A brain that is calm and has less neural activity may help you live longer, according to a new study by a team from Harvard Medical School. The findings revealed brain tissue from people who lived a very long life had lower levels of genes related to neural activity.
REST is a protein that can help reduce neural activity. It also has been found to have strong links to mortality.“This study shows that daily periods of slowed activity, whether spent in meditation, unitasking, or simply being still or sleeping are as important for brain health and longevity as activity and exercise,” Gayatri Devi, MD, a neurologist and psychiatrist at Northwell Health in New York, told a news portal. Adding,“The brain is the most energy-hungry organ in our body, consuming nearly a third of our energy, although it weighs only about one-seventieth of our body weight."
Here are a few strategies that could help calm your mind and live longer:
* Be aware of your body
Paying attention to your body can help reduce stress and make you more mindful. “Just some gentle stretches and awareness of where you’re holding your tension is a great starting point because when people acknowledge their body, they open up to what really is going on for them,” Maryanna Klatt, PhD, a professor of clinical family medicine at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, told a news portal.
“One way to recognize that we are going a thousand miles an hour is to watch our thoughts,” Klatt told a news portal. Adding, “If you’re not really listening, or not being present with whoever you’re with, that can be a wake-up call to be present and not miss the moment.”
*Chart it out
Taking time for yourself can do a lot of good. “Earmarking open space intentionally every day, so it’s not for X, Y, or Z, not for exercising, not for reading, but for unstructured time, can help,” Klatt told a news portal. Adding, " It’s about being really honest with yourself about having clear boundaries and telling yourself that you’re going to take a break from work, or kids, or trying to solve problems, during the downtime."
Klatt further explained: “I think that people waste their downtime. People feel doubly bad because they didn’t get anything productive done and what they really didn’t get done was relaxing.”
* Know when you experience burnout
There are days when you feel exhausted and overwhelmed when you need a break. Make sure you can spot the signs of burnout. “It’s when stuff that hadn’t in the past been a big deal suddenly becomes a big deal,” Klatt told a news portal. Adding “That’s the point where you want to step back before you get to the point where you’re really not effective at your job, nor effective at living the life that you want to live. Then it’s lose-lose.”
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