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Written By NaviPay Blog Contributor:
Suzanne Davis
Coastal Business Evolution, LLC

It is a well-known fact that physical activity has a positive effect on our stress levels, our moods, our well-being. Pandemics really are stressful and even the CDC got in the game with ways to cope that covered all kinds of stress, resources, and some suggestions on what to do. We wanted to take it a step further and explore deeper to find out are there things we should be doing, or could be doing to lift our moods, strengthen our brains and mind? Of course, there are!

Looking for a crash course on just getting through your day? Careers in Psychology offers “Seven quick and easy mental health exercises to get you through your day.” It includes the basics like taking deep breaths, stretching, setting realistic goals. Now if your goal is to go out to a party this weekend at a bar with 50 of your closest friends, you really need to be more realistic….

Today we want to focus on brain function. We all feel a little “brain dead’ from time to time, but did you know that brain function can decline with age? Actual cognitive functions like problem solving, memory, and attention can take a hit. But chronic stress, not just aging. has been linked to “increased cognitive failures” in our daily lives. Prolonged stress can even interfere with our ability to distinguish rational thoughts from emotional thoughts. There is a clear explanation for all the hoarding of toilet paper and hand sanitizer early in the pandemic.

But is there something we can do to improve our brain function? According to Medical News Today there definitely is and we simply need to head over to the app store and upload one of Five of the Best Apps to Train Your Brain. This article is complete with reviews of the apps and what brain or intelligence function they improve. They start with the “original”  and most widely used brain training app, Luminosity which impacts speed, memory, problem-solving, attention, and flexibility. Elevate which boosts “productivity, earning power and self-confidence”, please stand by…I’m downloading that one… Peak providing flexible training and tracking while improving memory, mental agility, language, and problem-solving. Devoid of emotion? Fit Brains targets emotional intelligence. Want to go really advanced? Then there is CogniFit which has a version for consumers, scientists, and even clinicians in medicine and mental health to use with their patients.

The fact is that we all want to keep our brains as healthy and young as possible. But do we need an app for that? They certainly cannot hurt, but there are other ways. According to Harvard medical School, there are 12 things that can help to keep your brain young. Practical advice, like mental stimulation (you are getting TONS of that reading this blog), exercise, healthy diet, building social networks, etc. Can’t remember the grandkid’s name or how to how to help home school them on fractions? Time to strengthen memory and cognition. Think Health has 5 tips to improve memory and cognitive function. Unable to read the room and you feel like an emotional idiot? Mark Manson of Life Advice That Doesn’t Suck has Five Skill to Help You Develop Emotional Intelligence.

Still, the biggest complaint that most of us have when under stress is that we just can’t seem to find our phone that is in our hands or our sunglasses on top of our heads. Okay, maybe that is just me. But stress induced memory loss is REAL. Don’t feel like you will never remember anything again. There is hope according to Healthline. There are 14 Natural Ways to Improve Your Memory. By things you do and do not ingest take a fish oil supplement, get enough vitamin D, cut out refined sugar and alcohol, cut back on carbs. Train your brain—I wonder if the Healthline author has any of the apps? Also included are mindfulness and meditation. Aren’t they the same? Nope. But they are both good for your brain. Next week we will dive into mindfulness, meditation, and simply how to be more Zen.

Go do some brain curls….get an app or crossword puzzle…..

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