Fresh Leaf Forever

Enhancing Cognitive Clarity: Secrets to Brain Health, Resilience and Sustenance

April 09, 2024 Vai Kumar interviews Dr.Kousalya Nathan Season 3 Episode 20
Enhancing Cognitive Clarity: Secrets to Brain Health, Resilience and Sustenance
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Fresh Leaf Forever
Enhancing Cognitive Clarity: Secrets to Brain Health, Resilience and Sustenance
Apr 09, 2024 Season 3 Episode 20
Vai Kumar interviews Dr.Kousalya Nathan

In the ever-evolving quest for cognitive excellence, understanding the intricacies of brain health has never been more crucial. 
Dr. Kousalya Nathan, our guest, is an anti-aging and lifestyle wellness expert, who sheds light on the multifaceted approach to achieving and maintaining cognitive clarity. 
This episode offers a treasure trove of wisdom on nurturing a sharp and resilient mind, traversing the fields of nutrition, sleep, exercise, hobbies, and stress management.

Dr. Nathan emphasizes the importance of a brain-friendly diet, highlighting the significance of anti-inflammatory foods, omega-3 fatty acids, and the surprising role gut health plays in mental acuity. The conversation around these nutritional powerhouses is not just enlightening but also serves as a call to action to reassess our daily dietary choices. 
But it's not all about what's on our plates; the episode also unwraps the critical role of sleep in safeguarding our brain's vitality, reminding us that the battleground for cognitive maintenance begins with the simple act of turning off the lights.

As the discussion unfolds, the spotlight turns to the elixir of movement—how regular exercise acts as a natural antidote to mental fog and the encroaching shadows of premature aging. 
Dr. Nathan imparts wisdom on the symbiotic relationship between hobbies and brain health, encouraging us to carve out daily moments for activities that nourish our neurons. 
With her guidance, we navigate the delicate interplay of meditation, yoga, and spiritual practices, cautioning against misinterpretation while heralding their potential as powerful tools for combating stress and enhancing mental clarity. 
Tune in for an episode that not only promises enlightenment but delivers a blueprint for a life lived with a mind as sharp as one can get it to be !!

Send us a Text Message.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In the ever-evolving quest for cognitive excellence, understanding the intricacies of brain health has never been more crucial. 
Dr. Kousalya Nathan, our guest, is an anti-aging and lifestyle wellness expert, who sheds light on the multifaceted approach to achieving and maintaining cognitive clarity. 
This episode offers a treasure trove of wisdom on nurturing a sharp and resilient mind, traversing the fields of nutrition, sleep, exercise, hobbies, and stress management.

Dr. Nathan emphasizes the importance of a brain-friendly diet, highlighting the significance of anti-inflammatory foods, omega-3 fatty acids, and the surprising role gut health plays in mental acuity. The conversation around these nutritional powerhouses is not just enlightening but also serves as a call to action to reassess our daily dietary choices. 
But it's not all about what's on our plates; the episode also unwraps the critical role of sleep in safeguarding our brain's vitality, reminding us that the battleground for cognitive maintenance begins with the simple act of turning off the lights.

As the discussion unfolds, the spotlight turns to the elixir of movement—how regular exercise acts as a natural antidote to mental fog and the encroaching shadows of premature aging. 
Dr. Nathan imparts wisdom on the symbiotic relationship between hobbies and brain health, encouraging us to carve out daily moments for activities that nourish our neurons. 
With her guidance, we navigate the delicate interplay of meditation, yoga, and spiritual practices, cautioning against misinterpretation while heralding their potential as powerful tools for combating stress and enhancing mental clarity. 
Tune in for an episode that not only promises enlightenment but delivers a blueprint for a life lived with a mind as sharp as one can get it to be !!

Send us a Text Message.

Buzzsprout Get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Instacart Grocery delivery
Free delivery on your first order over $35.

Enjoy PIOR Living products
Enjoy PIOR Living products at a 20% discount and free shipping on orders over $75 Code FLF20

Two Brothers Organic Farm India
Buy Organic products with code FLF10 at checkout from TBOF India for a 10% discount.

OurPlace Cookware
Shop versatile, aesthetic cookware sets/appliances from OurPlace.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Videos available on YouTube channel.
Follow host Vai on socials - Instagram , YouTube, LinkedIn for thought leadership content.
Head to my website for enlightening blogs & service offerings.
This podcast comes to you from Listen Ponder Change LLC, founded by Vai Kumar.
Every support the show contribution is much appreciated !!
Subscribe https://www.buzzsprout.com/1436179/support and help us amplify our voice and reach!

Intro: [00:00:00] Welcome to Fresh Leaf Forever, a podcast that gives you fascinating insights week after week. Here's your host, Vai Kumar.

Vai Kumar: Hey folks, welcome to another episode on podcast Fresh Leaf Forever. Today, we have here with us. the wonderful Dr. Kausalya Nathan, who is a returning guest on the show and she is a lifestyle and anti aging expert based out of Chennai, India with over two decades of experience helping clients all over the world transform themselves into a state of robust and vibrant health.

Vai Kumar: Hey, Dr. Kausalya, how are you today? Hi Vaidehi, 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: I'm good. Thank you. Good to be again back with you on your show. Fantastic. 

Vai Kumar: Thank you for having me [00:01:00] over. Sure, and I guess cognitive health is taking center stage these days, and that's why we are here to talk about that. So why do you think it's just becoming more and more paramount, and what in general is the role of brain health?

Vai Kumar: and its significance when you try to address it from several facets. 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Yeah, to start with, yeah, I think brain health is less talked about subject as we all know. We talk about, different kind of gut health. We talk about, musculoskeletal health, but, there's not much emphasis on that.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: And importance being given in terms of brain health and neurological well being, brain health is crucial because the brain controls everything we do, right? From our breathing to we eat, to coordination, whether we do exercise or how we feel, how we move, everything is coordinated by the brain. A healthy [00:02:00] brain enables us to learn, to remember, to think.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: To adapt to new situations, to cope with stress, cope with, environmental changes, everything. So for example, if you say today, I think how to find out whether we have any cognitive decline, sometimes we develop or we end up having some poor, brain health because of example, struggling to remember things.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: are important information. We forget important information. It becomes very hard to make decisions. We stay confused most of the time and we feel lost. Some people do experience being lost or performing daily tasks itself become difficult for some people, so these are some of the important cognitive decline which we see.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Usually it is associated with aging but unfortunately today there is something called cognitive decline. Clouding, which in the Generation Z, Gen Z, which is, interestingly known as Gen [00:03:00] Z, where because of technological I would say obsession with technology, whether to do with continuously being on the phone or gaming or watching TV or Netflix or the famous shows repeatedly.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: into because everyone is within them battling a kind of loneliness and technology is what they see too. In that space, when too much of this obsession happens, there is definitely a decline in cognitive function, which is called cognitive clouding. Which is commonly seen, which is a reversible phenomena, but then, that is a problem which is there where it's affecting the functionality of young, boys and girls in that age group between 13 to 23.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So that's the major thing. So to have a normal brain function, it is, important to take care, understand what it is. And there should be a lot of awareness shows like how we are doing so [00:04:00] that. People think about it, take note of it and use some apps like you have apps to remind you of drinking water, right?

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So it's important for some apps to give an alarm with saying you've been on the phone or gaming for more than 30 minutes, some alarming, some kind of an alarm. Pops has to come up to give signals to bring an awareness into their, the function of what they have been struggling with.

Vai Kumar: Sure. , you have brought out several things already there. What about nutrition? Because right there in your, explanation, which was beautiful. You brought out several aspects, one of which I heard you say was nutrition, right? So how critical is nutrition when it comes to optimal brain health?

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Yeah. So nutrition is crucial for optimum brain health. Foods like omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins play a key role. See, there was a study in 2015 in International Journal of Molecular Science, which [00:05:00] spoke about the very Most important aspect of, anti inflammatory foods, which is to do with lots of fruits, colored vegetables, and including, omega 3 supplements, or including fish, which is a cold water fish, and having walnuts and nuts, different kind of including nuts in the food, and having fiber, all that really has an important role.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: But most importantly, we have to understand that body is one. When we, when I say body is one, for example, if the If there is a gut issue, it can affect your optimum brain function, which is a very common example, which I can quote here is to do with autism. If you've seen autism kids, the fundamental issue is they would be probably disturbed kids.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: They'll have anxiety or there'll be some form of a disturbance where they'll find it difficult to settle. The fundamental issue for them would be the gut. The gut will have umpteen issues when it comes to autism, so that is showing as a [00:06:00] behavioral issues outside when you see them, the pattern of it. So it's very important to understand that body is one for an optimum brain function.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So it's important to take care of the nutrition, your gut health and your sleep and everything so that the brain function or cognitive function is 

Vai Kumar: at your best. Okay. Colorful fruits and vegetables and eating like lot of whole grains and omega 3 rich foods and all of that. That's that's a great pointer there.

Vai Kumar: And you already brought out another aspect for me to, just delve into. You said sleep. So how critical then is sleep when it comes to us preserving and protecting our brain health? 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Sleep patterns significantly impact cognitive function. With inadequate sleep, increasing the risk of cognitive decline.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So there's also a lot of research work which talks about, sleep patterns and [00:07:00] cognitive behavior. So again sleep pattern when we talk about that are basically to understand to put it in simple terms of three steps to sleep, like falling asleep and sustaining sleep. And then, having a deep sleep, these are the three basic things, which is very important when it, when we talk about quality of sleep, See, all of us hit a sack, sick the sack by around a particular time, 10 p.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: m., 12, 12 a. m., whatever the day.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: The component of sleep is not complete. It's not a holistic sleep or it's not a wholesome sleep. The disruptions are quite a bit. Starting again, going back to the technological, I don't know if you rightly said, it's a bone. I think technology is driving us. Crazy. So it's also affecting our cognitive function for sure, because even remembering things is becoming very difficult.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So we have to put an alarm to wake up, we have to put an alarm to drink water. [00:08:00] We'll have to set an alarm to have our medicines on time. We need to set some alarm to call somebody. So we are completely cognitively, I think partially and apart from all this, you have chat GPTs or you have, everything is artificial.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Intelligence is catching up in a big way. So somewhere, obviously our cognitive function is not going to be optimum as we think it to be. But. It is very important that awareness is a key and understanding of the sleep pattern is very important. See, I deal with a lot of these Gen Z kids. The question they ask me is, why should we sleep for eight hours, doctor?

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: I think, don't you think it's a waste of time? We can do so much. We can game or we can play something, or we can do much more things and sleeping for eight hours way too much. Even a thought of an 8 hour, they see 8 as a It's a big number to be idealing. So [00:09:00] during the day from morning till evening, they are busy doing something with themselves.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: It's not everything they do is productive. And most of them, because of this, even slowly decline. First, cognitive decline. The next is they lose purpose. So when they lose purpose is the time they will sort out for some form of, what to say, looking for substance abuse or looking for, some comfort with smoking or vaping or some form of an additional external influence coming into their life.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: system is where I think when there is a cognitive decline. If you see such kind of symptoms in your children, whatever age group it may be, I think it's a red flag to attend to where a child is declining in the performance, academic performance. If a child is having a routine and you see They're obsessive about gaming [00:10:00] or watching web series or glued to the phone for hours together.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: I think they need some kind of a professional intervention because that's the beginning of cognitive clouding or cognitive decline. So it's very important that they understand. So their first symptom would be unable to fall asleep. Because the brain whole day has been going through so much of an flips and, changes that they have difficulty falling asleep.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So difficulty falling asleep is the first sign. Clouded. Exactly. That's why it's called, Cognitive Clouding. So they feel clouded, they feel fogged, and they can't fall asleep. One. And then, there are few children, and then probably young adults, they fear sleep. So they fear sleep, meaning I'm going to bed is difficult so they feared that sleep factor. Oh, why is night setting in? Why the days can be longer? Because they feel everything is dark, [00:11:00] lonely, they're not able to sleep. And when you can't sleep, I think the mind is active again. To combat that loneliness, again, go back to gaming and watching whatever, repetitive series or web series and movies or things like that.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: What I'm trying to tell you is, education is very important, awareness is very important, and family, Trying to help each other, one another is again primarily important and getting, helping them having a discipline or a routine is very important. So quality of sleep matters a lot when it comes to brain health and sleep is the fundamental thing.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: And if there is any alteration in the sleep pattern for consistently for over six weeks, I think it's important that we really address it on a professional way. 

Vai Kumar: Okay, great. What about, say, if there is one nugget, then people would have to follow, what would that be? Would that be, say, six to eight hours of sleep in a day is a [00:12:00] must?

Vai Kumar: Or, in addition to that, put your devices as far as you can away from your bedroom so that, you're not disturbed by the blue light, you're not disturbed. tempted to even see it. So what would that be?

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: It varies from individual. I think we should sit with the children if it is true with the children and then find out a way of doing it. Or some, I think some of us, maybe grown up adults, can actually have our own routine of it. For example, I'll tell you what I do. I think, for me, one to one and a half hours before bedtime, I completely switch off from all the devices.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: But I do watch some TV, which would be more to do with something lighter of my passion. It could be something to do with some quilling, or it can be some origami, or I might watch something to do with cooking. Something probably I would want to try tomorrow, the next day, or some interesting healthy recipes which interest me.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So it really soothes me from within. So I don't get obsessed with it. And It would just take only 30 minutes. I would switch off [00:13:00] immediately after 30 minutes, and I put my phone on flight mode when I go to bed. I think thank God I'm not into emergency medicine, so I'm not expecting any emergency calls.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So even if it is people know me, they know ways to reach out to me. It's not every night we are expecting some emergency. So that way, I think, I try to do it in such a way where it really helps me to mentally stay off a mobile phone. So each one of us, as you said, I think some of you can actually put your phone away or your laptop and iPad away from your bedroom.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Put it in a, nowadays they create workspace and every house is a workspace. So leave it in the workspace. That Mentally, you're done with, done for the day and that's closing. And again, to do with, we should also learn to close our phones, I think. Somewhere we shut everything else, but I think phone we don't shut at all.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So that's very important. And as you had asked whether 6 hours or 8 [00:14:00] hours is mandated . Again, it varies, but at least a minimum of six hours is mandatory for all age groups. Minimum six hours is a must, so for example, if I have to talk about myself, for me, I can be functional only if I get eight hours of sleep.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So for me big people make fun of me that I don't socialize much or I don't go out much. But I think that's okay because my body can only take so much. So I'm fine with it. So maybe I keep it to weekends to meet people, but then. 9 o'clock, I don't want to, step out after 9pm or I don't want to socialize much after 9pm because coming back at 12 midnight and then unwinding, I think it affects my health or my productivity.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So it's my personal calling. So each one of us have our own. way of doing things, but this has worked. And if you recollect Vaidehi, I think we have grown up together, in a small town in India. And I think you would agree with me that, don't you think the [00:15:00] discipline, whether you have a board exam tomorrow or not, whatever, big examinations or important, vital things to do.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Lights off and everybody is home at around 8. 30. That's it. Whether you do what you want to do, you do before it. That's it. Because in one room, we used to have our brothers, sisters, and parents, all of us, sharing, one or two rooms. And I think we can't be disturbing everybody's things. Lights off by maximum 9 p.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: m. is what I recollect, so morning waking up 4. 30 was encouraged. It was okay. Even if you want to get up at 4, it was a welcome thing. But going to bed at night was maximum, 9 p. m., stretch, stretch. So that was the thing, right? We grew up like that. Probably. That growing up habits has made some kind of a system in us, which is bringing it out, but each one of us have our own ways, but minimum I would say, give your body at least six [00:16:00] hours of rest and sleep at night, and Go to bed at least by 10, 10 30.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Don't stretch it to 12. 1, 2, 3, and then four, I think. Sorry. Unfortunately, body doesn't understand such things. Body clearly wants that kind of a, it's a time where it recuperates, it rejuvenates. It has to cope with so many things. That's. I'm, you're growing, you are recovering, you're healing, everything happens when you're resting.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So I think body Unfortunately doesn't understand that I'll sleep at 12 a. m. I'll wake up at 8 a. m So I still got that timing and then it'll function that way No, it doesn't because a lot of hormones also play a major role like melatonin, testosterone in men and estrogen secretions and then growth hormones all that thyroid when you wake up in the morning all this also has a biological clock as we see which is set which just because We are capable of inventing [00:17:00] artificial intelligence.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Unfortunately, body cannot immediately get up one day. Oh my God, world has changed and probably I should also work in a very fun way or a different way or a crazy way. It unfortunately doesn't work. So fundamentals remain. Science may be evolving, science may be growing, we may have n number of publications, we may be using advancements in technology, but fundamentals will remain.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So sleep has to be only at night and it has to be in a period of six to eight hours if you want optimum cognitive function. 

Vai Kumar: Fantastic. Right there you brought out circadian rhythm and you took us back to our growing up days, right? Lights out at nine and then wake up, along with the rising of the sun, even before that way, you give 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: your 

Vai Kumar: body the chance to you because you, that way, your brain is wired that way.

Vai Kumar: It's looking for certain things. Brain does not understand that. Hey, you know what? Yeah, the longer you're on [00:18:00] your device, yes, the blue light is like keeping you awake and it's just fogging and clouding you, like you said, so all that is beautifully point out, you pointed it out there. What about yet another pillar that's important to cognitive health, the role of exercise for optimal brain function, and are there certain exercises that are more beneficial than others?

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Yeah, true. That's a good question. See, exercise promotes brain health, it increases blood flow and stimulates the release of neurotransmitters. So we know About the neurotransmitters, like serotonin and, endorphins and all those, I would, I call them, good news transmitters.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So the whole thing of such neurochemicals in the brain gets activated when you exercise. So that really is a very beautiful phenomena for improving brain health. So if you feel depressed, if you exercise, you'll feel better. If you feel happy or if you have [00:19:00] excess energy in your body, if you exercise, you're going to feel better.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So if you want to improve your concentration, you have to exercise. Exercise can be in the form of playing games or any kind of outdoor sport or it can be even to do with any gymming or stretches or yoga or any form of light or strenuous exercise depending on individual's interest. I would say passion, interest, or comfort, whatever it may be.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: But moving your body is very important because today, we're Exercise. Though there is awareness, people put that as a backseat for multiple reasons. Sometimes, yes, certain reasons are, very valuable, though, but it actually affects the brain function. So it's important to encourage physical activity, group activity.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: trekking, swimming, any form of sports activity to really help with good brain function. There's a lot of research findings, especially in the journal Neurology [00:20:00] recently. They very clearly published that if if an individual, is unable to exercise or keep physically fit, I think their cognitive function in the brain 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: declines considerably by four to five years, so like the premature aging of the brain happens if we fail to give importance to movement or exercise. 

Vai Kumar: Okay, fantastic. Is there one that's more beneficial than the other and in terms of say you also brought out premature aging, so for us to arrest that process or delay it or, in other words, maybe we can also view it this way Improving Memory Concentration and Overall Brain Function.

Vai Kumar: Are there specific activities that you would recommend as we age? 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Yeah, definitely. I think some of them would be to stick on to some of the hobbies that you'd have learned or learn a hobby. So that can be a painting, or it can be a paper folding, or it can be origami, [00:21:00] or cooking, or anything of your choice.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Quilling, quilting, anything which interests you. I think you should get into some hobbies. That's one thing. Create time for it. It should be on a weekly basis. See, when it comes to brain, one, one trick I can tell you is consistency is the key. You can even do it for 15 minutes in a day. It can be reading books.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: It can be anything of your choice. It can be solving puzzles or Sudoku or reading a story or, anything of your interest, but it should be a consistent thing. For example, if you choose weekly once to play badminton, you should stick to it. It can be weekly once. That's fine. Brain loves discipline.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Brain really loves a formula. Brain is more, like it's a very beautiful thing which can be regulated, so that's something which we have to understand. So hobby is an interesting thing that you can start [00:22:00] on to prevent. And yoga, meditation, I think, which comes coming from the Indian background, I must tell you that there's so much of publications on reducing stress.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: in people for preventing any brain cognitive decline. So meditation plays an important role. It helps in calming our mind, improving memory, improving cognitive function. It makes you from within emotionally also stronger. So I think these things are important. And as I Said earlier, I think consistency is what will make our brain function optimum.

Vai Kumar: Okay, great news there that we can program and wire our brains to function optimally as long as, we stick to a regimented approach, right? It's almost okay, nothing is beyond control. We can contribute to our own well being by doing certain things. Okay, great. In a very regimented fashion, in a [00:23:00] very regulated fashion, like you pointed out there.

Vai Kumar: And then the next thing that makes me more curious when it comes to brain health is, we all use this word very loosely or very liberally, right? It's called stress. Everyone says that word. And what about that and the role of or the beating that mental health is taking these days because managing stress or better brain health and improved cognitive function.

Vai Kumar: So what's your take on that, Dr. Kousalya I think 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: chronic stress is the dangerous thing to the brain. Stress kills the brain function as we all would've experienced. When we are under stress, we forget even simple things. It could be like switching off lights or it could be switching off the burner in the kitchen or anything 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Like, it's a very dangerous thing. Stress really. Decline the [00:24:00] optimal function, cognitive function of the brain. Chronic stress, on the other hand, again, over a period can actually disturb the normal functioning of the brain by maybe decreasing the neuro functionality.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Transmitters and you may go, you may feel low and anxiety or may feel like excessive sweating, chest pain or memory loss. You feel a difficulty to have sustained sleep, anger, frustration, emotional upheavals. And then you want to cry, feeling emotionally low or, sensitive to environment, people.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: And negative mental attitude towards life, for self, lack of purpose and direction. So all these can happen with chronic stress, so that's the reason where you see self harming behaviors. And, depression being very alarmingly on a [00:25:00] higher rate these days. So it's very important that when we experience stress, and if it is going on a chronic or on a prolonged phase, it's important to accept and take help.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: I think problem happens most of the time that we refuse to accept. We take a long time and only the day we become non functional or really affects our productivity that's the time we really wake up and say hi. What's happening to me types, but it's very important that we be aware of what's happening with our cognitive function.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: And if there is a decline which is affecting your functionality, take professional health. You can talk to a counselor, you can talk to a friend, you can go to a psychiatrist, or you can even consult a yoga doctor or a physician to know, how you can come out of these kind of chronic stress. The stress can be in the form of mental stress, Can be emotional stress and these days [00:26:00] what we see is called spiritual stress.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: You'll be surprised because here spirituality also has got a very different set of work where people adapt or they join different spiritual groups. And when a group of people who are suffering or having some mental health issue come together on a spiritual group, I think they are not able to understand the deeper spiritual messages, so they confuse even further, and that affects their health , it backfires, so even to have a spiritual group, Ritual health, you have to be in a plane of receiving. So when you're not in a plane of receiving, so when you go attach yourself to different groups, it backfires and you go into a kind of depression or emotional confusions and, heaviness. So it really affects the overall brain health.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So it's probably you also 

Vai Kumar: go into, one message there I heard was You [00:27:00] know, yes, not being in denial all the time and just realizing that there is a need for help and seeking help. And the second one is, even from a spiritual plane, you're saying for everything, we need to have the right state of mind to be able to receive.

Vai Kumar: Otherwise, say, spiritually, we can go into an obsessive mode. Is that a right? Yeah, yes true. Correct. You go into an obsessive 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: mode and I think it puts you into a, a backtracking your your personality per se. And sometimes the deeper issues of psychological issues flare up.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: The personality and deeper functional issues of psychiatric disturbances, mental health disturbs, and it flares up. 

Vai Kumar: And also, 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: yeah. 

Vai Kumar: Also this technology misuse also contributes to like mental health [00:28:00] issues, right? Yeah. Technology is 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: absolutely affecting mental health in a big way. So I think if you notice, without our knowledge, if you go on Instagram, without our knowledge, we would be spending hours together, even for adults, even for us with so much of awareness, we again, we would.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: It actually sucks us into that kind of an Environment. Where so the whole technological speed at which we want to grab everything, we want to know it all, we want all information, we want to see all the saris which is coming on the different pages, we want to know everything, fashion, everything, we want to see it all before we choose.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: It was not like We're not happy from within, so there's always more. Oh, maybe the next is better. Maybe the other one is better. So the mind is constantly being kept wired and then, tightened to a level where I think it's finding it difficult to be optimally functional or cognitively optimum on a [00:29:00] regular basis. Or in anything we do, it does affect our work life as well. 

Vai Kumar: And yeah, right there you pointed out. Yeah, there are some ways on social media apps to disengage yourself by setting yourself like an alarm there or a reminder there that, hey, set yourself time limits, so to speak.

Vai Kumar: That's the best thing. And I do that personally on Instagram. I've set myself a 15 minute time limit. So it's almost great. Reminds me that, you know what, you have exceeded your limit for the day. Every time I just log out of it when I come out. So every time, as in, I do it once in the morning, once at night.

Vai Kumar: And it's not meant to be 15 minutes for every visit. It's meant to be 15 minutes for the entire day. That's how I try to limit myself. That's excellent. Like you said, it can be. That's super good. It's intoxicating almost to just be in there forever.

Vai Kumar: Like you said, be it [00:30:00] fashion, be it any other, accessory, anything else that's, like gadgets, whatever it might be, or even , cooking or any other hobby that you have, it can be so enticing to stay on it, right?

Vai Kumar: Did you know Podcast Fresh Leaf Forever is on YouTube as well? Be sure to check out youtube. com slash at vaipkumar, that's V A I P K U M A R for all the videos. That we post there and subscribe for up to the minute updates. Also, check out our website vaipkumar. com V A I P K U M A R dot com for blogs, Affiliate shops, and much more.

Vai Kumar: Take advantage of some discounted rates on some amazing products pertaining to lifestyle, wellness, and digital media. [00:31:00] Awesome,

Vai Kumar: Dr. Kausalya. So we were just talking about all the Aspects of brain function, like how we improve concentration, what we do in terms of exercise and so on and so forth, right? What about the connection between social engagement and cognitive well being mental health has taken such a beating these days.

Vai Kumar: So what are the research indications in terms of, the connection between social engagement And I guess meaningful relationships are like a big question mark these days. And about all of that, your take on that. 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Yeah, sure. I think social relationship has become a huge challenge these days because of the, relationship with social media.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Because the social media has predominantly has become the attention spot, when it comes to whether it's a wedding anniversary or it's a birthday or it's going to be a pre wedding affair. [00:32:00] So it's all a big affair here. So I think that's explored in the internet, in the social media platform.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So the finer things of interpersonal relationship, social engagement has considerably reduced over a period of time. And that's a very challenging situation. That's the reason where you see women here in India, the rate at which the divorce. What's happening in a relationship is alarmingly high because of the lack of time, lack of, the space to understand one another.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So that's becoming a very challenging part for generations and the next generation now is suffering even with having a boyfriend or engaging with the parents. or any kind of social engagement is becoming a more a kind of an affair which is not as enjoyed as it used to be before.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So that's definitely taking a toll [00:33:00] on mental health, emotional health, and social health and well being. There is enough statistics to say that, social well being is a very big factor influencing longevity. So there's a lot of studies saying that, you live well, you live long if you are socially connected and you have a good social life.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: It is time that we really make a conscious effort because without our knowledge, we get stuck with the reel world. It is important that we bring some awareness to that. And then through education or through motivation or creating games or creating an interesting platform to interact with each other when we meet.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: It could be potlunch. where everyone brings, food from their respective home and you share. So it could be some form of games when you meet or a concept of discussion where, the engagement is more meaningful and Interesting.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: It's very important to [00:34:00] keep the engagement interesting. So I think a conscience effort in that field is very important, starting from the family, because we always make fun. If the Wi Fi is off, all of us come out of the, the respective bedrooms to greet each other, to find out what happened. Otherwise, nobody knows what we are in our respective bedrooms, busy with our Phones or mobiles or laptops or whatever we're engaged in.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: It's important to make a conscious, aware decision, at least to spend weekends with family, friends, involved in some social interactive club activities. It can be within the university campuses for children and undergrads, or it can be in the respective workspaces in people who are, in working age groups.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: It's very important to. Sustain a good interaction between individuals starting from home till even after [00:35:00] retirement. 

Vai Kumar: Oh, wonderful. Actually, you talked about longevity there. Sustenance of life in every aspect. I guess that revolves a lot around this pillar of mental health and this cognitive being these days.

Vai Kumar: So beautifully highlighted there in terms of nutrition, sleep. Exercise, fitness how we improve memory, the social engagement aspect, stress and mental health, and all the pillars that we can potentially talk about in terms of cognitive health. Dr. Kausalya, why don't you tell our listeners where they can find you, how they can get in touch with you and take advantage of your beautiful services and all the professional help that you offer.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Yeah. So they can connect to us through Instagram platform. That's Dr. Kausalya Nathan. KA, so it's D-R-K-O-U-S-A-Y-A-N-A-T-H-A-N, [00:36:00] and KLM is the Instagram profile. And we also have a YouTube channel, Dr. K Ka, the same Dr. K-O-U-S-A-Y-A-K-A-M in capitals is the YouTube channel as well, so they can connect our messages.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: on either of these platforms and we'll be very happy to address their queries. 

Vai Kumar: Okay, and any website, anything that you would like to add here for the microphone? 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: So www do cal com is the website and maybe once they Google us, they'll get our address and everything as well is easily available 

Vai Kumar: Okay.

Vai Kumar: With the 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: name. 

Vai Kumar: So thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today about all of this and such an important pillar, for sustenance of our life. Wellbeing certainly is. a major parameter. Thank you once again for taking time to talk to us today. 

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: Thank you, Vaidehi, for having me over in your show.

Dr.Kousalya Nathan: It was [00:37:00] such a joy interacting with you. 

Vai Kumar: We look forward to having many more conversations in the future. Listen ers as always. Follow the podcast, rate the podcast, and leave a review from your podcast app of choice. Follow me on Instagram and YouTube at vaipkumar. That's V A I P K U M A R for all things digital media and lifestyle.

Vai Kumar: Until next time with yet another interesting guest and yet another interesting topic. It's me Vai with the wonderful Dr. Kausalyaanathan saying so long.

Optimal Brain Health and Cognitive Function
Nutrition and brain health
Impact of Sleep on Cognitive Behavior
Role of exercise for better brain health
Stressors affecting Brain Function/Mental Health
Technology and adverse effect on Brain
Social Engagement and Wellness