Brain fitness is a hot topic these days and for good reason. There is a strong desire to do whatever is possible to maintain and improve our mental faculties.
Cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and other mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc.) are a growing concern and their costs to society will increase as the population ages.
There are an increasing number of children being diagnosed with cognitive learning disabilities (especially ADHD and the autism spectrum), along with tremendous pressure on children pre-school through college to perform well on tests.
There is also a concern among people of all ages about memory lapses.
Even people in their 20s are reporting unusual memory lapses and difficulty focusing, while more adults in their 30s and 40s are being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD (attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) as information overload, time pressures, too much multi-tasking and stress about the future take a toll on mental health.
How often do we hear or say at the end of a stressful workday, “My brain is fried!”
In our high speed, rapidly changing society, brain fitness is becoming as important as physical and emotional fitness. In fact, they are all connected. Physical exercise, healthy diet, stress management, emotional and social well-being, and cognitive engagement pro-vide the foundation for optimizing brain health and functions.
A foundational building block that most brain fitness programs rarely address is how our heart rhythms and emotions affect our cognitive functions—and how we can improve our minds, not only by playing puzzles and games, learning a new language or musical instrument, or going back to school, but by learning heart- based emotional self-regulation skills. This is what the HeartMath Brain Fitness Program provides.
Our ability to focus, concentrate and remember has a lot to do with how much emotional stress we are experiencing. Emotional stress has a major impact on our immediate and long term cognitive functions, and underlies many of the mental health problems in society today.
Cognitive decline, anxiety and depression are exacerbated by the stresses and strains of modern life. It’s well established by researchers that ongoing stress and worry about the future are major contributors to the decline of cognitive functions.