7 Tips for a Healthier Brain

The Cognitive Therapeutics Method™ promotes quality of life for individuals who want to take a proactive approach to the long-term cognitive health of himself or herself or a loved one. In line with the Cognitive Therapeutics Method’s mission to keep aging minds sharper longer, we have put together 7 tips for leading a brain-healthy lifestyle!

  • Socialize. Story-telling, reminiscing or relaxing with family and friends is time well-spent. Being social exercises your memory and keeps you socially connected; these rich, meaningful relationships help your brain stay engaged, maintain your sense of community and sharpen your overall cognitive ability.
  • Senior woman doing a crosswordStimulate the mind. Mentally engaging activities like cards, Sudoku and puzzles exercise the brain, keeping it healthier longer. Reading works our language and attention skills, and activities like chess or origami exercise our visual-spatial perception and executive functioning skills. Many studies have shown that the continuation of learning new skills or pursuing continuing education may also reduce the risk of cognitive decline by forming new neural pathways in the brain.
  • Take care of your mental health. Stress can block the part of your brain that processes and files away new information so it is important to promote calm in everyday life – try yoga, meditation or prayer to de-stress. Some studies link depression with risk of cognitive decline, so seek help if you have difficulty with anxiety, depression or stress to optimize your mental health, and in turn, your brain health.
  • Exercise. Physical activity increases heart rate and stimulates blood flow to the brain. By exercising, you are engaging both the circulatory system, which promotes the removal of toxins, and the brain itself, especially the frontal lobe which promotes executive functioning and includes reasoning, problem solving, judgement and cognitive flexibility.
  • Eat well. Super foods that promote heart health and blood flow are great brain foods and include fish, nuts, olive oil, blueberries and dark chocolate. We have featured articles proving that diets high in fat and sugar affect our brain health by decreasing our cognitive flexibility, the ability to adapt to new situations. We recommend a Mediterranean diet which consists of fruits, vegetables, beans, unrefined grains and fish along with moderate consumption of wine.
  • Engage in a hobby. Whether it’s picking up an old hobby or finding a new one, multiple studies have shown an inverse relationship between participation in leisure activities and development of dementia. Recreational activities can have cognitive, physical and social aspects that are also found to be beneficial to healthy aging.
  • Stimulate your senses. Listen to a favorite song, try aromatherapy, massage your hand or look at pictures from your last trip that bring you good feelings. In addition to maintaining sensory skills with practice and stimulation, sensory stimulation can provide positive social interactions and cognitive exercise.

Try adopting these habits into your daily routine, and pick things that you love that will be easy to add – for instance, incorporate your favorite fruit or vegetable into your daily diet or spend 15 minutes in the morning meditating. Small, healthy changes in daily living will not only boost brain health, but promote longevity too!


The Cognitive Therapeutics Method: Non-Pharmacological Approaches to Slowing the Cognitive and Functional Decline Associated with Dementia