6 Thumbs of Cognitive Wellness ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

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Yes! It’s here and plans to stay…

So… Like I said in the last post, it’s time we stop ignoring our cognitive health, we should take that extra effort to also keep our minds working sharp and alert from now till old age.

Let me quickly talk about them as I have been asked what they are, very brief though, check out the website for more lengthy info from global researchers as we don’t have access to that here. The 6 Thumbs “Up” are:

  1. Mental Stimulation: we tend to relax on learning after we leave school and only focus on things related to our work or careers. We focus on Carrera related knowledge until it becomes a routine and no more challenging… A one way show, boring… . It’s time to change that,  let’s do something totally different, learn a new language, write with the other hand, walk around the house with the eyes closed, etc…. Anything that’s novel and will excite those neurons of yours. 
  2. Nutrition: we have an issue with this here in Nigeria. Mainly due to low income and poverty but the good news is we don’t need to eat exported foods to get the mental push we need. Our foods are budget friendly and very nutritious. From the common ewedu, okro, ugwu, and other veggies to the superfood baobab that’s sold at expensive rates on the international market. Yes, we will bring in some but it’s not compulsory…. We have healthy foods here….. As long as they haven’t been poisoned by Monsanto and the government. Monsanto has been allowed to infiltrate our pure indigent farmers with GMO solutions and chemical products. 
  3. Spirituality: this is key to our happiness and mental satisfaction on attitudes towards life and daily living. We need to connect strongly with our Maker because He is the Maker and knows us more than we know ourselves. This life isn’t difficult when we follow His rules…. We can really and actually be happy, no matter the situation.
  4. Sleep: even I am still working on this one. With the way jobs are nowadays, people don’t get the 8hrs required for optimal body rest. And it’s during sleep that the brain cleans itself out so why deprive it? Let’s keep working on our sleep time and make the effort to keep to going to bed early and waking early enough – even our moods will improve.
  5. Physical fitness: everybody needs exercise. We can’t not get our bodies to fix the joints and muscles. Whether it is jogging, walking, aerobics or carrying a bucket of water from one place to the other, we must not keep our bodies idle. This is especially true of white collar job workers who sit all day on the same chair and still end up sleeping late and waking up early to do the same office job.
  6. Socialization: humans are social beings, we can’t live in isolation for long periods. Yes, we need that time out once in a while to meditate and move far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. But…. A big but is that sense of helping someone, giving comfort, just talking, laughing, sharing time with others, all these improves both our psychological and physical well-being.

Now that you know our 6 Thumbs “Ups”, I hope you will put in more effort to improve on each one as I am trying to do. It’s really not easy, especially if you already have a crazy routine but it’s doable. Stick to it…and you will get the desired results. 

And by the way, keep checking us out on the blog. We have lots of things planned.  #naijacognitivehealthblogger. 

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Cognitive Wellnessย 

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Have you ever put your glasses on a surface in a room you are in and didn’t leave,  and 5mins later, you can’t seem to remember where you put it?

Or came in with the car keys, dropped it on a surface, went to get a drink, only to get ready to go out again and you just can’t remember where you dropped it?!!

By the way, you aren’t over 40 yet! Well for those who ask me what I mean by cognitive wellness… Can you guess what it is now?

The term “Cognitive Wellness” isn’t new on the world stage but it is definitely a rarity in Nigeria. We are currently all hyped up about wellness but only in the physical body category. Everyone is loosing weight, trying to eat with different diet plans for different body chemistry types. 

I am on the skinny side and really don’t do all that stuff; yes,  I am an organic and healthy eating “somebody” but that was it until I started forgetting where I put my glasses or car keys within minutes of using them. Then I realized I needed to do something fast as I wasn’t getting any younger and my brain was definitely not going to stop forgetting if I continued to ignore its own Wellness.

As a lady whose first degree was physiology, I knew the body and brain worked together and if I was going to fix the issues I had cognitively, I would also get ready to do a lot of bodily and lifestyle adjustment, the solution had to be wholistic.

I also know that I am not alone in this phase of forgetfulness so we, at The Reading Gym Nigeria,  decided to focus on Cognitive Wellness for our adult clients and believe me, it’s a big  package. Yes, we will have the occasional book reads but we are going to also work on our lifestyle and hope for the best.

I’m so excited about our “6 Thumbs of Cognitive Wellness”  and will be talking about that in my next post.

Till then, bye. 

Do you Diffuse?

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We already talked about essential oils, now let’s talk about my favourite way of using it. Diffusion

Aromatherapy is a scientific process where natural oils are gotten from plants ie leaves, bark, flowers, roots, stems, etc to enhance the psychological and physical well-being of human beings.

The aroma from the oils helps to stimulate brain functions which in turn acts as a form of healing therapy. This promotes relaxation and other health benefits.

Essential oils can also be used topically (be very careful with dilution ratios) and though not yet a fad in Nigeria, aromatherapy has already gained momentum as a form of alternative medicine used for various purposes including mood enhancement, pain relief and improved cognitive functions.

We all learnt about diffusion, at some point, in school, and in this particular case, what the diffusers do is to disperse the oils round a room or the whole house.

The whole place is filled with natural aromas. There are several techniques and devices which can be used as aromatherapy diffusers, examples are:

โ€ข Steam diffusers

โ€ข Candle diffusers

โ€ข Ultrasonic aromatherapy diffusers

โ€ข Lamp ring diffusers

โ€ข Fan diffusers

โ€ข Terracotta and sandstone diffusers

โ€ข Electronic heat diffusers

โ€ข Essential oil nebulizers

There are numerous benefits to diffusing:

1. Purifies and humidifies the air.

2. Make the room smell pleasant.

3. Relieves stress, fatigue and pain

4. Helps with respiratory issues and breathing easier.

5. Better relaxation and improved sleep.

6. Improves cognitive functions.๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ

7. Mood enhancer.

8. Keeps you and environment cool.

9. Best choice for therapeutic effects of aromatherapy.

10. Help with insect repelling.

So…. , are you interested enough to get one for yourself? If so, then make sure to:

  • Ask for recommendations from people already using.
  • Buy from reputable stores with reputable brands, Amazon is a good place to start with all the reviews youโ€™ll get
  • Always buy as new

Pssst…. We plan to stock up some, stay tuned๐Ÿ˜‰

DYSLEXIA – A DEFINED AND LEARNING DIFFICULTY

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This is a lovely article I read on Kathy Kiefer’s blog on dyslexia. Worth the read. For those that have been asking…….

How hard is it to learn with Dyslexia?Can it be overcome?With dyslexia can you be successful?What are they symptoms and causes (if any) ofย ย  dyslexia?

Source: DYSLEXIA – A DEFINED AND LEARNING DIFFICULTY

Why do some people have reading challenges?

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I’m doing a self study on children with slow learning abilities, actually, delayed reading ability. The more I read, the more captivating it is. One good thing, though, is that I now know that

if a child can’t read at age 7, it doesn’t mean the child is lazy, dumb or has no hope of ever making it in life.

It just means that both parents and school will need to intensify all efforts in intervention toย  assistย  the child or teen to read. Now if there is a biological issue involved, that’s another story, otherwise everything is OK. Even children with down syndrome read well if not better than their peers.
A point I must bring to your attention is that

there is a difference between reading and comprehending.

The child with down syndrome, for example, might be very good at reading but will not be able to comprehend what he or she is reading. So if we decide to intervene, we need to focus on both and take it from a simple to complex level.
A study done in the United States, years back, showed that there is a part of the brain that makes no contribution to intellect and is not measured in intelligence test. This area, allows children to distinguish between the tiniest sounds in words. If this area is not properly developed, then the child is likely to have difficulty in reading. Research is still going on in this area.

How can we help this area to develop?
We start very early at home. Children who enter school with a large vocabulary base have a very high probability of excelling in both reading and comprehension. Between birth and the age of 12mths, babies are able to replicate any sound they hear. After 12mths, they loose this ability and will only replicate, perfectly, sounds they have already heard. An example of this is the ‘r’ issue in Japanese language, there is no ‘r’ in the language so a typical Japanese adult won’t hear it in a word. So ‘rice’ becomes ‘lice’.
When mothers use baby talk with their babies, it helps unconsciously to accentuate sounds and rhythm in d native language. Please note, television can never be a substitute for this.

Dyslexia is a common term used to describe difficulty in reading. There are arguments about it being a myth or not.ย  Some argue that there is really no such thing as Dyslexia, and that you can’t tell between a dyslexic or normal child – see what I mean – it’s placing the child in a ‘special’ group,ย  and that is quite unnecessary. Others say, No, they need to be in a special group.
I kinda agree with the first group, if there were circumstances that affected a child in the foundational stages of growth, then it is only right to plan out some form of remedial and intervention strategy to assist that child to close the gap between him and his peers.ย  He is only a poor reader, not a special child. Labelling him might lead to unnecessary stigmatization amongst his peers. It has worked, still works, and will keep working as long as there is a determined and dedicated team, and of course no underlying medical issue.

Next article, we will talk more about dyslexia, God willing. See you!

READ ALOUD BASICS: Making children book lovers and not haters (Part 2)

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A book contains the same content be it new or used and regardless of the reader or listener, so far as it is the same title.

Civilizations have survived on reading with few writers because reading is an integral part of the human existence, just think about the enormous effects scriptural books have played in the history of mankind even at times when most of mankind could neither read nor write but had few of them reading these scriptures to them.

This tells us that reading is not just very important but reading aloud is very essential for the survival of the human race as this has always been the means by which those that know are able to inform those that do not know. This lead one to say that: in the process of building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading, reading aloud to children is the key.

ย ย ย ย ย  When we read aloud to children we are helping the childrenโ€™s brain to get accustomed to words, proper sentences, and grammar rules and above all we are helping them to develop the love for reading. Continue reading

The Learning Process

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What does โ€œLEARNโ€ mean?

To learn is to gain knowledge or skill from experience or from being taught, a complex process that involves steps or stages on which further learning is based.

  • The organ of Learning is the BRAIN

The brain is the command center of the developing organism. It contains neurons and provides the basis for physical, cognitive, and personal and socialย  development.

3d-brain-1

The brain needs to be prepared to accept information, retain that information, and build upon it to allow it the ability to do increasingly difficult work. Continue reading