We often say “follow your heart” but, in reality, our brain controls much of what we do. It is in charge of planning, organizing, remembering, focusing, making decisions, and so much more. It is no secret that our brains go through many changes as we get older. For example, we may notice that older adults experience mild decreases in the ability to pay attention, have trouble with multitasking, and are slower in finding words and recalling names.
But ageing is not the only factor in our brains being lazy or slow sometimes. Whatever the reason is, you can boost your brainpower. Here’s how.
Change your routine
When we do things the same way every day, our brains become lazy. If you want to strengthen your brain, make simple changes to your routines. For example:
These may seem like irrelevant changes, but they motivate your brain to think outside the box.
Experience new things
Every time you experience something new, new connections are formed in your brain. This isn’t the same as changing your habits, but it works on a similar principle. Keep your brain engaged by learning something new, such as a new language, instrument, or dance. Travel, explore, visit a museum, paint, or do anything interesting to you. This will have a positive impact on cognitive flexibility.
Get enough quality sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll spend the next day feeling cranky and tired. The long-term consequences of sleep deprivation can be bad for your brain and body. Lack of sleep can cause troubles with thinking and concentration, memory issues, and mood changes.
It’s not just about getting the recommended seven to nine hours of shuteye. To get real, uninterrupted, high-quality sleep, you need to have a good mattress, or if you have trouble sleeping comfortably, find a good adjustable bed to relieve pressure on the body and ease the pain. Also, establish a solid routine – go to bed and wake up at the same time and use relaxation techniques to ease yourself into sleep.
Watch what you eat
The foods you eat play an important role in maintaining the health of your brain and keeping it active. Some foods can improve your focus and memory. To keep your brain sharp, eat a lot of fruit and veggies, protein, and complex carbohydrates. Some of the best ingredients for brain health are:
Social interaction is one of the pillars of mental health. Face-to-face contact not only helps regulate our response to anxiety but also trains our brain. Communicating with other people helps improve our memory power and protects the brain from neurodegenerative conditions. So, practice your vocabulary by talking to other people. When you learn something new, try to transfer that knowledge to someone else. Discover a new perspective by gaining fresh insight from someone else.
There is a connection between physical activity and brain health. It is shown in older adults with some cognitive impairment that exercising can improve thinking ability and memory. Even a short workout session can have a positive impact on your brain. This is particularly true for aerobic exercise, which can improve short-term memory.
Let your brain do the heavy lifting
You can also exercise your brain to improve focus, memory, and daily functionality. Various brain exercises are designed to help you with this and keep your brain sharp at all times. Here are some of them:
There’s a lot we can do to boost brain power – from small things like changing up our routine every once in a while to major things like being dedicated to getting quality sleep every night. A lot of it is plenty of fun, too – like socializing, playing various brain games, or simply seeking new experiences. Be mindful of your brain’s need for regular training and try to do a little bit every day to challenge it.