Despite feeling like the biggest brainiac in the world when you solve your Wordle puzzle of the day in two tries, do you really know how to support your brain health?
The first step is determining the definition of brain health, and neuroscientist Hayley Nelson, PhD likes the World Health Organization’s definition best: “Brain health is a state in which every individual can realize their own abilities and optimize their cognitive, emotional, psychological, and behavioral functioning to cope with life situations.”
To put it plainly, “taking care of your brain is essential [for your] overall health and well-being,” Dr. Nelson says, because the organ plays a major role in nearly every system in the body—from thoughts and emotions to digestion, hormone regulation, and more.
So how do you support your noggin? Start by considering Dr. Nelson’s list of surprising things to look for, which she’s sharing below. (And of course, visit your doctor if you have any pressing concerns.)
If you’re still looking for a little extra support, you can try supplementing your diet with ingredients such as vitamin B6, B12, and coffee cherry extract—all of which are found in Neuriva Plus Capsules. The formula is designed to help support holistic and proactive brain health through six key cognitive indicators: learning, memory, focus, reasoning, accuracy, and concentration*.
But remember: As you noodle on Dr. Nelson’s signs and suggestions, don’t forget that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to the brain. Because it’s part of what makes you uniquely you.
Keep scrolling for 5 surprising signs of brain health with tips on how to support it.
1. You know how to relax
Prioritize sleep is the ever-present line on your intentions list. Consider this another nudge. “If you are able to fall asleep easily, stay asleep through the night, and wake up feeling rested and refreshed, this is a good indicator of overall health and well-being,” Dr. Nelson says.
Beyond daytime fatigue or sluggishness, sleep quality impacts concentration, too. According to Dr. Nelson, your ability to concentrate, respond to situations with ease and quickness, and stay focused through a task’s completion (ahem, all areas Neuriva Plus is formulated to target*) are signs of brain health—and may be significantly improved with better sleep.
2. You can regulate your emotions
Dr. Nelson notes that “being able to calm yourself during moments of high stress through deep breathing, exercise, or meditation, shows your ability to control your nervous system.” Another factor that impacts emotional regulation? The ability to apply reasoning skills in high-stress situations.
On the flip side, repetitive thoughts (especially negative ones) demonstrate the opposite, according to Dr. Nelson, and can be precursors of depression or anxiety. “Being able to easily ‘let things go,’ have healthy relationships, and manage stress well are all signs of a [brain health],” she says. So go ahead, book that yoga class, start a journal, or sign up for therapy—anything that helps you feel (and maintain) that healthy balance.
3. You learn quickly—and retain what you learn
Have you picked up a guitar lately? Tried your hand at sourdough? According to Dr. Nelson, learning new things is vital, and it’s never too early—or too late—to start training your brain.
“Keeping your brain active is just as important as keeping your body active!” Dr. Nelson says. “Having a reliable memory and the ability to learn new things are great indicators of [brain health].”
4. You have a healthy gut
Did you know you have a second brain? It’s true, according to Dr. Nelson, and it’s called the enteric nervous system. “[It] processes sensory information in the gut and transmits it to the brain, which in turn, then sends signals back to the gut to adjust its function,” Dr. Nelson says.
“When the GI system is irritated, it may send signals to the central nervous system to trigger mood changes,” she continues. “Certain strains of probiotics have been shown to have positive effects on psychological symptoms…and perceived stress in healthy human volunteers.”
5. You have a comfortable—thriving, even!—social life
Extroverts, rejoice. Dr. Nelson notes that people with closer relationships live longer and happier lives, and have showed slower cognitive decline during aging.
Socializing requires keen perception, good judgment, and strong decision-making skills, all of which are key to cognitive accuracy, according to a 2014 study. Relationships also generally increase healthy behaviors and positive emotions, Dr. Nelson says. “This social support leads to…less stress hormones, and therefore greater longevity and brain health.” An excuse to plan a friend group trip? Yep, it’s a no-brainer.
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.