Reading is one of the best ways to nourish your brain by keeping it active and giving you new information. According to research from the University of Cincinnati, habitual reading shapes the way we think and is the backbone of how we process information. It can be challenging to pick up a book when you’re preoccupied with work, school, or just the general hustle and bustle of daily life, but taking a few moments from your day to read a chapter or two can still make a difference in your mind and health. So why not kill two birds with one stone and read up on books on brain health, too, for maximum impact? Here are a few great reads to get your journey started.
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Have you ever struggled to make a decision quickly? Author and psychologist Daniel Kahneman discusses the mind and the way it works in Thinking, Fast and Slow. He explains that we have two systems: one that acts on instinct and one that is more deliberate and requires more attention. What we do and think differs depending on the system that’s in charge of the brain at that moment. The book dives into how these two thinking processes inform our decisions and
why we struggle to comprehend certain concepts. Being aware of our brain and how it thinks is key to understanding our actions and making better choices for ourselves in the long run.
Supercharge Your Brain: How To Maintain A Healthy Brain Throughout Your Life
Sometimes, life makes us wish there was a maintenance guide for our brains to keep them in peak condition. Supercharge Your Brain author and professor James Goodwin unpacks the impact of brain damage and how keeping a healthy brain is vital in avoiding the significant effects of the trauma. He emphasizes the importance of constantly learning something new, caring for and protecting the body physically, and even keeping proper hygiene in maintaining the brain’s condition and functions. It gives great practical knowledge on actively and intentionally looking after your brain.
Keep Sharp: How to Build A Better Brain At Any Age
For many people, aging is considered an enemy, given how aging leads to physical decline and slows down mental cognition — but this doesn't always have to be the case. In Keep Sharp, neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta compiles insights from top scientists from all over the world, imparting to us cutting-edge research on how we can become “super-brained” people or those in their eighties and nineties who show no signs of slowing down. He talks about many things, including aging and mental decline myths, how to prevent and spot brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and if there are food or exercises that are best for the brain. It sets the facts straight, so you have the critical information you need to start working towards a healthier brain.
Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
Culture has convinced us that physical exercise is distant from mental improvement, but it is an underrated tool to keep your mind active. Dr. John Ratey discusses the power of exercising to keep the brain in tip-top shape in Spark. He opens with a case study on a particular high school where rather than having a traditional gym class, students went through more vigorous exercise. Observations showed that overall academic performance improved. Exercise fosters a connection between the brain and body, guarding against stress, improving moods, and keeping addictions at bay. By understanding your brain's and body's communication, you can handle problems more efficiently and make better choices.
Good brain health translates to physical and mental health, and vice versa. As previously mentioned in a previous blog Physical Health, Brain Health and Mental Health, all three factors are closely intertwined, so a holistically healthy lifestyle can go a long way in supporting these connections. One of the best habits to support overall health is reading, so there's no better time to pick up a book than today.
Written exclusively for Weirdwonderfulbrain.com
by Ashley Crestwood