As we start this New Year, it is the perfect time to remind yourself to incorporate balance into your New Year’s resolutions. It can be easy to pile on an endless list of aspirations year after year and then get overwhelmed and discouraged when it becomes too difficult to implement all of those self-imposed demands.
Here, at Neurology Office, we stress the importance of maintaining your physical and mental health for the long term. And, this comes in the form of prioritizing yourself. Do what you love, engage in the activities that make you feel alive, and prioritize the hobbies that keep your brain stimulated.
Do What You Love
Do your New Year’s resolutions include activities that you love to do? We sure hope so.
Research has shown that when you engage in activities that you love, you are most likely to repeat them in the future. It takes 21 days to develop a habit, and if you love what you do, that time will fly by. The research findings apply to social events, exercise, and personal hobbies.
When you drag your feet to do an exercise that you despise while neglecting a workout that truly gives you joy, you rob your brain of the opportunity to produce the feel-good chemicals, such as dopamine, that have significant energizing and anti-depressant effects! Doing what you love is the ultimate win-win situation that allows you to solidify your New Year’s resolutions into your daily life.
Engage in Fun Activities
For many, participating in stimulating and rewarding activities gives meaning to the mundane. Some examples of “fun activities” include involvement in your local community, volunteer work, travel, or time spent with family and friends. When you cut yourself off from things that you love, you lose energy, drive, stamina, and you lose focus and attention, making activities that you must do at work that much more challenging.
Socialization has an immense impact on the brain, as, over time, healthy involvement in social activities has proven to decrease the risk of cognitive impairment by 55%. By continuously activating our brains, we stimulate new growth factors that strengthen current brain cells and create new ones, all while preventing damage and deterioration.
Prioritize Your Hobbies
We all have personal interests that take the back seat to our daily life. Many may even argue that participating in hobbies isn’t “time well spent”. As your Neurologist, I would like to encourage you to prioritize your hobbies and interests. Whether you like obtaining a new skill such as writing, creating art, cooking creatively, or solving puzzles, all of these hobbies are key in preserving brain health. By continuously working your brain through engaging activities and creativity, you are exercising disease prevention, Best health practices, and wellness. Studies show that through social and mental activation, we are able to lessen the chances of developing illnesses, such as dementia, later on in life.
“Who knew that doing what you love, and loving what you do, will keep you healthy, happy, and reduce your risk of illness?” Well, now you know! So let’s get out there, make someone special happy... and that someone special needs to be you!
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If you have any questions related to hobbies & activities or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the Neurology Office for more help.
Neurology Office, Joseph Kandel M.D. and Associates
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