It’s the holidays and many of us are scrambling around trying to find that perfect gift for someone special (or, maybe just ANY gift at this point!) While it may feel like a chore to pick out a gift, giving someone a gift is actually good for your brain! That’s right, not only is it fun to receive gifts, when you give a gift it’s proven to have a positive effect on your mental well-being!
Studies at the National Institutes of Health found that gift-giving activates different regions in your brain linked to pleasure, social connection and trust, which is good for the overall health of your brain. What’s more, when you give, you also tend to create an atmosphere of generosity, increasing the likelihood that others around you will be more generous too! (Yeah, this could work in your favor!)
Before you rush to the first item you see, keep in mind that the positive effects will be more powerful if you give a gift that is meaningful. And, who doesn’t want to challenge their brain? Fit Brains has something to offer everyone. And, with the most games and variety of any brain training program on the market, it’s sure to entertain anyone.
Your life story: it’s one of the most important assets you have. It’s your identity, what makes you, you. What’s more, it’s your family’s story that helps shape your personal life story. Do you have fond memories of hearing stories about your family history shared with you by grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles? Have those stories and collective wisdom helped shape who you are today? We all want to be able to play a part in keeping our family story and our personal story alive and we do this by sharing our stories with the next generation. But, none of this would be possible if we do not maintain a healthy brain as we age.
As we age, we need to keep our memories and our minds sharp so that we can preserve our stories and share them. One important thing you can do is maximize the health of your brain and strengthen your memory, in order to share your life story, keeping it alive. Eating a well-balanced diet, getting exercise, getting plenty of sleep, and keeping your brain mentally stimulated by engaging in specific activities such as playing brain training games will all have a positive impact on your memory and the overall health of your brain.
Here are some of our other favorite ideas for preserving and sharing your family story:
Begin a family newsletter or a family blog so that you can stay better connected with family members near and far.
Start a scrapbook or photo album about your family.
Put together a family cookbook.
Research your family history (there are a myriad of free and paid online genealogy resources).
Keep a journal and encourage your family members to do the same!
Organize a family reunion.
Challenge your brain by playing Fit Brains so that you can stimulate your memory and share your story!
Take some time this month to connect with family members, reflect on your story, and take some steps to focus on your brain health, especially focusing on training your brain for a stronger memory.
It’s National Family Stories Month. What are your favorite ways to preserve and share your family’s story? Share with us and other readers in the comments section!
Be sure to follow our blog for more lifestyle & health tips. And, you can always challenge your brain when you play Fit Brains fun brain games!
Bad News: It’s Monday morning. Coffee is not working. Schedule for the day involves a lot of thinking, talking, and moving.
Coffee is not the only solution to life’s problems.
Weekday mornings are never appealing to the brain. However, there are certain things you can do to ease the torturous time and effort to wake up, refresh, and energize your mind. Check out our tips below:
Drink Water — Drink a glass of water immediately after you wake up to kick up your metabolism and de-fog your brain.
Don’t “Snooze” — You’re setting yourself up to feel lazy & unmotivated throughout the day when you delay waking up and hit “snooze” multiple times in the morning. Pick a time that gives you enough sleep but also enough time to go through your morning routine without rushing, and wake up when your first alarm rings.
Open the Blinds — Sunlight has a direct effect on the activity in our brains. When we deprive our brains of light, we will stay in a groggy, sleep-like state of consciousness. Bright light helps shift our brain waves to higher frequencies and triggers the release of brain-happy neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
Exercise in the Morning — The act of exercising in the morning might sound horrendous if you’ve never done it, but besides obvious health reasons, it’ll actually give you more energy throughout the whole day. Try sleeping in your workout clothes to lessen the chances of making excuses in the morning.
Turn up the Music — Listen to some upbeat tunes as you get ready in the morning. Studies have shown that music is the one stimulus that lights up the entire brain on a PET scan. Music helps the brain release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate the brain’s pleasure and reward centres, as well as emotional responses and motivation.
Take a Cold Shower — No explanation needed. It’s horrible. But it works.
Don’t treat Coffee like a “Drug” — On days you feel more energized, try to forego the coffee, or at least try cutting down the amount you drink everyday. If you absolutely need a pick-me-up, try drinking some brain-healthy green tea instead!
Eat Breakfast — Take the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” seriously. Breakfast gives your brain vital nutrients that it needs in order to optimally carry out mental processes throughout the day. Think of it as fuel for your body, without it, you’ll run out of fumes! Try including some brain-healthy foods in your breakfast diet.
Talk to Someone — Engage in some light chit-chat with a family member, friend, or co-worker in the morning. Even though you might not feel like it, taking the initiative to engage in a conversation really helps to get your mind & body out of a “zombie-like” state.
Play Fit Brains — Prep your brain for a new day’s workload by spending a few minutes playing Fit Brains brain games. Fit Brains exercises help stimulate and entertain your mind. You can play Fit Brains on any web browser or train on-the-go with our iOS, Android, or Amazon app!
Do YOU have any “wake-up” tips of your own? Share with us in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #wakeupbraintip!
As we get older, it gets harder for our brain cells to communicate with each other. Therefore, it gets harder to learn new things. Blackberries provide potent antioxidants known as polyphenols that zap inflammation and encourage communication between neurons, improving our ability to soak up new information!
Check out this healthy, easy. & scrumptious lamb chops recipe that features a delicious blackberry sauce. If you don’t eat lamb, you can also substitute the lamb with beef. Dinner is served!
Easy Lamb Chops with Blackberry Sauce
What you need:
1 1/2 teaspoons shallots, chopped
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups blackberry pulp
2 teaspoons honey
1 whole clove
1 teaspoon cardamon
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups red wine
4 lamb chops
Putting it all Together:
Saute the shallots and garlic in hot olive oil until translucent.
Mix the blackberry pulp, honey, clove, cardamon and jalapeno in a bowl.
Add the wine and cook until reduced to half.
Grill the lamb, and serve with sauce drizzled over top!