If you could keep your brain optimized, for years or even decades to come, wouldn’t you? Of course! It should be a no-brainer (pun intended).
See, the fact is, many people do not stimulate their brain sufficiently to keep it functioning well into the senior years. In fact, many people do just the opposite; as they grow older, they take it “easy,” which in reality speeds up cognitive decline on so many levels.
Watching Jeopardy isn’t nearly enough, if you want to keep your brain functioning at its best. Try the following tips, and stay sharper than a whipper-snapper (always wanted to say that!)
You may be surprised to know that when we stop learning, or refuse to learn, that is when a drastic reduction of brain performance occurs. See, every time we learn something new, our brain develops new neuronal connections, which translate to memories over time.
Failure to keep developing these new networks compromises the ability of the brain to retain, or develop new links, paving the way for dementia or memory loss related disorders.
Wait- before you write this off, you need to know why. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “healthy body, health mind,” but may be you never fully understood the context of it. Exercise, provides many benefits, one of which is to increase cardiovascular function, which improves blood flow as one of its benefits.
Without sufficient blood flow to the brain, concentration fizzles, mind fog ensues and your brain becomes less “brainy” and more “grainy.” Health blood flow also reduced the risk of stroke, and supplies efficient oxygen so the cells perform optimally.
Play Video Games
My personal favorite by a long shot, playing video games increase cognition and problem solving skills. Strategy based games, which requires you think out of the box and figure out “puzzles” are especially effective, and can even improve your fine motor co-ordination.
So next time your kid wants a new video game, don’t’ sulk; rejoice in the fact that you are likely raising a genius!
Develop A Regular Sleep Pattern
This involves getting a decent 8 hours sleep every night. Why? Because most of our memories are “cemented” during sleep and not merely while we are awake, as more people are led to believe. The brain keeps working during sleep, and it is this deep state of “repair” which allows us to develop long-term memory. Sleep will also keep your energy levels high, provide mental clarity and allows your brain to work the way it was meant to.
The brain is the central control of your entire body, and as you may guess, plays a major role in the stress we experience on a daily basis. This might explain why one scenario may be extremely stressing to one person, and a pinch of sand to another. It has a lot to do with the way the brain has been conditioned to respond to these stressful stimuli.
By taking part in de-stressing activities, such as yoga or meditation, you too can train your brain to not signal the release of stress hormones for every little thing in life.
The result? Sharper mental acuity and a healthier physical self.
Eat For Performance
If you want your brain functioning at its best, you need to ensure it is well fed. Healthy fats, especially omega 3’s, along with lots of beneficial phytonutrients and anti-oxidants keep things chugging along the way they should.
Want a secret weapon? Try dark chocolate.
The dopamine high you get from chocolate makes it easier to learn and retain, so take advantage of this fact (and taste!)
Now that you see how extremely easy it can be to train your brain to perform with efficiency, what’s keeping you back from your true potential?