Staying mentally sharp is the best way to ensure your health and wellbeing for your entire life. While many think sharpness is something we are born with, it is in fact something that can be learned. Today, we’re going to give you 10 ways you can keep your brain sharp, which will benefit you in every aspect of your life.
- Engage in regular physical exercise
It doesn’t matter which kind of physical exercise you do, just the fact that you do it regularly is enough to sharpen your mind. When you put your body to the test and push it beyond its limits, you force your mind to grow.
Studies show that aerobic exercise, such as running, jogging, and walking have a positive impact on cognitive abilities, meaning your daily stroll could be making you fitter both in body and mind. Exercise is most important for the over-50s , so if you are in that age group or heading towards it, be sure to pop on some walking shoes and get active.
- Challenge your mind with aptitude questions
Another proven way to keep your brain sharp is to regularly solve challenging aptitude test questions. Aptitude test questions are great because they force you to think creatively and both use and develop your existing skill set.
Great tests for improving your cognitive ability: Non-verbal aptitude tests, numerical word problems, number series, deductive reasoning tests, and word analogies.
Put yourself to the test and keep your mind sharp for any future job opportunities. Like personal training for the brain, you can head into any interview situation knowing you can perform at your peak.
- Become a regular at your local library
Everyone knows reading is a pleasurable pastime, but did you know that reading actually improves and sharpens your mind? According to research, people who read regularly experience mind benefits similar to that of exercise.
The most noticeable difference between readers and non-readers is their ability to recall information , with readers coming out on top with their ability to remember specific details. If you feel like you could use a bit of sharpness, why not visit your local library or bookstore today?
- Regularly solve challenging puzzles
Puzzle fans have long known that solving challenging tasks benefits the mind. Whether you like Sudoku, a crossword, code breakers, or a word find, completing puzzles is simultaneously a great way to relax while also improving your health.
In fact, studies have shown that puzzles and brain games keep your mind fit. They also improve your memory and push you to problem solve, which could pay off in other areas of your life, such as your job!
- Acquire a new skill
Learning something new forces your brain to create new pathways to store and retrieve that information. It doesn’t matter what you learn, but be sure to continuously learn something new each and every day.
One popular way to really challenge your brain is to learn a new language. While difficult at first, it challenges your brain to think in ways it has never done before, to the point where you will begin to think and understand things differently through another culture. If that’s too hard, aim for a smaller goal. You could learn to knit, learn how to fix an engine, or learn how to do DIY projects at home – the sky it the limit!
- Change up your routine
Our brains become a bit stagnant doing the same old thing over and over again. Think about it; we spend most of our days doing the same thing in the same order without ever really thinking about it. Instead, why not challenge your brain with a bit of change.
Some people switch up their routine by changing the hand they use to do their daily tasks. So if you’re right-handed, why not try doing a few things with your left. You’ll instantly challenge your brain to form new physical pathways, leaving you stronger as a result.
- Eat a healthy diet
Our brains are complex machines which require a bit of love in order to function at their best. If your goal is to become mentally sharper, then don’t overlook your nutrition. The most overlooked nutrient of all is healthy fats, which our brains require to perform at peak capacity.
While important for sharpness, nutrition is also important when it comes to mood stability. Be sure to eat a wide variety of healthy oils, such as fish and nuts, and eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, which are packed with nutrients renowned for keeping brains happy.
- Engage in challenging debates
Challenging conversations, whether formal or casual, force your mind to adapt to new ways of thinking and new patterns of expression. Debating has long been noted for the way it forces participants to think critically, form opinions, thus sharpening the brain in the process.
To begin getting the benefits of debating without the stress of a formal event, simply spend time with people who like to talk and have fun discussing your opinions. If you want to challenge yourself even further, consider the debate from the opposite point of view.
- Keep up to date with developments in an area of interest
Whether you want to keep up to date with the latest in your industry or want to keep abreast of developments in an area of interest, learning new information, and actively working to comprehend it has a significant impact on your brain health.
If you don’t have an area where you think you have enough interest, consider revisiting a subject you were passionate about as a child or a topic you once enjoyed, and begin to relearn it again in more depth. When you push your brain to learn a subject, you force it to stay agile which will pay off in other aspects of your life.
- Get enough quality sleep
Even if you try out all of the suggestions already mentioned, it might be all for nothing if you don’t sleep well. Quality sleep has a restorative effect on the brain, which helps your brain recover and then has the capacity to work harder next time.
Again, think of it as personal training; every good trainer values rest because it gives the body time to heal. With that in mind, make sure you are getting the optimum hours of sleep every night, around 7-8 hours, and ensure your environment is comfortable enough for your brain to feel sufficiently rested upon waking.
Push your brain beyond its limits
With a targeted approach, you too can enjoy the benefits of a healthy mind that is capable of solving even the most difficult problems at a moment’s notice. The only question left to solve is which tip will you try out first?