The brain is affected by sensory experiences, thoughts, emotions, and inputs. Brain optimization techniques can increase neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to “reconnect” itself) and neurogenesis (the formation of brain cells). The following 7 techniques are effective in optimizing the brain.

1. Exercise.

Working out can generate new cells and blood vessels in the brain, and specifically optimize the brain’s performance in frontal and temporal areas (these areas are involved in executive control such as planning and working memory) (1). It is recommended to perform aerobic exercise three times a week, along with a mix of weight training and flexibility exercises.

2. Sleep Well.

Sleep is necessary for our nervous systems to work properly. It gives us recuperation time for balance repair. One recent study demonstrated that sleep clears out metabolic waste products of neural activity.

3. Train your brain.

It’s vital to keep your brain sharp by performing mentally challenging exercises. Activities such as learning a new language, reading challenging novels, and playing games like chess and even playing videogames can help to boost cognitive reserve and delay mental decline . A recent study showed that that working memory can be improved by training. (3)

4. Manage Stress.

Chronic stress can inhibit brain performance and cause memory loss. Different forms of stress management can include yoga, meditation, or even a stroll down the park. Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., President & Medical Director of the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation has done extensive research on Kriyan Yoga, and he claims that takes just 12 minutes a day and has been shown to decrease depression and inflammation markers. (4)

5. Eat Clean.

Eating too much sugar and processed food is bad for the brain. It can alter blood flow to the brain and impair cognition. There is little doubt that omega−3 fatty acids are important in human nutrition. They are significant structural components of the phospholipid membranes of tissues throughout the body and are especially rich in the retina, brain, and spermatozoa, in which docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) constitutes ≤36.4% of total fatty acids (5).

6. Live with Purpose.

People who have family and social connections and bonds who have a clear purpose in life have been shown to have a decreased instance of Alzheimer’s. According to Bill Conklin, Psy.D. said, “Enjoying pleasurable activities, doing something that seems to make time stand still, spending time with loved ones, pursuing meaning in its many forms, and celebrating accomplishments stimulate the activity in your left prefrontal cortex.”

7. Monitor your metrics.

New technology allows us to monitor brain waves, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, and even mood. Sites like Lumosity and BrainBaseline can help you track your own brain’s performance, and here at Cannabrain.com we will be rolling out products to help you track and improve your brains performance.

References Cited

1) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364661307001581
2) http://science.sciencemag.org/content/342/6156/373
3) https://www.nature.com/articles/nn1165
4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22407663
5) https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/71/1/171S/4729333?ijkey=f02bb4d605dad02f9d43fb767d1213929009a92a&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha