Our Cognitive Functions needs both Routine and Changes/Novelty to Improve.
To Empower and to Keep our Brain Active and Healthy can Be very Simple. The Secret to Optimizing our Cognitive Functions can be found in our Daily Habits, Creating a Strong Daily Routine and Practicing Regularly Physical Exercises alternating between Stretching, Anaerobic and Aerobic Exercises for Creating also a sense of Change in our Mind and Flexing different Hemispheres of the Brain as Consequence of the Body Coordination.
Create and Live a Daily Routine
What we Do in the Morning have a Strong Impact on our Brain’s Performances.
Moreover Developing Mental Strength and Boost Cognitive Functioning is a Work in Progress. Mental Strength requires that we Continue to Enforce our Mind Practicing Regularly the same Activities and Building New Neural Pathways by Learning New Things and to Acquiring New Competences.
To Create a really Successful Morning Routine you should Personalize it in a Way that each Task is Accomplished to meet your Unique Empowering Behaviors, Needs and Goals.
Here some Suggested Tasks for an Effective Morning Routine (Get Inspiration to Create your own):
- Wake up Early in the Morning (5:00/5:30 am) By simply adjusting our Sleep Schedule to be more Normalized and Waking up Early in the Morning, we can both Improve our Mood and our Intellectual Performances. According to Ayurveda, between the 4 to the 6 of the Morning the Vata Element is dominant. Vata Governs Movement in the Body and the Nervous System. By Waking up during the time of Vata Energy our Body becomes more Responsive and in Tune with the Nature.
- Drink a Glass of Water. Hydrate the Body Actives the Metabolism and, as demonstrated by several Scientific Studies, the Cognitive Functions as Concentration, Alertness and Short-Term Memory. Our Psychomotor skills are highly Influenced by our Level of Hydration.
- Meditate (15 Minutes) A Regular Meditation Practice improves Focus and Executive Functions, the higher-level Thinking required for Effective and Flexible Creative, Rational and Problem-Solving Thinking. An Alternative to the Traditional Mindfulness Meditation is Priming. It is a Sequence/Practice of 3 Phases that Includes a Breathing Exercise + a Moment of Prayer/ Gratitude + a Meditation/Visualization.This Exercise or Routine has been Ideated by Tony Robbins in order to Optimize the Time dedicated to the Morning Routine and to Be more Active, Focused and Productive through all Day. (it Takes just 10/15 Minutes).
- Practice a Moderate Physical Activity (15 Minutes) Physical Exercises as Stretching or Yoga are a great way to Wake up the Brain and Muscles. Doing a mini Yoga Circuit like a Few Minutes of Sun Salutations will Improve Oxygen flow to the Brain.
- Take a Shower (10 Minutes) If Cold, it is very Stimulating for the Nervous System and this helps bathe the Brain and the Organs in fresh blood while also cleaning out the System. It also offer a relief from anxiety and Sense of Panic (for Example before an Exam or an Important Meeting)
- Eat a Healthy Breakfast (15 Minutes) Eating Breakfast at the same time every day helps to regulate Circadian Rhythm and Digestion, priming the Brain for Peak Performances and Reducing the need for unnecessary Decision-Making.
- Plan the Day & Write your Journal (20 Minutes) To Plan the Day Permits to Be Focused on the Important Tasks without Loosing Time in Further Decisions during the Process. It also helps to avoid Multitasking. Keeping a Journal Helps us establish Order in our Thoughts, Feelings and Fears and Consequently Improving Cognitive Functions as Result of a Major Awareness.
- Read (a Book, the Daily News or Learn Something New) (at least 30 Minutes) Reading is a Basic Cognitive Stimulation Activity that Improve Concentration, Memory and it has also Stress Relief Effects.
This Morning Routine take about 2 hours but Consider that it Includes many Tasks that usually a Person Does Naturally without to Consider them a “Conscious Practice/Routine” to Activate the Day at Best.
“We are what we Repeatedly Do. Excellence, then, is not an Act, but a Habit.” Aristotle
Practice Physical Exercises
It is Possible to Chunk a Session in 2 Sessions of : One in the Morning (15 Minutes) and one in the Late Afternoon/Evening (30/45 Minutes)
There is increasing of Scientific Studies that evidence how Physical Activity supports the Maintenance and the Improvement of the Cognitive Functions. Neuroscience Researchers have known for decades that Brain-derived Neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is Released during Aerobic Exercise and Stimulates Neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons). Simple Basic Physical Exercises, which Improve Coordination, have Effects on Neurotrophins, Endogenous Proteins (known also as “Brain Food”) that support Brain Plasticity (Neuro-Plasticity in the Innate Capability of the Brain of Creating New Connections) and Increase Brain Volume in Areas implicated in Executive Processing Brain Function, Memory Enhancement and Learning.
Only during the last years Researchers at the University of Florida and at Harvard University have honed the Studies about the Connection between Physical Exercises and the Development of the Cognitive Functions discovering an “Exercise Hormone” called Irisin is released during moderate Aerobic Activity. When Cardiorespiratory System is Engaged and Muscles are Exerted, Irisin Hormone is released Improving Cognitive Functions and Protecting the Brain against Degeneration.
It is also Interesting to know that German Neuroscientists Institute of Medical Psychology of Goethe University have showed that Walking or Cycling during, but not before, Learning Sessions can help new Foreign Language Vocabulary to Stick. A Suggestion? Do Exercise while you Revise.
Exercise Moderately and Gradually: to much Vigorous Workouts can raise the Stress Levels, which can Scupper Memory Circuits.
Author: Cristina Capucci