Keeping your brain oxygenated is essential to ensure that it functions properly. In fact, this organ consumes 25 percent of the oxygen that enters your body. If it doesn’t receive the necessary proportion, you’ll experience exhaustion, difficulty in understanding, lack of concentration, and even depression. In the long term, this can cause even more serious problems, such as a stroke.
Lack of oxygenation is also a factor that affects your mental health. At the same time, states like anxiety make it more difficult to oxygenate your brain. This leads to the weakening of your mind. In turn, this favors depressive states.
There are some subtle signs that suggest that your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen. For example, being forgetful or easily distracted along with sensations of fatigue for no apparent reason, or occasionally feeling depressed. Therefore, in this article, we’re going to talk about the importance of cerebral oxygenation and how to achieve it.
“Any man could, if he were so inclined, be the sculptor of his own brain.”
-Santiago Ramón y Cajal-
Keeping your brain oxygenated
Sometimes, your brain can’t access an adequate volume of oxygen for reasons other than breathing or anxiety. One of them is the functioning of the liver. Among other functions, this organ cleanses the body of toxins. Therefore, when we speak of ‘detoxing the body’, we’re largely referring to purifying the liver.
If your liver works correctly, it oxygenates your blood. Thus, it opens the way for the appropriate amount of oxygen to reach your brain. The effects are better memory, concentration, and mood. So, when considering whether your brain is oxygenated, you first need to consider the state of your liver.
Another element that prevents proper oxygenation of the brain, as we mentioned earlier, is anxiety. As an article published by the Academic Press confirms, when anxiety appears, the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, increases.
This substance has physiological effects that reduce your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to your brain. Subsequently, it becomes a vicious circle: the more stress, the less oxygenation, and the less oxygenation, the more stress.
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How to keep your brain oxygenated
When considering the importance of oxygenating your brain, the most obvious question is how do you do it? The three basic foundations of this process are a healthy diet, stress control, and frequent physical activity.
An article published by Harvard Medical School claims that our brains require a constant supply of quality foods. These provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for optimal functioning. This article also states that an increase in anxiety symptoms is linked to oxygen levels in the blood (Mc. Dowell et al., 2021).
An article published by the University of Costa Rica states that the practice of exercise induces specific processes -such as oxygenation. This causes, among other positive effects, rapid and efficient communication between different brain areas.
In addition to the above guidelines, here are some little-known specific actions to improve the oxygenation of your brain.
Correct body posture favors the flow of oxygen to your brain. In fact, sitting with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor, without crossing your legs, facilitates the work of your diaphragm, ensuring the necessary space for movement. In the same way, it helps all the organs located under your diaphragmatic dome to work better.
Correct breathing simplifies the access of oxygen to your brain. To achieve this, we suggest the following exercise.
- Sit down and cover your right nostril, pressing it with one of your fingers.
- Inhale deeply through your left nostril.
- Hold your breath for five seconds.
- Breathe out through the same nostril, counting to five, without opening your mouth.
- Repeat ten times. Then, switch to the other nostril and perform the entire sequence again.
It’s advisable to maintain regular physical activity. Ideally, you should carry out exercise every day, for at least 15 minutes. There are some techniques that you can perform immediately if you feel your brain isn’t sufficiently oxygenated.
The energetic yawn consists of placing an open hand on your face, placing your thumb under one cheekbone and your little finger under the other. Support your other fingers between your eyebrows while yawning deeply.
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A healthy lifestyle
In the short term, the effects of not keeping your brain oxygenated may go unnoticed. However, over time, continual fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and poor performance will appear. Ultimately, your brain will become more vulnerable and will age faster.
Many problems can be avoided with a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthily, resting well, staying active, and relaxing, instead of giving free rein to stress, are simple actions. However, they’ll undoubtedly provide you with a better quality of life and oxygenate your brain.