We’re always taught to try and keep our bodies in good shape and look after our health, and while admittedly a lot of us could improve in this area, even more of us forget to look after our minds as well. The humdrum and stress of everyday life can make it easy for us to grow lax and forget that the brain is a muscle that needs to be worked out just like the rest of our body. In this article we’ll discuss some ways that you can keep your mind sharp and healthy.
Never Stop Learning
It’s easy to leave school and feel done with any and all forms of education, but the reality is that you should always be trying to learn, no matter what stage of life you’re in. Proponents of the unschooling approach say that we learn throughout life, and that the best way to learn, grow and keep our brains functioning well is to treat life as one long classroom. It’s true, we’re always learning no matter what, but if you want to accelerate your learning and keep your mind sharp, you need to be actively learning. This could mean enrolling in local college classes, but it doesn’t have to. Many people prefer to teach themselves new skills by using websites such as Librarian Geek to find how-to’s and tutorials.
Meditation is becoming increasingly popular. What used to be a strange ‘hippy’ practice reserved only for off-grid explorers and Buddhist monks has now become a world-wide phenomenon, with apps such as headspace helping people to bring the practice of mindfulness meditation into their everyday lives. There are lots of different types of meditation practice, but more often than not they will involve sitting or lying still, while trying to quiet your thoughts and become present in the moment. Although this might sound simple, it’s not and most people find it a steep learning curve. However, it’s worth the effort, as meditation has been shown to help reduce anxiety, PTSD, depression and helps to improve awareness and brain functioning. These are all excellent benefits that will help to keep your brain in tip-top shape.
Diet and Exercise
It’s been said a million times, but diet and exercise are not only the best ways to help your physical health in check but are also vital for your mental health. Regular exercise releases endorphins which contributes to improved mood and better mental functioning as well as a reduction in stress. A well-balanced diet also contributes to better balanced hormones and will help to boost your ability to learn and concentrate. Some of the best foods to incorporate into your diet are: turmeric, omega-3’s, B vitamins and spirulina, all of which can be incorporated into foods or yummy drinks.
Learning a New Language
Recent research into the brains of those who have grown up bilingual and learnt another language later on in life has shown that their brains work in different ways to those who only speak one language. Learning another language later on in life has been shown to improve cognitive functioning, make you a more open-minded person and help to increase creativity.
Do you have any other ways you like to use to keep your mind sharp? Let us know in the comments.