Our brains are the command center of our lives and are essential for the quality of our physical, emotional, and mental performance. Chronic stress, poor diet, smoking, and excess alcohol take a severe negative toll on our brain’s functionality. 

These habits also contribute to high blood pressure, cognitive decline, and dementia.

But you can always learn new habits and strategies and change your life. Here are 8 tips to prime your brain for success and unlock your best future.

Mediterranean Diet (MeDi)

High-quality foods are essential to your brain health and physical fitness.

The Mediterranean diet focuses on plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, fish, whole grains, and healthy oils like olive and avocado. 

Based on a study of 502,536 participants, people who followed the principles of the MeDi had a 23% lower chance of developing dementia. Research has also found that the MeDi may improve cognitive capabilities, such as memory.

Tame Stress 

Chronic stress harms brain function. Yale Medicine defines chronic stress as “A consistent sense of feeling pressured and overwhelmed over a long period of time.” 

There are many causes of chronic stress today because life is busier and more complicated than ever. These include life changes, unfulfilling jobs, economic distress, and family dysfunctions. 

When stressed, the brain increases glucocorticoid production, including the stress hormone cortisol. 

The mind goes into overdrive and starts worrying about the future and everything that might go wrong, causing panic and anxiety. 

Reading the Bible and praying have a calming effect on the mind that keeps us anchored in the present. Practicing Mindfulness helps us stay focused on the present rather than dwelling on the past or situations that cause us to worry. Other key concepts include paying attention to our surroundings, accepting ourselves, and focusing on our breathing.

Physical Activity

The Center for Creative Leadership asked over 1,500 executives how exercise impacts their performance. Approximately 90% said that physical activity “clearly impacts” their performance, 12% reported “some impact,” and no one reported zero impact.

They reported regular exercise improved mental clarity, focus, alertness, and problem-solving.

In addition to improving your brain, exercise has physical benefits such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing anxiety, improving sleep, decreasing insulin resistance, and strengthening your immune system.

Be Mentally Active

People who don’t “exercise” their brains are at significant risk for early cognitive decline. You can do many activities to give your brain a workout, such as reading, memorizing scripture, learning a new language, playing games, or working on a jigsaw puzzle.

Sleep Well

The importance of sleep and its effect on brain health is huge! When you get good quality, deep sleep, the brain repairs itself and rejuvenates your immune system. In REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, the brain compiles details you learned during the prior day.

Inadequate or insufficient sleep can contribute to feeling exhausted, cause concentration, mood, and memory disorders, and suppress the immune system.

You know the drill: create a bedtime routine by going to bed at the same time nightly and waking up at the same time in the morning. Over time, this will help set your internal clock and become a regular sleep pattern. Also:

  • Turn off your electronics at least two hours before bedtime. This includes cell phones, computers, and social media.
  • Eliminate caffeine after 12:00 p.m. The most common sources of caffeine are coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate.
  • Avoid eating before bedtime to prevent gastrointestinal issues that may keep you awake.

Stop Smoking

Although people feel that cigarettes or cigars help to calm them and are pleasurable, they pose severe risks to brain functionality. 

study by the American Heart Association (AHA) found that smoking is associated with cognitive decline, leading to worsening performance. You deserve better. So do yourself a huge favor and stop smoking.

Be Socially Active

Social connections can help reduce stress and depression and prevent memory loss. Look for ways to interact with others, especially if you live alone. 

Brain atrophy has been linked to a lack of socialization. 

Interpersonal relationships and being socially active enhance physical well-being and strengthen brain health. 

Find Inspiration

How often do we take the little things in life for granted? We often overlook these special moments of inspiration, which can be so good for brain health. 

For example, Psych Central says watching the sunrise gives you a feeling of awe, bolsters your mood, and helps you have a “big picture” mentality where we view situations broadly rather than focusing on limited details. It opens your mind to evaluating scenarios entirely rather than breaking them into detailed parts. 

People may also find inspiration from art, visiting a park, or watching the sunset.


A healthy brain keeps our sensory, cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and motor functions working smoothly. Good habits such as eating properly, being physically, mentally, and socially active, and getting sufficient sleep are essential to overall well-being and life satisfaction.

The preceding tips can boost brain health, priming your mind for success and well-being so you can unlock your best life!

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