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How to maintain mental clarity through the stresses of everyday life

in Health by

After a term ends, it’s easy to lose your mental focus and to maintain a sharp brain. Life can get busy and finding time to take care of yourself can be really difficult, especially in an increasingly rushed society. However, if you don’t take care of yourself, it won’t be long before exhaustion kicks in, your brain suffers from mental fog, and you become burnt out. Here are some tips to keep you on your A-game throughout summer and the remainder of your college experience.

Meditation

Perhaps one of the best things you can do for your body and mind is to meditate. A Forbes article described how meditation helps decrease levels of anxiety and depression while improving attention, concentration, and overall psychological well-being. According to Forbes, in a UCLA study, scientists found that long-term meditators had better-preserved brains than non-meditators as they aged. The study stated that “people who had meditated for an average of 20 years had more grey matter volume throughout the brain than non-meditators.” Even though life can get busy, take 10 to 20 minutes a day to meditate by relaxing your body and mind. Sometimes doing simple breathing exercises or chanting “ohm” helps as well. Focus on clearing your mind and destressing before your busy day.

Eating Healthy

Certain foods can help keep your brain sharp, scientists say. Food is fuel for the body and can aid in keeping you focused throughout the day. Dr. Josh Axe, who is a clinical nutritionalist, says that stress forces the body to release inflammatory cytokines which prompt the immune system to cause inflammation throughout your body, as if fighting off an infection. However, the right types of food keeps the inflammation and immune system’s responses under control. Foods rich in antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and minerals also provide energy and aid in protecting against brain diseases, Dr. Axe says. Therefore, foods such as avocados, beets, blueberries, and broccoli all aid in providing the nutritional support your body needs. In turn, you will have increased energy, mental clarity, and less stress by simply eating these nutritiously dense foods.

Reading

Reading can be a healthy way to escape from the stresses of everyday life while maintaining a sharp intellect. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68 percent. In addition, scientists say that mentally- stimulating exercises, such as reading, are important in helping you preserve concentration, intellect and memory.

Brain exercises

Dr. Stephen Brewer, a medical director at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, writes in a Huffington Post article that improving your memory and mental clarity is all about stimulating your senses. He provides several unique ways for improving brain function and stability. For one, he suggests turning pictures upside down in your home or on your desk at work which will alert your brain to pick up other small details throughout your day. Another suggestion is to use your less dominant or opposite hand to brush your teeth which stimulates your senses and boosts brains creativity. In addition, puzzles such as Sudoku or crossword puzzles can help you achieve and maintain concentration throughout the day. Lastly, Brewer says to remember your favorite place and travel there, if possible. These memories stay with us in rich detail and traveling to these places or finding new places that help create memories of equal depth can also improve memory and brain function.