How to Meditate When You Think You Can’t

Woman Meditate

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 Games

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The Fit Brains Team

“Brain Training Success”

Discover the Brain Benefits of Labor Day!

 

Man Working his Brain on Labor Day

Why your brain celebrates labor every day! It’s almost Labor Day, the unofficial end to summer, and by some reports, hot dog season. But we’re celebrating anyway! Aside from the positive contributions that workers of all kinds have given our society, work is good for your brain. Doing something new and challenging, like your work, benefits your mind. Fit Brain’s own Dr. Paul Nussbaum acknowledges the challenge and stress that can come with learning a new skill at work, but reassures that “You will develop new neural circuits, and your brain will thank you for the effort.” You will benefit the most if you try to continually challenge yourself by trying new tasks and learning new ways of doing things.

Even if you aren’t employed, learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby are other ways you can keep your mind active, challenged and engaged! Music lessons, sports, or a new language, are just a few examples of hobbies that can give you a new lease on life and stimulate your brain too.

Fun Fit Brains Games for the Brain

And, if you want to challenge and entertain your mind play Fit Brains fun games. Fit Brains games will give your brain “smart” entertainment.

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The Fit Brains Team

“Brain Training Success”

 

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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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”

 

Move your Body, Boost your Brain, Have a Happier Holiday!

Chihuahua ReindeerWow.  It is hard to believe the holidays are upon us once again!  It is supposed to be the “happiest time of the year”, but none of us will deny that it can also be a stressful time of the year.  We feel pressure for it to be “perfect”.  We seek the “perfect gift”, the “perfect meal”, the “perfect house”, and the “perfect family time”.  But seeking perfection is stressful and, let’s face it, pretty darn impossible.  This year, relax, try to lower your stress levels, and give your brain a break by taking steps to just remember what it’s all about.  Enjoy the time with friends and family.  Be thankful for your health.  Enjoy making memories with those you love.  Focus on positive emotions and building memories this holiday season.  

Easy said, but how exactly do you do this?

We recommend getting in a little movement and activity instead of just sitting around on the couch (ok, we love that too and won’t deny you some quality couch time!)  Start a dance party, play a game of frisbee or football outside, build a snowman with the kids, break out the Wii, or take a brisk walk with your family.

In addition to just plain feeling good after being surrounded by all that food, did you know that movement can release higher levels of good chemicals in your brain such as dopamine?  You’ll activate feelings of pleasure in the brain.  Goodbye holiday stress and anxiety!  Dopamine can also help boost your memory (and hey, you’re working to turn this into a holiday you’ll WANT to remember!)  You’ll also have increased focus and attention (for better quality time with loved ones), and in general you’ll just be giving yourself an all-around brain boost!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Fit Brains!  We wish you health and happiness during this holiday season.

Fit Brains. Brain Training Success.

 

Fit Brains’ Dr. Nussbaum Talks the Brain and Emotions

laughterRecently, Fit Brains Chief Science Officer, Dr. Paul Nussbaum, shared the exciting news about Fit Brains’ new Emotional Intelligence program with Boot Camp’s Technology Correspondent, Fred Fishkin.  This blog post is dedicated to sharing Dr. Nussbaum’s perspective on Emotional Intelligence and Fit Brains’ role in bringing Emotional Intelligence to the forefront of brain training!

According to Dr. Nussbaum, Emotional Intelligence is “a fascinating part of who we are.”   But, did you know that until very recently Emotional Intelligence is an area of the brain that has been largely ignored by scientists and health experts?  However, Emotional Intelligence is actually an extremely important brain function!

Without emotional control, people are unable to appropriately express emotions, read other people’s emotions, and make decisions accordingly.  It may sound simple, but it’s actually pretty complicated and something that none of us should take for granted.  In the words of Dr. Nussbaum, “Imagine how much better the world could be if we were all better at expressing our emotions and recognizing others’ emotions!”  Of course world peace would be at the top of our list, but even just think of how much easier it could be to get along with a difficult family member, co-worker, you name it!

If you are still wondering about the important role of Emotional Intelligence, take as an example the effect that injuries from high impact sports can have on your brain.  Football is one of the most common examples.  When most of us think of brain injuries that are common to football players, we probably mostly think of purely cognitive brain issues, like poor memory or even dementia.  However, one of the most interesting findings that Dr. Nussbaum relayed during the interview is that one of the primary problems facing football players is the toll that the game takes on one’s emotional control and how this impacts daily functioning.  Stories of violence, abuse and depression are all too common, and hindered emotional control has much to do with this.

So how can you prime your brain for stronger emotional control and intelligence?  According to Nussbaum, “Fit Brains has done a great job to build the ingredients of an app that goes after the emotional system and helps people work on that.”  

Dr. Nussbaum recommends Emotional training as a lifelong pursuit and suggests even starting as young as age six.  “The younger age the better.  Six and Seven is not too young to begin doing these things. Brain health is a lifelong pursuit. The brain doesn’t know how old it is- it just wants to be stimulated.” (Makes sense, huh?)

If you haven’t yet, try Fit Brains new Emotional Intelligence games today!  They are fun and free to try.

Fit Brains

“Brain Training Success”