Here are the ways to calm your brain for a better mental health
MENTAL HEALTH – These ways can help calm your brain and can contribute to life longevity, according to research.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School report that a calm brain with less neural activity could lead to a longer life as what was stated in a study published in the medical journal Nature. Researchers noticed that the longest-lived people had lower levels of genes related to neural activity after they studied the donated brain tissue from people who died at ages from 60 to more than 100.
According to Healthline, Gayatri Devi, MD, a neurologist and psychiatrist at Northwell Health in New York said that this “study shows that daily periods of slowed activity, whether spent in meditation, unitasking, or simply being still or sleeping are as important for brain health and longevity as activity and exercise.”
He added that the brain is the most energy-hungry organ in our body. It consumes almost a third of our energy despite the fact that it weighs only about one-seventieth of our body weight. “For our brains and our bodies, less is more and rest is best,” Dr. Devi said.
Maryanna Klatt, PhD, a professor of clinical family medicine at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center shared these strategies for the brain.
Tune in to your body
Being aware of your body is the first step to lower stress and heighten mindfulness. Gentle stretches and awareness of where you’re holding your tension is a great starting point, according to Dr. Klatt. Another thing is to establish a habit that sets events into motion. She also shared that by touching the doorknob, the focus can be channeled correctly. “This creates a moment to focus on why they’re doing what they’re doing and how they’re going to connect with the patient. The habit is a helpful way to be present with a patient or co-worker,” she explained. Meditation can also help. Dr. Klatt said that it is not about clearing your mind but seeing where your mind is at. “That’s why having a little meditation practice, even 5 or 10 minutes a day, can make a difference in bringing mindfulness to your activity during the whole day,” she said.
“If you’re not really listening, or not being present with whoever you’re with, that can be a wake-up call to be present and not miss the moment,” Dr. Klatt shared. This statement came from her experience in a classroom setting. People tend to be anxious for their turn to speak and because of this, they are not listening already to other people speaking.
Chart it out
Dr. Klatt once asked her students to chart out want they want to do within 24 hours and the other chart was the actual things they do in a day. She said that the unstructured time can really help. “I think that people waste their downtime. People feel doubly bad because they didn’t get anything productive done and what they really didn’t get done was relaxing,” she explained.
Think about meals
People tend to think about what they eat and not how or where to eat. Dr. Klatt advises people to “savor every moment of it because otherwise you’re getting all those calories and you’re missing the pleasure of it.” If you are eating empty calories, might as well make it pleasurable.
Dr. Klatt said that it is important to recognize burnout before it actually happens. This way, you can do re-assessing and re-prioritizing. You must know the symptoms of burnout such as “emotional exhaustion, the lack of a sense of personal accomplishment, a lack of excitement, and a pervasive mood of irritation.”
Look for positive examples in your everyday life. This will contribute to having a better mental health. “Sometimes, you stumble and don’t know how to move forward. I think people all around us have this wisdom, but we don’t take the time to think about who we respect in terms of how they live their lives,” Dr. Klatt explained.