Sleep. Your second favorite S word and the one you spend a third of your life doing.
Being able to formulate different concepts, to think abstractly, and to be mentally flexible are all cognitive functions that decline as your years go by, especially after you reach 70.
What can you do?
How many times have you scrambled for a piece of paper when someone on the phone says “The number is 720583…”? Don’t worry—we all have.
When was the last time you fasted? No, really fasted – no tiny snacks, just water for a whole day. Fasting is not a new concept. Our forefathers from ancient Greece (including Hippocrates, Father of Medicine and philosophers the likes of Plato and Aristotle) have been abstaining from food and touting its rejuvenating effects on health.
Are you wasting your potential productivity with a wandering mind?
A failure to focus on the tasks in front of you isn’t just frustrating; it can negatively affect your performance. If you’re sick of struggling to concentrate and your work is suffering because of it, you might benefit from adding meditation to your routine.
Growing new brains cells is the stuff of science fiction, right?
Well, not exactly. It exists in the real world, with each and every one of us able to add neurons to our brain—an organ we once thought had a finite number of cells that had to last a lifetime.
Pain is normal. It’s a signal that something isn’t right for your body, and it’s an exceptionally helpful tool that moves us away from negative things instinctively. However, chronic pain is not normal, and can have a devastating impact on quality of life, productivity, and mental health. When a person suffers with chronic pain, the ‘pain pathways’ in their body are hyper-sensitive, firing off at the lightest stimuli(1). Be it fibromyalgia, low back pain, or osteoporosis, it’s a problem you never want to have.
Concentration is crucial in combat sports, and its a fundamental requirement for effectively anticipating and intercepting attacks while planning counter-moves. Repeated practice invariably hones and sharpens your instincts. In everyday life, this has been shown to translate to better ability to pay attention.
Take glucose for example. Until recently, the scientific community believed that in order to function well, the brain needed a generous supply of glucose. However, recent information has shown that the brain can take 75% of its fuel from ketone bodies.
We all know what it feels like to lie awake in the wee hours of the morning, tossing and turning before falling into a fitful sleep. It’s certainly no fun, and it’s the fast track to waking up feeling cranky and unrested. Now, that might be bearable for a day or two, but constant sleep troubles can take a heavy toll on the mind and body.
From the haunting music of Mesopotamia, to Bach and all the way to Kanye West – music has been a constant throughout the evolution of mankind. And why shouldn’t it be? If you’ve ever cried to your favourite sad song, suddenly found the will to run that extra mile when an upbeat track comes on, or ever felt the ‘chills’ (known as musical fissions) when listening to a song that you really like – you know the strange power that music has over us.
The Kuna-Indians, residents of an archipelago on the Carribbean coast of Panama, seem to have got the recipe for a long healthy life right. Documented to live longer than other Panamanians, with very low rates of chronic diseases that plague nearly all first world countries: stroke, cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and high blood pressure. What’s their secret?
Nature vs. nurture. It’s a topic that’s been discussed back and forth for decades, and we learn more about the impact our choices have on our cognitive function every day. More recently, research has focused on our diet, and whether or not it can affect our focus and learning ability. Hint: it can.
The battle with drowsiness ensues in the hour after lunch. When there’s work to be done, struggling to pay attention and focus on the task at hand, we often turn to caffeine as our savior. But is there another way? Can we minimize or prevent the post-lunch crash? Why does it even happen at all?