Deterioration of the brain is something that just happens with time. There isn’t much you can do to stop it, but you can slow down the rate of deterioration. You can improve your mind and therefore quality of life while you are young by keeping it sharp and working on your memory. There are a plethora of ways to do this, but we have put together a list of 7 things that will help you boost your brain’s performance.
1. Practice Meditation To Decrease Stress
Various studies have been conducted on the brain and how it reacts to stress. Severe stress can actually damage the brain, which is why it is so important that you protect and strengthen your brain by engaging in activities that decrease your overall levels of stress in your day-to-day activities. Meditation is a great way to decrease stress and the effects it has on the body. There are multiple ways to engage in meditation, and you shouldn’t feel guilty if you are only able to do it for between 10 and 20 minutes a day. You can meditate through breath-focused exercises, mindfulness meditation, tai chi, take qigong classes, engage in a spiritual practice or ritual, or even yoga.
2. Take Up Cognitive Training Exercises
It is important to maintain the plasticity of the brain as this keeps it sharp. The plasticity of the brain is a term that refers to the brain’s ability to keep changing over the course of an individual’s lifetime. Plasticity can be maintained, and even improved upon by engaging in regular cognitive training exercises.
Playing chess, learning a new language, and even playing board games all stimulate your thinking, which also stimulates your hand-eye coordination. You could even keep it simple by learning a new route to drive to work, type, or scroll with the opposite hand.
3. Nourish Your Brain By Nourishing Your Body
Your brain benefits from getting what it needs. Supplements are an excellent way to keep your mind healthy. If you aren’t sure what is best for you, take a look at this list of the best nootropic supplements to find out more about what you should be taking. Another important thing your brain needs is more antioxidants.
Antioxidants can improve your overall cognitive performance. You can take an antioxidant supplement, or eat antioxidant-rich foods. This includes fruits and vegetables like berries, carrots, spinach, and red grapes; and drinks like red wine, green tea, and coffee. There has also been some evidence that suggests dark chocolate, in moderation, is excellent for your cognitive functioning.
4. Exercise Your Body—For Your Brain
Research has shown that physical exercise is able to enhance your brain’s cognitive functioning. One of the reasons is that it is thought to increase the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF). This is a protein that improves learning, higher thinking, and memory by stimulating the growth of new neurons within the brain and also helps the existing neurons stay alive.
Walking outdoors in an area where the terrain isn’t predictable help. It improves balance and helps you work on your foot-eye coordination. If you don’t have time, or don’t enjoy the outdoors, yoga and tai chi are also great options. These activities both help you to practice coordination, along with the flow of movement, including balance, and the engagement of different muscle groups. Be sure to throw in some aerobics to get your heart rate up for at least 15 minutes every other day.
5. Eat Less Sugar
A high sugar diet can be incredibly harmful to the brain. It causes inflammation, oxidative stress, as well as poor insulin regulation. To combat this you should be eating lots of fish that you have caught with your crankbait rod, some red meat, very little grain, a lot of vegetables, some nuts and seeds, and fruit
6. Practice Deep Listening
Activities that require you to engage in communication require your neurons to fire and synapses to function. Serious injury to the brain and even too much stress can make communicating difficult. Difficulties can range from listening, to understanding cues, and even to integrating information.
Just like meditating can lower your levels of stress and reduce the activation of the stress response hormone, it can also quiet your mind. You will want to get into the regular practice of quieting your mind. This helps your neurons do their job of correctly communicating.
This practice is called “deep listening.” It is where you allow yourself to pause and take a deep breath. This gives you the time and space needed to fully hear what’s been said and to take in the nuances. The principles are as follows:
- Do not rush. Take a pause and wait when communicating.
- Take a moment to breathe. Inhale deeply and exhale, while you allow your mind to quieten down.
- Try to engage all of your senses. Take note of how words make you feel.
- Write it down first. If you are feeling highly emotional, it might be beneficial to write down what you are feeling, so that you can communicate it clearly.
- Rant in a safe place. A friend, a therapist, or a counselor are all good options. Find someone you can talk to where you know you can speak safely without being judged. This way you can release pent-up emotions allowing you to listen and communicate more easily.
7. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation is a serious issue. Walking into a room and completing what you went in there to get, or even being unable to remember where you put your keys – you can’t operate fully when you are tired. It affects your cognitive abilities, memory, and even ability to think clearly or communicate.
If you are struggling to feel well-rested, you should address the issue. You could need more hours of sleep, or you could need to improve the quality of your sleep. Consider getting something like a Fitbit that can monitor how restfully you sleep at night, and if it is extremely serious, consider going to a sleep specialist.
We hope that this list has been insightful. Try to switch up your routine and adopt a few of these 7 things to boost your brain’s performance.