by Apple Therapy
About World Brain Day
The World Federation of Neurology and the World Federation for Neurorehabilitation are hosting the World Brain Day campaign, which is an annual event occurring on July 22nd. World Brain Day was launched in 2014 with an aim of raising global awareness of brain health and healthcare. This year’s theme for the 2023 World Brain Day is brain health and disability.
There are five main goals for the 2023 campaign: prevention, awareness, access, education, and advocacy. Brain disabilities can be prevented, treated, and rehabilitated. To treat and rehab appropriately and in a timely manner, awareness of the importance of brain health and access to health care is vital (WFNeurology.org).
While we may not be able to control our genetics, the good news is we can still actively improve our brain health!
Steps towards a healthy brain and healthy body
Hobbies and games- Your brain is an organ, though it is similar to a muscle in that if you don’t use it, you will “lose” it. Mental exercise can improve and help maintain your brain functioning capacity. Picking up a new hobby requires learning new skills, thus engaging your brain to work harder. Games and puzzles are also great activities to keep the brain sharp.
Mental health counseling- Checking in on your mental health is just as important as annual visits for your physical health. Mental health counseling, such as talk therapy or cognitive behavior therapy, can increase activity in regions of the brain that help us with emotion regulation, thinking and decision making, while decreasing activity from the Amygdala (the brains fight or flight center).
Social life- Staying connected in your social life is an important part of holistic wellbeing that can protect against memory decline. When you engage in stimulating conversation and share emotions with others, you boost your brain with beneficial chemicals that are good for brain health.
Exercise- Exercise improves blood flow to the brain and body and can change the way our brain responds to external stimuli. This change benefits our ability to think, react, and learn from difficult situations. Additionally, people who exercise regularly may have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as they age.
Sleep, meditation, mindfulness- Sleep is a vital part of muscle and brain recovery. We need sufficient sleep to feel energized; sleep deficit can contribute to negative mood and mindset, weaken immune system, and impact our heart and body vital signs as well. Practicing yoga, meditation, or mindfulness can also help with stress management and warding off brain health decline.