-friendly foods ensures your brain will receive the proper nutrients it needs to be healthy. Such foods include: fish, avocado, fruits and veggies, whole grains, onions, and superfoods to name a few.

Another activity that is important to physical health and mental health is exercise. While exercise is a key factor in keeping your body physically healthy, it also has several benefits for your mental health as well.  One of the major benefits of exercise is that it increases blood-flow and oxygenates the brain, which is important to promote proper brain function. It has been found that only thirty minutes of aerobic exercise a day can greatly benefit your brain.  Another possible benefit is that if you switch up your exercise routine, your brain will be exercised by learning and mastering new skills.

This brings us to our next important point on how to keep your mind healthy; exercise your mind. While physical exercise is beneficial to your mind, mental exercise also has its own set of benefits. Anything that causes your brain to focus is a good way to exercise your mental capacities. Activities such as crosswords, scrabble, reading, puzzles, video games, or hobbies are all activities that will give your mind a work out.

Another way you can work out your brain is by challenging it. Doing certain activities that require more concentration is a good way to achieve this. Such activities can include: learning any new skill, learning to play a musical instrument, studying a foreign language, learning a new art form, using your less dominant hand for daily tasks, playing chess, evaluating your career, traveling, or going back to school for a degree.

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