December. It’s a month of family get-togethers, gifts, shopping, and let’s face it, that usually comes with a heightened feeling of anxiety. It’s a wonderful time of the year, but it’s hardly a month that we associate with rest and relaxation. During this busy month it’s important to remember that your brain needs balance and inner peace to keep it functioning at it’s best. While it’s good to actively “exercise” your brain, just like your body, your brain also needs periods of rest in order to recharge. This is because chronic stress is bad for the health of your brain, and peace and quiet helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Neuroscientists are now exploring both religious and non-religious forms of spirituality and how they affect the brain. Practicing meditation can help reduce depression, anxiety and stress, and researchers at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia found that meditation can even specifically improve memory and concentration (Blumberg, 2014).
In addition to spiritual practices such as meditation, here are some other top tips to ease anxiety and find that inner peace and balance that your brain needs.
- Engage in daily prayer and/or practice complete forgiveness
- Engage in deep breathing (5 min. 3 times daily)
- Focus on and repeat positive ideas
- Practice yoga
- Engage in progressive muscle relaxation daily for 10 minutes (it’s pretty simple. First you deliberately tense your muscles and then simply relax them)
- Muscle relaxation is even more effective if you pair it with visualization and imagery techniques! (create a mental image of a peaceful or attractive environment)
- Give yourself 30 minutes a day to just stop and be at rest
- Play Fit Brains Emotional Intelligence games that are designed to help you assess your mood and put you in a positive state of mind.
What are your favorite techniques for reducing stress and anxiety during this busy time of the year? Share your comments with us!
Fit Brains. Brain Training Success.