Entity reports on five best things to do to boost your health and brain power.

Your brain runs your body and controls everything you do. Without your mind, you wouldn’t have the ability to think, feel, understand, engage – the list goes on. Since it’s basically the reason for your existence, why not keep your brain stimulated? Here are eight things you should do every day to boost your brain power.

1 TAKE DEEP BREATHS.

Taking deep breaths relieves stress and anxiety, thus alleviating pressure from the mind. The American Institute of Stress says deep breathing can stimulate your body’s “relaxation response.” Abdominal breathing for just 20 to 30 minutes each day increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and can reduce anxiety and stress. This can also stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness.

Set an alarm every two hours so that multiple times per day you are reminded to take a step back from whatever you’re doing and just breathe.

2 HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH PEOPLE.

Yes, you’re busy — you’d rather study in peace or finish that essay without interruption. But don’t forget human beings are hardwired to have social interactions and connections. You don’t have to listen to someone’s life story for hours, but it doesn’t hurt to say “Good morning” to a coworker or ask your professor how his or her day is going.

When you engage in meaningful conversation, you stimulate your brain. In the process, you find ways to relate. In order to facilitate conversation, Forbes suggests you listen before you speak, ask good questions to show your interest and try to genuinely relate to the conversation. If you have an opportunity to joke around, take it because it will “decrease barriers from the start … and enable you to have a better conversation.”

3 DO ONE THING AT A TIME.

Yes, we live in a world obsessed with multitasking. While the ability to do two or more things at once might be an important skill, it’s not always necessary. In fact, doing too much at once can even overwork your body and mind.

A study from the University of London tested this theory by observing over 1,000 people who were trying to multitask with electronic media. Researchers found that multitasking caused a greater decrease in IQ than smoking marijuana. Since your brain cannot efficiently switch between tasks, it becomes strained and unable to function optimally. 

4 Drink more water.

Most Americans are chronically dehydrated, which leads to slower brain function. Think of yourself as a plant. Too many of us know that when you don’t water a plant, it dies. Don’t let that happen to yourself. Instead, be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. Carry around a water bottle everywhere you go and make sure to regularly refill it so you can continue sipping throughout the day. If you don’t like drinking water, spruce it up with a hint of mint, lemon or orange for taste.

5 TAKE A NAP.

If you’re feeling tired, stop for a few minutes or hours and take a break. You can’t be productive when you’re exhausted. You’ll drain yourself, which means the quality of your work won’t be your ultimate best. Don’t you want to be confident with the paper you turn in or the project you are presenting to your boss?

Everyone should make time for a siesta throughout the day. But remember: It’s a nap, not hibernation. If you’re a busy bee, set your timer for 15 minutes. Naps are known to improve thinking abilities and performance. Mayo Clinic says napping reduces fatigue, helps you feel more relaxed, increases alertness and improves your mood. Once you wake up, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the world!

6 Don’t be a creature of habit.

Does this sound familiar? You wake up, go to work and eat lunch then go home, make dinner and sleep. If so, your life has become a routine. It’s time to kick creature of habit syndrome to the curb. When we follow the same routines every single day without fail, we are allowing our brains to decay. If you want to break out of the confines of your daily schedule and stimulate your brain, try something new! Is there a cooking class offered nearby that you’ve always wanted to take? Go sign up. You want to start running again? Lace up your shoes. What’s holding you back?

7 ASK QUESTIONS.

We are instilled from a young age to ask questions. When we were infants, our parents encouraged our curiosity and were quick to answer our wildest queries. When we went to school, our teachers prompted us with questions of our own. They’ve always said, “If you don’t understand something, ask a question.” In much the same vein, it’s a good idea to ask questions as an adult even if you think already know the answer. Oftentimes, the answers will lead to new ideas and different ways of thinking.

8 Believe in yourself.

We all have doubts about ourselves. But these fears are holding you back from reaching your full potential. You know that pose in which a (usually) man sits with his chair kicked back, feet up on the desk and hands behind his head? Yes, that one. Your posture reflects your self-confidence. If that pose is a too much for you, then try standing in a Supergirl pose. Put your hands on your hips, with your elbows out and stand with your feet spread apart. Do this for two minutes and you will boost your confidence.

#WomenThatDo are not afraid to boost their brain power every day of the week!

Edited by Ellena Kilgallon

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