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3 Keystone Habits for Brain Health

3 Keystone Habits for Brain Health

If you're looking to make profound changes in your day-to-day life, harnessing your body's physiological processes can help jumpstart the process.

Our brain and body have “anticipatory circuits" that help synchronize our reactions to frequent activities. In fact, it only takes 3-4 days for us to feel more alert and focused right before the time when we perform those activities, because our body has begun to anticipate them.

Certain habits trigger rapid physiological shifts inside us, which we can to strengthen other changes we'd like to make in our lives. These 3 habits leverage your physiology to create keystone habits that put all of your goals within closer reach:

Sleeping:

Train your body to sleep well by going to bed and getting up around the same time each day (even on weekends). You can use sunlight to help set your internal clock by getting 15-20 minutes of natural sunlight upon waking, and again at sunset. Research suggests that the wavelengths at sunrise and sunset have the biggest impact to brain centers that regulate our circadian clock, along with our mood and alertness

Exercise:

Moving your body releases endorphins, which improve concentration and help foster new brain cell growth. Clearer thoughts and memories are good for your mental health, and for combating some cognitive declines linked to aging.

Eating:

A brain-healthy diet can minimize inflammation and insulin resistance, as well as nourish brain cells and connections. Opt for getting protein from plants and fish, and choose healthy fats, like olive oil or canola, over saturated fats.

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