Many of us are conscious about how to maintain our physical health and for that we plan out a balance diet, exercise schedule and therefore avoid things which would reduce the effect of so much of efforts because a healthy body helps us become more productive. Similarly here are some ways through which one can make his/her brain sharp and ace in most fields.
Practice meditation to decrease stress to make your brain sharp
Studies show that chronic stress can damage the brain. So you can help protect and strengthen your brain by engaging in activities or lifestyle habits that decrease the firing of your stress response. One of the best ways to do this is through developing a meditation practice, even if it’s just 10 to 20 minutes a day. You can practice breath-focused exercises, mindfulness meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, or engage in a spiritual practice or ritual, like prayer.
Take up cognitive training exercises
The mind stays sharp when the plasticity of the brain is maintained. Brain plasticity refers to the brains ability to constantly change over the course of a person’s lifetime. And this plasticity can be maintained ” and better yet, improved ” by engaging in cognitive training exercises, which challenge your intellectual capacity. You can take up playing chess, learning a new language, or juggling. And playing board games can stimulate your thinking, as well as your hand-eye coordination. You can even do something simple like learn a new direction to drive to work, type or scroll with the opposite hand, or combine your senses by eating while listening to music with your eyes closed.
Exercise your body – ” for your sharper brain” –
Research shows that physical exercise enhances cognitive function. One reason might be because it increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that improves learning, memory and higher thinking by stimulating growth of new neurons and helping existing neurons stay alive. Walk outdoors where the terrain isn’t predictable, so that you’re perfecting your balance and working your foot-eye coordination at the same time. Yoga or tai chi also enables you to practice coordination, flow of movement, balance and the engagement of different muscle groups. And don’t forget to fit in some aerobic exercise as well, getting your heart rate up for at least 15 minutes a few times a week.
Practice deep listening to make your brain sharp
Any time you’re engaged in activities that require communication, your neurons need to fire and synapses need to function. Injury to the brain and even too much stress can challenge this communication highway and make speaking, listening, understanding cues and integrating information more difficult. I call this practice deep listening, where you allow yourself to take a pause and a deep breath. This provides you with the space you need to fully hear words and take in the nuances. The tenants of this practice are:
Find a safe place to rant
You can choose a friend, therapist or counselor whom you know you can safely speak to without worrying that you might be judged. You will find that when you release whatever is pent up, you can more easily listen and communicate.
Ditch the sugar and nourish your brain with antioxidants
A diet high in sugar can be harmful to the brain, inducing inflammation, oxidative stress and poor insulin regulation. Your goal, therefore, is to follow a diet that helps you improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. This means eating fish, some meat, a lot of vegetables, some nuts and seeds, some fruit and very little grains. Your brain benefits not only from a low sugar intake, but also from getting more antioxidants, which can help improve your memory, learning and overall cognitive performance. Therefore try to intake antioxidant-rich foods for instance berries (especially blueberries), fruits and vegetables like carrots, spinach and red grapes, and drinks like green tea, red wine, and coffee, as well as dark chocolate (in moderation, of course).
Sleep on it for a sharp brain
We’ve all had that moment when we’re sleep-deprived and can’t remember where we put the keys or what we went into the kitchen to get because you can’t fully operate when you’re sleep-deprived” and this includes your cognitive skills, memory and ability to think clearly or communicate. Furthermore if you don’t feel well-rested, see if you need more hours of sleep or if it’s a question of improving the quality of sleep. Consider getting a Fit bit or other gadget that monitors how restfully you’re sleeping, or have a sleep study done by your doctor. You may find that you simply have to wake up too early to get the right amount of hours in. If this is the case, consider taking naps.
Test your brain
Whether crossword puzzles, Sudokus and other brain teasers actually keep your brain in shape has not been well-established. However, lack of education is a strong predictor of cognitive decline. The more you’ve tried to learn, the better you’ll be at mental sit-ups in old age. Besides the key may be tackling something new; the challenge of the unknown is likely more beneficial than putting together the same jigsaw puzzle over and over again.
Some more tips to make your brain sharp 🙂
- Do not rush when communicating. Wait, take a pause.
- Breathe. Inhale deeply and exhale completely, allowing the mind to quiet.
- Listen with your heart. Notice how writing down words make you feel and maybe try to engage all of your senses.
- Write first. If you feel emotionally charged, you may want to jot down what you’re feeling to help gain clarity before you speak out.
Hence are some basic tips you can count on to make your brain sharp and have a healthier lifestyle.