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The Six Pillars of Brain Health

We know the importance of a healthy heart for our physical health and well-being. But brain health is just as crucial for us to live a healthy life and look after our longevity. But what do we actually mean by brain health? And how can we look after this amazing machine between our ears? I unpack what it means to have a healthy brain and share the six pillars of brain health for every stage of life. Incorporating these habits, behaviours and activities into your lifestyle gives you the best...

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How Micro-Habits Can Boost Your Well-Being

Improving your wellbeing can feel like a monumental task. We pressure ourselves to make big lifestyle changes. But these big expectations are often not achievable, and this can lead to less motivation to make the changes we need. An alternative approach to behavioural change is to think small - make tiny changes to your life that become habits. Advocated by B.J. Fogg in his book, ‘Tiny Habits’, and Arianna Huffington at ‘Thrive Global’, this new approach to...

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How Your Gut Affects Your Mental Health

Your belly may not be an obvious place to look for help with your mental health. But the makeup of your gut microbiome - the bacteria, fungi and other microbes lodging in your digestive system - can affect your mental state. Because of the rise of processed food, most of us have fewer types of gut microbes than our grandparents and great grandparents. And this is one of the reasons there is so much depression and anxiety in the world. You can improve stress, reduce anxiety and mitigate the...

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Exercise vs Eating: Which is Better for YOUR Brain?

Exercising and eating the right foods both have positive effects on your brain and mental health. But If you can only introduce one of these lifestyle changes, which is better for your brain and mental health: regular exercise or a healthy diet? Both exercise and nutrition protect your brain from mental decline and dementia. And both are natural antidepressants and anxiety treatments that elevate your mood and control worry. Exercise is marginally more beneficial, but you can be safe in the...

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Dreaming Is Therapy For Your Brain

We all speculate about the meaning of our dreams. Are dreams simply replaying the experience of our waking lives? Or do they have a deeper meaning? I discuss the latest sleep science which has shown that dreaming puts your brain through therapy every night while you are asleep. We dream to forget, or strip away, those painful, emotional and traumatic experiences from our memory. Dreaming looks after your emotional well-being and protects you against developing emotional disorders like PTSD....

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How Exercise Improves Your Mental Well-Being

 

Why is movement so important for our mental wellbeing? I discuss three ways in which exercise can boost your brain function and mental well-being and finish up with some strategies to help you move. Aerobic exercise promotes the growth of neurons by producing brain chemicals akin to a brain fertiliser. These new neurons can help you learn and change your behaviour to boost your mental well-being.  Exercise improves and prevents depression by targeting all of the brain chemicals...

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Brain and Mental Disorders

Brain and mental disorders afflict 1 in 4 people worldwide. That is 25% of the world population.  When your brain is damaged, it can affect many different things, including your memory, your sensation, and even your personality. Brain disorders include any condition or disability that affects your brain. This includes conditions that are caused by illness, genetics and injury.

We are going to consider the three categories of brain disorders: brain injury, neurodegenerative disease and...

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Brain Hacks for Bad Habits

It’s a familiar story to many of us. It’s the start of a New Year and we promise to do Dry January, sign up for a new gym membership and commit to losing 10 pounds so we can fit into that new outfit. However, many of us find this sort of behaviour change really challenging, and we often fall back into our old drinking and eating habits before the month is out.

So why are habits so hard to break? How can we break unwanted habits? And how can we introduce new habits into our life?...

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Why sleep is important for your memory

We sleep for a third of our life. That means if you are 80 you have been asleep for 27 years! But many of us give surprisingly little attention or care to our sleep. We should do however, because it is critical for our memory right now and later in life. 

In the 1950s, we spent, on average, 8 hours a night sleeping. In our modern busy lives, we only sleep for about 6.5 hours. That is 1.5 hours of sleep per night lost in 70 years.

This neglect of our sleep is often the result of a major...

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