Just like you physically exercise to keep your muscles strong, you should also take steps to boost your brain power and keep your mind sharp. Interesting, scientists have discovered that regular aerobic exercises play an important role only for your physical well-being but also the long-term health of your brain. It’s recommended that you engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. Below are some other easy steps to boost your brain power and keep your mind sharp.
1. Practice meditation
Studies show that long-term chronic stress has a damaging effect on your brain. By engaging in any activities that work against your stress response, you’re essentially protecting and strengthening your brain.
Meditation is an easy yet immensely useful exercise to put stress at bay and keep your mind sharp. Get into the habit of practicing meditation for just about 15 minutes daily. Since meditation has everything to do with breathing, you don’t need any special location (or a special location) to get going. You can meditate almost without anyone noticing whether at school, at work, or just chilling at home.
2. Take cognitive exercises
If you don’t use it, you’re going to lose it. This applies to your brain. To maintain your brain plasticity, you need to put it to good use by taking cognitive exercises. You can start by playing board games that stimulate thinking and improve hand-eye coordination. You may also want to learn a new language or acquire just about any other new skills. Even if you have no time, there are tons of smartphone apps for on-the-go cognitive exercises.
3. Practice deep listening
Deep listening quiets the mind so that your neurons can do what they do best. Just sit comfortably, take a pause and then a deep breath. When communicating to others, make sure not to rush. Rather, wait, take a pause, and pay attention. If you need to express your thoughts without fear of being judged, find a good friend, or even a therapist.
4. Eat antioxidant-rich foods
Your brain benefits immensely from low sugar intake, as well as consuming foods that are rich in antioxidants (which help your memory, learning, and general cognitive performance). Some antioxidant-rich foods include berries (particularly blueberries), fruits and vegs such as spinach, carrots, red grapes. Green tea, coffee wine, dark chocolate and red wine (all in moderation) also can furnish your mind with the antioxidants it needs to stay sharp.
5. Get some good sleep
There’s no understating the value of a good night’s sleep on your body and psyche. Get enough sleep every night. If you have trouble resting, you may want to use sleep monitoring apps and devices such as Fitbit. A nap or two in the course of your day can also help boost brain power and keep your mind sharp. Women and children should sleep for about 8 hours, while men should have at least 7 hours’ worth of sleep daily. The important thing though is that you should feel well-rested.
6. Use all your senses
The more senses you use while learning something, the more permanent the memory will be. Challenge all your senses at every opportunity you get. You might, for instance, try making sense of every smell you come across. Or perhaps you should try some amateur wine tasting!
Boosting your brain power and keeping your mind sharp is an everyday gig! You’ve got to try the activities above (and additional ones) on a daily basis till you develop a habit. Start with daily exercising then work your way through the list!