A healthy brain is just as important as a healthy body

-Chophitoli sumi, BA 1st semester, Mass Communication, Tetso College

In comparison to other animals, the human brain is larger and has more capabilities that distinguish us, such as the ability to talk, think abstractly, reason, make decisions, solve problems, and cooperate in groups. Because the brain controls so many aspects of daily life, it is perhaps the most valuable organ in the human body, and there is no doubt that a healthy brain is important for our overall health.

The importance of maintaining a healthy body has long been emphasized, and we have awareness campaigns and articles that explain different risk factors and strategies to reduce diseases. But when it comes to maintaining a healthy brain, it is still a new notion to the public, even though there has been medical research and discovery surrounding the human brain over the years. Many studies have claimed that brain disease has become a major healthcare problem and that the number of people affected is growing as the population ages. The development of the brain can be disrupted and the function of the brain compromised by conditions during life, such as stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease, and others. According to the WHO, the burden of neurological and neuro-developmental conditions is high, with low- and middle-income nations bearing around 70% of the burden. With approximately 9 million deaths each year, neurological diseases are the second-leading cause of death worldwide and the major cause of disability-adjusted life years.

There is no universally recognised definition of brain health, but according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, brain health is the ability to accomplish all mental processes of cognition, such as learning and judgment, language usage, and memory. The healthier the brain, the better we can live our lives and deal with challenges and issues. Here are some steps that professionals recommend we take to keep our brains healthy: Going for a medical checkup and consulting a specialist is something we should all do on a regular basis. There are also numerous proven benefits to exercise, and it appears that regular physical activity improves the brain. Sleep is also essential for the well-being of your brain, and consecutive sleep allows your brain to better consolidate and remember memories. Another important thing you can do is maintain a healthy diet. Your diet has a significant impact on the health of your brain. Choose a healthy diet based on the advice of medical professionals and dieticians. According to some studies, mental illness can contribute to memory loss. Social connection can help prevent depression and stress.

Another important point is that your brain is like a muscle: you have to exercise it or you lose it, so remaining mentally engaged is important. Emotions, whether positive or negative, can affect our brain chemistry and actions. Positive thinking can improve creativity, focus, problem-solving abilities, and overall mental productivity. You can keep your brain in shape by doing things like playing chess, reading books, learning a new language, and solving puzzles. Negative emotions, on the other hand, might cause shorter response times, memory impairment, and lower impulse control. While some may need professional help, some can benefit from simple steps and practise to maintain a positive mindset, which is beneficial to overall brain health. If you are anxious, stressed, or caught in negative thought patterns, take a moment to pause and filter out thoughts that are not helpful to you. Negative thinking can cause issues including social anxiety, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Instead of dwelling on negative thoughts, search for solutions and practical ways to solve the negative things you feel are there in your life, which is also a good way to exercise your brain.

According to the WHO, there are factors that affect how our brains develop, adapt, and respond to stress and adversity, such as physical health, healthy environments, safety and security, learning and social connection, and so on. And it is important to take responsibility as an individual to improve our overall brain health, but on a bigger level, when we address these factors as a society, we not only improve our own brain health but also create good social and economic benefits, all of which lead to better well-being and help society advance.

The Degree of Thought Column is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. The column explored contemporary social, cultural, political, and educational issues and challenges around us. However, the views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC-accredited, UCG-recognized Commerce and Arts college. Currently, the Degree of Thought Column is managed by the department of Mass Communication, and the editorial team are Dr Jenny Lalmuanpuii, KC Gabriela and Rinsit Sareo. For feedback or comments, please email: [email protected].