Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp
Have you heard the term: brain fog? SteadyMD says: Brain fog may not be a medical condition but its symptoms can prevent you from concentrating, recalling memories, and can lead to mental fatigue. SteadyMD goes on to say: Brain fog is the inability to have a sharp memory or to lack a sharp focus. You just really feel like you’re not yourself and you’re unable to think clearly.
And everyone has probably experienced brain fog at one time or another. So what can you do to help keep your brain sharp? Well, quite a few things, actually! Here are a few suggestions that you can try.
- Always Be Learning: Studies have shown that lifelong learners seem to retain their mental acuity better. So, does lifelong learning mean you need to go back to school? No…not unless you want to! It means you should challenge your brain to learn new things. It could be a new hobby (such as knitting) or a foreign language. You could go online and learn to code. You probably have a wide variety of things that interest you – so take the time to learn!
- Engage All of Your Senses: You have heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it!” Well, that phrase applies to learning and your senses. When you use all of your senses to learn something or process something, your memory will retain that information better. Think about tasting a new dish. If you were only to taste it, you might not be able to figure out what exactly it’s made of. But, when you look at it and smell it – you are engaging more of your senses and will be more successful in figuring out the components of the dish.
- Exercise: Exercise seems to be essential to many things – including keeping your brain sharp. Because of the mind-body connection, exercise definitely benefits your brain. This doesn’t mean you need to be running 10 miles each day. Studies have shown that a simple walk each day can improve your cognitive skills.
- Read: Since you were young, people have probably encouraged you to read – that’s because it does so much good for your brain. Studies have shown that people who continue to read as they age have better memories than those who don’t. So pick up a book or join a book club – and read!
- Eat a Healthy Diet: Like exercise, our diet has a definite mind-body connection. Maintain a healthy diet to keep your brain at its sharpest.
- Get a Good Night’s Rest: How do you sleep each night? Do you toss and turn, or do you sleep soundly? Those who get a good night’s rest experience less “brain fog.” Need some help with your sleep? Here are 17 tips to help you sleep better at night.
- Play Games: Games are fun – and they can help keep you sharp. Maybe you like word games (such as crossword puzzles) or strategy games (such as mancala) or social games (like bridge or poker) – it makes no difference – just play! You can even have your kids or grandkids teach you how to play video games! Games give your brain a chance to focus on something and stimulate your mind.
- Write Often: Whether you like to pick up a pen and paper or send an email, or, perhaps, even work on your memoir, writing is a skill that keeps your brain active and healthy.
- Stay Socially Connected: Staying socially connected is also important. Sharing a laugh or talking with your best friend is not only good for your soul but good for your mind.
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, you can work to keep your brain sharp as you age and reduce “brain fog.” These simple tips are easy ways to keep your mind engaged and focused!