Pillars of Brain Health include Prayer
Brain health is influenced by many factors, and one of the most important is stress. How the body and brain respond to chronic, repetitive stress is called allostatic load. The brain is a very resilient organ, and neuroplasticity helps the brain to adapt to stress. None pharmacological methods to enhance brain health include stress management, nutrition, exercise, sleep, prayer and socialization. Practicing mindfulness, yoga, cognitive behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy are just a few ways to manage stress.
The brain is 60 percent fat, and science says that healthy fatty acids like omega-3’s should be a staple in our diet—decreased levels can cause depression and fast foods worsen it. Good food choices for brain health include almonds, peanuts, avocado and olive oil. We all know that exercise is good for the heart, but it is good for the brain, as well. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor increases with exercise and helps to elevate mood. Depletion of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol also combats depression and anxiety.
Forty million Americans suffer from insomnia, and science reveals that having seven hours of restful sleep a night is advantageous for a healthy immune system and better mental focus, and avoiding dementia and Alzheimer’s. Neurotheology is a new field of research that seeks to make the connection in how spending time in prayer enhances frontal lobe activity and creates neuroplasticity in the brain. Socialization helps to sharpen cognitive skills and memory, as well as creating a sense of well-being.
Jerron C. Hill, M.D., is the medical director of the Ketamine Health & Wellness Center, in Plano. For more information, call 972-212-4341 or visit KetamineHealthTX.com.