In recent years, medical researchers have tried to understand ageing as the root cause of all types of diseases, including cognitive decline. So whenever we forget something and we say “Oh, I must be getting old,” we might actually be closer to the truth than we know.
As we know, the natural ageing process is inevitable. But there are many things that we can do to take care of our mind and body and even add years to our lives at 90 years old. As our brain is one of the control centres of our body, whatever we do for our brain will ultimately be good for our overall health.
This Goalcast video featuring Jim Kwik is an excellent summary of what we can do for our brain. But, we have to confess here. The secrets shared by Jim aren’t exactly “secrets”. They are common sense but they are just not a common practice. We believe that if we implement one of these tips consistently, we will experience a significant improvement to our overall health and well-being. Here, we share our three favourite secrets (because they are the easiest!):
Secret #1: Fuel your brain with nourishment
You are what you eat and nature provides the fuel for our brain to function at its best.
A good brain diet consists of nutrients like Omega-3 and vitamin B. These nutrients preserve cell membrane health and facilitate communication between brain cells.
Where to get these nutrients? They are usually rich in foods like avocado, blueberries, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, walnuts, coconut oil, eggs, wild-caught salmon and sardine. Often times, we don’t fuel ourselves with these nutrients enough but it is essential to include regardless. Though it can be an expensive diet, you can include them in your diet sparingly instead or opt for cheaper options like coconut oil, eggs or canned sardine.
Secret #2: Sleep well, consistently
A sustained lack of sleep can cause emotional problems, obesity, and poor job performance. But in a world where technology, high-stress jobs, and unprocessed emotions are all competing for our attention, we are likely not getting the amount of sleep our body requires. Most times, it always seems that we don’t have enough time and we tend to borrow the time from the following day. And we do that by burning the midnight oil only to wake up groggy the morning after.
So schedule your sleep earlier so you have a full 8 hours sleep. Make sure to create a good sleeping environment like putting your phone away, light out and set the temperature just right for your sleep. Remember, when our bodies are well-rested and relaxed, our ability to focus and perform increases. Your quality of life just improves generally.
Secret #3: Connect with positive people
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
Human beings are social beings. Even the most introverted among us need social connections from time to time. So who are we spending the most time with? Definitely not energy vampires who suck all our energy and motivation every time we see them. The people who we surround ourselves with are important. They can either make or break you. So let’s be amongst those who encourage us, coach us and take us to the next level. Can’t go out to meet people? Books, podcasts and videos are also good places to start.
These aren’t exactly secrets but they are great reminders to what we can do for our health. What is good for our brain will also be good for our health. If we take care to eat properly, get enough sleep and surround ourselves with positive people, our brain and body will thank us.
Who is Jim Kwik?
Before becoming the renowned memory and speed-reading expert that he is today, Jim was known as the “boy with the broken brain.” A childhood head injury at age five left him struggling in school. However, Jim undertook a journey to learn about his brain. That journey led him to discover that no matter the circumstances, age, background or level of education, we can learn new ways to use our brain.
10 ways to unlock our quick brain and train it for better mental acuity and focus:
- A good brain diet – you are what you eat
- Killing ANTs – Automatic Negative Thoughts by Dr. Daniel Amen
- Exercise – whatever that is good for your heart is good for your head
- Brain nutrients – Omega-3 and B vitamins supplements
- Positive peer group – spend time with people who take you to the next level
- A clean environment – having an organized space for mental clarity
- Sleep – consolidates short and long-term memory; clean plaque that leads to dementia
- Brain protection – wear a helmet. Our brain is resilient but also fragile
- New learning – nourish the brain with novelty
- Stress management – cortisol is not good for performance
Bottom-line: There are different types of intelligence, and all are valuable.