How to Meditate When You Think You Can’t

Woman Who Meditates

Meditation is a powerful practice that is good for both your brain and body. And, just like Fit Brains, you can do it for just 1 to 2 minutes anywhere, anytime with immediate benefits. So it’s a no-brainer that we should all do it.

Meditation 101 ‘Ommm’

1. Pick a general time

Meditate to start off your day but if you are too rushed in the morning, any time that’s convenient is fine. Just try to pick a time that you can do daily so it becomes easier to make it a habit.

2. Find a quiet spot

It can be your bed, a bench on a park or the beach.

3. Get into a comfortable position

Either sit or lie down. Don’t slouch. The ‘Savasana’ aka dead corpse pose in yoga is a great one, lie down with your palms facing up.

4. Keep your eyes open & soft

Focus your eyes on one spot and soften your eyes. If you have trouble concentrating, you can shut your eyes.

5. Focus on your breathing

Clear you mind of all thoughts. Follow the natural flow of your breath from your nose all the way down to your lungs. Notice how your chest, rib cage, shoulders and belly ebb and flow with each breath. If you start getting distracted (and you will), gently re-focus back on your breath. If you still can’t focus, then count to 5 while focusing on your breath. Don’t worry, in the beginning you may have thoughts flittering in and out of your mind or you may even fall asleep! Keep at it!

6. Do this for 1 to 2 minutes daily

Once you master meditating for a few minutes, increase the number of minutes the next week.

Namaste! Congratulations you’ve mastered your inner yogi. Now why not challenge your brain further?

Delight & Challenge Your Brain

Fit Brains Fun Brain GamesFit Brains is easy to pick up and hard to put down. With over 60+ games, we have the most and the widest variety of games on the market.

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The Fit Brains Team

“Brain Training Success”

Boost Your Focus: Here’s 1 Easy Way!

Fit Brains Pomodoro Focus Technique and Timer

Does your focus wane during tasks sometimes? You aren’t alone!  Some of us, here at Fit Brains, use the Pomodoro Technique, a popular time management technique developed by Francesco Cirillo. It’s designed to keep your mind fresh and focused so you can finish tasks faster.  And, it’s supposed to help your concentration. Bet we have your attention now, don’t we?

How To Apply The Pomodoro Technique

Fit Brains Person Working with Focus

1. Pick a task or project
2. Get rid of all distractions (eg. Phone, email)
3. Set your timer for 25 minutes
4. Work until you hear the timer
5. Take a break for 5 minutes
6. Mark a check on a piece of paper
7. Repeat steps 3-6 four times
8. Then take a break for 15 – 20 minutes

The Pomodoro Timer

In the 1980s, Cirillo used a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato to complete the drill and maintain concentration, hence the name Pomodoro (Italian for “tomato”). Nowadays, you can use apps like the Pomodoro Keeper (IOS), Marinara Timer (web), Simple Pomodoro (Android) and Focus Booster (Windows, Mac and web) to time your Pomodoros.

Want to Challenge Your Focus Now?

Another great way to stimulate your attention is to play our special suite of concentration games designed by neuroscientists and game experts!

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The Fit Brains Team

“Brain Training Success”

3 Daily Habits For a Healthy Happy Brain!

Mom and daughter laughing

1. Tickle Your Funny Bone
There’s a reason why they say “Laughter is the best medicine”! 20 minutes of laughter can fight brain aging according to The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Watch a comedy show, take a laughing yoga class or giggle with friends. This will reduce your stress hormones, such as cortisol, which affect cognitive function.

2. Curb Your Sweet Tooth
Eating sugar in excess can affect brain plasticity, the development of new neural pathways between brain cells when we do or learn something novel. A recent UCLA study found that the recovery of brain injured rats who drank sugar water was severely affected. Sugar also hinders cognitive function.

3. Learn Something New
Research findings indicate that learning a new skill for only 10 minutes daily can combat cognitive decline. Studying another language, for example, might be even better at fighting cognitive losses than drugs. So why not play for free one of our language games or another fun brain game today?

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The Fit Brains Team

“Brain Training Success”

Improve your brain health with the MIND diet

Woman eating fruit saladWhen most people hear the word “diet” they probably tend to think “difficult” or “impossible”, but most of us probably don’t expect that a diet is going to be easy to follow!  A diet is something we do because it’s good for us and we want to make some change in our health or our appearance, but not generally because it’s fun and easy.  That is about to change, thanks to the new MIND diet (short for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay).  

This diet is reportedly tied for first place as the easiest diet to follow, according to US News & World Report. (US News & World Report, 2015).  Like the name suggests, this is a diet that is also good for your brain, and is specifically designed to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.  In a study at the Rush University Medical Center, scientists found that “…the MIND diet lowered Alzheimer’s risk by about 35 percent for people who followed it moderately well and up to 53 percent for those who adhered to it rigorously.” (US News & World Report, 2015)  

A diet that can improve your brain health, help prevent Alzheimer’s AND is the easiest diet to follow?

So what exactly is the MIND diet?

It is a combination of the popular Mediterranean diet (think primarily plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains), and the DASH diet (again, emphasis on fruits and vegetables, no dairy).

Specifically, according to a report in US News & World Report, “The emphasis is on eating from 10 brain-healthy food groups: green leafy vegetables in particular, all other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine.”  With this diet you’ll need to “avoid foods from the five unhealthy groups: red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheeses, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.”

So, even if “diet” didn’t make your list of 2016 resolutions, this is one that won’t be hard to follow and is well worth it for better brain health!

Whether or not you decide to try the MIND diet, you can try playing brain games just to challenge yourself by playing fun games!  Have fun while you give your brain some exercise! And, Fit Brains has more games and more variety than any other brain training program.  Give Fit Brains a try today!

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And, follow us throughout the year to learn more about how to improve your brain health and maximize your potential in 2016!

Fit Brains. “Brain Training Success”

Source: “MIND Diet”. US News & World Report. 2015. Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/mind-diet

Use Your Brain to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Woman choosing between apple and cupcake

New Year’s Resolutions. Most of us make them, but many of us break them. According to studies on the science of motivation, only up to 30% of us will stick with our good intentions or changes that we have resolved to make. Most shockingly?  According to the author, research even finds that “the better we feel about our new year’s resolutions and our ability to stick with them, the less we actually will.” (Crew, 2014).  Wait. Say that again?  This may be because the more optimistic or over-confident you are, the fewer safeguards you will put in place to ensure follow-through.

So how do you improve your chances of keeping your new year’s resolution?

For starters, writing down your goal or resolution is helpful, but did you know that even how you phrase your resolution matters?  According to one study, writing it as an “if-then” statement (e.g, If I go to a restaurant then I will order a side salad instead of french fries) improves your odds of follow-through, as opposed to just writing something like “eat more salad at restaurants instead of fries.”  Reportedly, “For whatever reason, research suggests that our brains can get tricked into automatically and subconsciously responding to if/then statements.” (Crew, 2014).  In addition to putting your resolution in writing and phrasing it appropriately here are a few other simple tips that can help better your chances of successfully sticking with your resolution: 

  1. Keep your resolution attainable (like if you committed to improving your brain health that’s actually pretty fun and easy if you play Fit Brains brain games).
  2. Read your written resolution daily.
  3. Spread the word.  If your friends, family and colleagues know what your resolution is, they can help keep you accountable!

If you haven’t made a resolution yet, you still can!  When you think about it, what could be more important than committing to better brain health in 2016?  Whether you want to maintain a healthy brain and strong memory as you age, improve your speed of thinking on the job, or maintain better focus at school or work, Fit Brains brain games can help stimulate all areas of your brain function for better health.

The best part?  You can get started today with a Fit Brains Free Trial!

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Please share our post!

And, follow us throughout the year to learn more about how to improve your brain health and maximize your potential in 2016!

Fit Brains. “Brain Training Success”