Tag Archives: mind

Meditation for Beginners

meditation

We are often so busy we feel there is no time to add meditation to our schedule. But 10-15 minutes of daily meditation actually gives you more time by calming your mind and increasing your focus.

Your brain can adapt to a chaotic world, but it will function more efficiently over a longer period if you provide moments of inward reflection and rest. Mediation offers an easy way to achieve this. Taking a few minutes to meditate can also help you overcome stress and become more positive, happy and peaceful.  Below are tips for beginners to learn how to breathe right and relax the muscles for meditation.

Breathing 101

  • Sit with your eyes partially closed and turn your attention to your breathing.
  • Breathe naturally, preferably through your nostrils, without trying to control your breath.meditation
  • Try to become aware of the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils. The sensation of your breath is your object of meditation so concentrate on this and nothing else.
  • At first, your mind will be very busy; you might even feel that the meditation is making your mind busier. In reality you are
    just becoming more aware of how busy your mind actually is.
  • Resist the temptation to follow different thoughts as they arise; remain focused on the sensation of the breath.
  • If your mind wanders and is following your thoughts, immediately return it to your breathing.
  • Repeat this as many times as necessary until your mind clears.

Muscle Relaxation 101

meditation

  • Squeeze your right hand into a fist as hard as you can.
  • Hold the fist and pay attention to how uncomfortable the tension is in your fist.
  • Now, slowly release your fingers extending them one by one.
  • Notice how the tension leaves your fingers.
  • Now try this with other parts of your body where you might feel stress.
  • Tense your shoulders, neck, forehead, stomach, and then slowly release.
  • At the end of the exercise you may notice that energy in the form of stress has left you and you feel better.

We hope this post has taught you how to easily incorporate a few minutes of meditation into your daily lives!  Make sure to check out the Fit Brains portfolio of apps when you are done relaxing and you’re ready to work out your brain!

RECIPE: Purple Monster Smoothie (snack drink for the brain)

 

A great snack that helps rejuvenate the brain after draining amounts of studying, work, chores, etc.!  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we will add new brain healthy recipes every couple of days so visit often!

Purple Monster Smoothie

Serves: 1

What you Need:

  • 2 frozen bananas, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup orange juice (or soy milk)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Putting it all Together:

  • Place bananas, blueberries and juice in a blender and puree.
  • Use honey and vanilla to taste and voila!

Enjoy! :)

6 Tips To Relax The Mind

Sometimes, the influx of work and daily to-dos are stressful for many of us.  Our brains will likely become exhausted on more than a few occasions so we need to remember how to relax the mind!

Here are 6 tips from the Fit Brains team to help you clear & calm the brain during those stressful days!

  1. Yoga / meditation – Practicing yoga or meditation will help relax the body, mind, and soul. Sign up for a trial yoga class, many community centers will offer the 1st class for free. You can also try meditating at home by sitting in a comfortable position, closing your eyes, clearing your mind, and thinking about one specific but stress-free thing for 10-30 minutes.
  2. Keep hydrated – Drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated and clean. Toxins can build up in the body if it is dehydrated, which will often clog up the mind.
  3. Listen to music – Listening to music you enjoy triggers natural endorphins in your brain, so take a break and listen to some soothing music that you love.
  4. Shut off your brain – Do something mindless and/or repetitive. Activities like easy chores or light exercises are good because they don’t require a lot of thinking. Good examples are swimming, folding laundry, going for a walk, doing the dishes.
  5. Eat right – Cut back on stimulating foods such as coffee, energy drinks, sodas, and candy. Also try to avoid processed & artificial foods. You are what you eat so you need to eat healthy to have a healthy mind!
  6. Treat yourself – Do something you love and know will lower your stress level. We have all been living in our bodies long enough to know the things we like to do that will help us relax. Sometimes all we need is a break! Take a nap, get a massage, melt away in a bubble bath…do whatever you need to do to recharge yourself!

While brain breaks are great once in a while, don’t forget to keep your mind active on a regular basis to maintain its optimal performance! The Fit Brains Trainer app is great for exercising the mind without any burden of stress.  If you have kids, they can develop their brain skills with our new Fit Brains for Kids app as well!

Retirement and Dementia

Dr. Paul Nussbaum, the Chief Scientific Officer at Fit Brains, shares his valuable thoughts on the topics of Retirement and Dementia:

It’s ironic how people work their whole lives toward the goal of retirement but when it does come, many suffer anxiety and depression towards the idea of having nothing to think about or do.

For many years I have spoken and written about my resistance to “retirement” the way the policy and concept is positioned and treated in the United States. It is true that there may have been good intent with the idea of retirement, but my guess is that nobody considered the health implications for the brain. This becomes increasingly important when we know that a passive, isolated, lonely, and segregated brain will atrophy when we stop working.

Retirement certainly does not have to be a time of passivity. Indeed, many people at all ages retire to a different and even busier life than when they were employed. However, a recent study of nearly a half-million people by the French government’s health research agency found that people who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.

It is believed work is related to physical activity, socialization, mental stimulation, all things known to be good for the brain and three of the five major pillars of Dr. Nussbaum’s Brain Health Lifestyle ® (see www.paulnussbaum.com)For each additional year of work, the risk of getting dementia is reduced by 3.2% according to the study.

The major finding is supportive of the “use it or lose it” theory and I will simply add to that by saying you should “use it in new and complex ways or lose it.”  The answer is not to delay retirement to have a healthy mind and fulfilling life, it is the importance of keeping your mind and body active even after retirement.  Keep a personally relevant reason for getting up each morning, and feel good about your daily contributions to those around you.

Strive to be relevant, useful, healthy, and active every day in your life.  For the days that aren’t as busy as others, you can still keep your mind active and stimulated with the Fit Brains Trainer app!

8 Tips & Tricks To Help You Remember Everyday Things!

“Where did I leave my keys?”
“What am I forgetting to buy?”
“What time is that meeting?”
“He just introduced himself a minute ago…and I already forgot his name.”

We all have those moments when our memory fails us on the seemingly simplest daily tasks and items to remember.  Although the occasional memory loss is probably inevitable, there are ways we can reduce the number of “blank out” moments in our lives.  Try using these 8 easy tricks to improve your memory for those small things in life!

1. Pay attention – Give the item you know you will need to remember your full, undivided attention when you first input it into your brain.  For example, listen to the introduction being given to you instead of worrying about what you need to say after, or take some time to think about everything you need to buy before you leave your home. 

2. Repeat it- With everything you need to remember, use a minute or two to repeat it over and over in your mind.  This works for locations, people, inanimate objects, exam notes…anything you want to stick and stay in your brain.

3. Use your senses - When you forget something, use all of your senses to try to remember it.  For example, if you forget where your first date with your significant other was, try to think about the things you touched, tasted, felt, smelled, saw, etc.  It is very likely one of these sensory cues will help you remember.

4. Associate it- Use random associations that make sense to you when you need to remember something.  

  • Rhymes: The new guy at work called Stan goes to the beach a lot = Tan Stan.
  • Mnemonics: I need to buy Beef, Ricotta cheese, Apples, Nuts, Donuts from the grocery store today = B.R.A.N.D
  • Personal links: I always leave my keys on the table below the family portrait = name your keys “Family Keys”

5. Create a routine – If you need to remember something on a continuous basis, like locking the door or feeding a pet, make it a routine.  Create a schedule and do the task at the exact same time in the exact same way every time you need to do it. 

6. Take a break – Sometimes you need to rest your brain a little before you put it to work again.  Even if something is at the tip of your tongue, overusing your brain will likely make you begin to doubt or confuse yourself.
 
7.  Write it down – When you have too many things to remember at once, just write it down!  The easiest way to “remember” is to make a concrete note.  Use sticky notes, mobile device reminders, voice recordings, etc. 

8. Play Fit Brains Trainer – Our app exercises and improves your Memory, Processing Speed, Concentration, Problem-Solving, and Visual skills.  Fit Brains Trainer keeps your mind sharp in just minutes a day so CLICK HERE to download the app now!

Leave a comment & let us know the tips and tricks you use to remember everyday things!