3 Ways to a Healthier Brain (and a Happier You!)
Is it summer vacation yet? I thought when I started college that I wouldn’t need to count down the days until summer vacation. I was so so so very wrong. My roommates and I have been counting down to summer vacation since before the spring semester started. Lame. I don’t know what it is but my brain just cannot seem to get into school mode lately. All I want to do is sleep, sit on my computer and hang out with my roommates…probably not the best plan to pass my classes this semester. I’m normally a pretty decent student but as my lack of focus just seemed to get worse and worse, I knew I had to do something. In attempt to kick-start my brain into high gear I decided to test out a few of the most highly recommended brain-boosters:
1) Completely daily brain-teasers/puzzles
2) Working out regularly
3) Be social
Alright, those aren’t so bad right? I mean, if the doctor says its good for my brain to be social that means I get to go out Friday and Saturday, right? I was really surprised as to how much these three simple rules made me feel better. I stuck to the plan of doing all three of these steps everyday for a week to see how it would affect my brain power.
Back in the day, my parents bought me a Nintendo DS with the BrainAge games on it so every night before I go to bed while I watch Chelsea Lately I play one game until I beat it. I also downloaded “Unblock Me” puzzle game for my I-pod. When I have downtime before classes (or when I’m bored during class, oops) I casually play. After just a week’s worth of play I have improved my “brain age” 15 years. I was 35 and now I’m 20. Happy brain! If you don’t have an electronic way to tease your brain, head to the store and pick up a 99 cent word search. Super cheap and good for you.
The working out regularly has probably been the most challenging. When I’m tired, working out is the last thing I want to do. I forced myself to go for at least 30 minutes once a day this week though and while my muscles are sore, I have been feeling great. Not only is my focus better but my mood has been improved. (Hello, spring break body!)
Obviously number three has been the easiest to complete. I love being social but when I’m tired and sad (still not over my recent break-up, I need to get it together) sleeping is my solution. I told my roommates that they had to make me do things this week and not let me mope around. Instead of coming home between classes, I would stay in the University Union or go to a friend’s place to do homework. While a social environment isn’t always ideal for studying, jamming with my friends while working on my homework definitely makes the time go by faster and I’m actually ahead on my homework.
So what have I learned from my brain-booster challenge week? A healthier brain = a happier me. I’m actually kind of addicted to playing the brain games and I’ve started doing it when I work out. My roomies and I have been heading to the gym together too…hello, all three steps in one! I’m a genius…told you these steps worked.