Indicators of brain health, according to a neurologist

eEven though you feel like the smartest person in the world when you solve your Wordle puzzle of the day in two tries, do you really know how to keep your brain healthy?

The first step is defining brain health, and neuroscientist Haley Nelson, Ph.D., likes the World Health Organization’s definition best: “Brain health is a state in which each individual can realize their own abilities and optimize their cognitive, emotional, psychological and behavioral functioning to cope with life situations.’

Put plainly, “taking care of your brain is essential [for your] overall health and well-being,” says Dr. Nelson, because the organ plays a major role in nearly every system in the body—from thoughts and emotions to digestion, hormone regulation, and more.

So how do you take care of your feet? Start by checking out Dr. Nelson’s list of surprising things to look for that she shares below. (And of course, see your doctor if you have any urgent concerns.)

If you’re still looking for a little extra support, you can try supplementing your diet with ingredients like vitamin B6, B12 and coffee cherry extract – all found in Neuriva Plus Capsules. The formula is designed to support holistic and proactive brain health through six key cognitive metrics: learning, memory, focus, reasoning, accuracy and concentration*.

But remember: As you explore Dr. Nelson’s signs and suggestions, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to the brain. Because that’s part of what makes you unique.

Keep scrolling for 5 surprising signs of brain health with tips on how to maintain it.

1. You know how to relax

Prioritize sleep is the ever-present line on your list of intentions. Consider this another nudge. “If you can fall asleep easily, sleep through the night, and wake up feeling rested and refreshed, that’s a good indicator of overall health and well-being,” says Dr. Nelson.

In addition to tiredness or sluggishness during the day, the quality of sleep also affects concentration. According to Dr. Nelson, your ability to concentrate, react to situations with ease and speed, and stay focused during a task (ahem, all areas that Neuriva Plus is formulated to target*) are signs of health of the brain – and can be greatly improved with better sleep.

2. You can regulate your emotions

Dr. Nelson notes that “the ability to calm down in times of high stress through deep breathing, exercise, or meditation demonstrates your ability to control your nervous system.” Another factor that affects emotional regulation is the ability to apply skills for reasoning in situations of high stress.

On the other hand, repetitive thoughts (especially negative ones) indicate the opposite, according to Dr. Nelson, and can be harbingers of depression or anxiety. “Being able to ‘let things go’ easily, have healthy relationships and manage stress well are signs of [brain health],” she says. So give, book that yoga class, start a journal, or sign up for therapy—anything that helps you feel (and maintain) that healthy balance.

3. You learn quickly and retain what you learn

Have you picked up a guitar lately? Have you tried your hand at sourdough? According to Dr. Nelson, learning new things is vital, and it’s never too early or too late to start training your brain.

“Keeping your brain active is just as important as keeping your body active!” Dr. Nelson says. “Having a reliable memory and the ability to learn new things are great indicators of [brain health].”

4. You have a healthy gut

Did you know you have a second brain? It’s true, according to Dr. Nelson, and it’s called the enteric nervous system. “[It] processes sensory information in the gut and relays it to the brain, which in turn sends signals back to the gut to correct its function,” says Dr. Nelson.

“When the GI system is irritated, it can send signals to the central nervous system to cause mood changes,” she continues. “Certain strains of probiotics have been shown to have positive effects on psychological symptoms… and perceived stress in healthy volunteers.”

5. You have a comfortable — even thriving! – social life

Extroverts, rejoice. Dr. Nelson noted that people with closer relationships lived longer and happier lives and showed slower cognitive decline during aging.

Socialization requires acute perception, good judgment, and strong decision-making skills, all of which are key to cognitive accuracy, according to a 2014 study. Relationships also generally increase healthy behaviors and positive emotions, Dr. Nelson says. “This social support leads to… less stress hormones and therefore more longevity and brain health.” An excuse to plan a group trip with friends? Yeah, that’s pointless.

Get a coupon for $5 off the purchase of Neuriva Plus capsules when you order from Amazon.

*These claims have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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