Most of us assume that some people are naturally born sharp while others are not. Though we all have different IQs, you can actually make your brain sharper. Your daily activities also play a big role in how alert your brain is.
Age is one of the factors that affect one’s cognitive abilities. You can, however, sharpen your brain and make it more alert by strengthening the musculoskeletal system.
Brain activities enhance the transmission of signals to improve alertness and prevent conditions such as memory loss. Let us look at some of the ways in which you can sharpen your brain and improve focus.
1. Practice Meditation
Meditation is an effective practice used to relieve stress. Negative emotions can damage one’s brain. Through meditation, your body can lower the level of cortisol hormone which causes stress. There are different techniques of meditating and finding the right one can help you sharpen your brain and boost alertness.
Practising mindfulness allows you to focus on your breathing as you close your eyes. This improves the prefrontal cortex of your brain which deals with personality, attention and complex thinking. You can also try yoga or tai chi which are effective in reprogramming the brain. Deep breathing exercises also help you reduce the stress hormone to curb brain damage.
2. Consider Cognitive Training Exercises
For the mind to remain sharp and alert, you must maintain the brain’s plasticity. In a person’s lifetime, the brain is bound to change due to factors such as age. Cognitive exercises help you maintain plasticity of the brain by challenging one’s intellectual property.
You can improve your cognitive ability through challenging exercises such as playing chess, eating with chopsticks or learning a foreign language. Teaching yourself a new language can help your brain process information better without utilizing a lot of brain power. The more brain circuitry you use the better it is for your brain to age better.
Playing chess helps you recognize patterns easily as you utilize both sides of your brain to make the right decisions before making a move. It improves your memory and sharpens your mind. Playing board games can boost hand-eye coordination and stimulate thinking. You should also try eating with some chopsticks. The practice boost communication between your brain cells which in turn boosts mental fitness.
3. Conduct Physical Exercises
Body exercises not only help you control weight but also boost cognitive function. They increase the neurotrophic factor, which is a protein that facilitates learning.
As you work out, you make your brain sharp by keeping neurons remain alive and stimulating the growth of new ones.
You should therefore conduct physical exercises for the sake of both your body and mind. Take a walk outdoors every day to help you perfect your body balance and also boost foot-eye coordination. You can also engage muscle groups through aerobic exercises such as swimming or cycling.
Dancing combines both physical and cognitive activities. This, in turn, speeds up your brain’s processing speed.
It can also slow the signs of aging and help your brain develop new white matter due to the vigorous movement. Dancing a better form of exercise that stretching or walking.
You can also lift some weights in the gym to help your brain function better. Weightlifting also curbs you from mental conditions such as dementia.
4. Improve Communication Skills
One of the most crucial communication skill that most people lack is deep listening. Communication involves more than speaking. Other aspects of communication are listening, understanding and integrating new information.
You should earn how to listen deeply to make your neurons active. Deep listening involves taking deep breaths and pausing so that you give your brain enough space to hear and understand what someone else relays. Before you rush into giving feedback, pause and take a deep breath as you allow the mind to remain quiet.
Try to listen with the heart so that you can engage different senses. Let out your emotions through writing before you respond to something. Seek support from a therapist when dealing with emotional challenges so that you can improve your communicating and listening skills.
5. Reduce Sugar Intake
Excess sugar not only causes diabetes but it is also unhealthy for the brain. Sugar diet is harmful to your brain since it can cause oxidative stress. It may also induce inflammation and interfere with the normal regulation of insulin levels.
You should maintain a diet that does not contain a lot of sugar to boost insulin sensitivity and minimize inflammation. Avoid taking sugary drinks such as sodas and alcohol. Stick to foods such as white meat, nuts, seeds and fruits that have little grains. Fish is healthy since it contains omega 3 which can sharpen your brain and increase alertness.
6. Consume Antioxidants
Antioxidants are important elements for good brain health. They can boost your memory, attentiveness and make you sharp. You can get them from foods such as blueberries, carrots, red grapes, and spinach. Take drinks such as green tea and coffee to boost alertness. Once in a while, treat yourself with a bar of dark chocolate which is also a healthy source of antioxidants.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep determines how you function during the day. Busy schedules make a lot of people to suffer from sleep deprivation which is detrimental to the brain. Inconsistent sleep patterns can make you suffer from temporary memory loss which may affect your productivity at work.
You should ensure that you sleep for long hours during the night to boost memory and cognitive skills. Adequate sleep also improves your concentration during the day and helps you think and communicate clearly.
If you have a sleep disorder such as insomnia, try to improve the quality of your sleep by enhancing your sleep environment, using sleep accessories and working out.
Taking a natural health supplement like Ultra Omega Burn helps to improve the quality of your sleep.
Enough sleep during the night makes it easy for you to wake up early in the morning full of energy to handle daily activities. Consider taking brief naps in the middle of the day. Short naps help you to recharge the mind and increases alertness.
Mich is a 38-year-old semi-professional sports person who enjoys extreme ironing, drone photography and ferret racing. She is fit and disciplined, has a degree in sports science and has a severe phobia of cats.