Although we put a lot of emphasize on the health of our hearts, our brains are arguably the most important organ in our bodies. Studies show that factors like depression, social isolation, alcohol use, sleep disorders, insufficient education, and hearing loss all affect a healthy mind, which affects how we breathe, make choices, and so forth.
Exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, maintaining healthy eating habits, and staying mentally active and socially involved are just a few ways to improve your brain’s health and your overall wellbeing.
To mark August’s Brain Health Month at the Center for Health & Wellbeing, we’ve curated five CHWB On-Demand programs to keep your mind sharp and your spirits high.
1. Exercise for Brain Health
You know exercise is good for your body, but did you know movement is also good for your brain? In this program, you’ll learn to improve your memory, creative skills and ability to cope by adding healthy moves to your life. As you move your body, your brain becomes stronger, you create new neural networks, stimulate new connectivity, strengthen existing blood vessels and repair damaged vessels. This leads to a sense of overall wellbeing and opens a world of health opportunities as we improve our cognitive health.
2. Overcoming COVID Brain
Our attention this past year has been diverted to unending news of the pandemic, politics, racial unrest and violence. The firehose of headlines everywhere we turn, all vying for our limited, precious resource – our attention – has left many of us feeling fragmented and weary.
And what we focus our attention on is amplified – it becomes our experience. By watching this session led by Licensed Mental Health Counselor Jill Hamilton Buss, you can gain a deeper understanding into how your brain and how the process of attention work. Learn tips and strategies to help you regain your ability to pay attention to things that matter to YOU.
3. Keeping Your Energy High
Learn five habits you can follow to keep your energy high and your brain functioning at its peak potential, no matter your age. This program is presented by senior researcher Dr. David Metcalf, corporate performance coach Dr. Lauren Hodges, and Tara Gidus Collingwood, a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition, fitness, and health promotion.
4. Re-Training How You Think
So often self-defeating talk, harsh self-criticism and difficulty tolerating physical and mental discomfort create barriers to the wellbeing goals we wish to achieve. Based in part on the work of Dr. Kelly McGonigal, the author of The Neuroscience of Change, Licensed Mental Health Counselor Alison C. Issen explores the foundations of positive change and changing our relationship to stress. She discusses ways of turning your mind away from your default patterns and negativity that no longer serves you, in order to establish new behaviors and attitudes that support and sustain your current goals and values.
5. Learning a New Hobby
Studies have shown that spending time in nature and birdwatching can be beneficial for your intellectual and emotional wellbeing. Laura VonMutius, education manager at Maitland’s Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, shares why birding is a great hobby for your mind.
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As part of the Center for Health & Wellbeing’s Community Education offering, the Nutrition Theatre at CHWB is home to cooking classes and demonstrations during which participants learn how to incorporate healthy ingredients into everyday meals. Workweek Lunches was a cooking class recently hosted at CHWB with Chef Collette Keller, a classically trained Culinary Institute…
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