As we age, so do our brains. It’s often said that age and experience bring wisdom, but they also tend to bring medical conditions that cause our minds to be less effective. There are, however, many ways to keep an active mind, no matter what age you are.
There are many things you can do to keep your wits about you in your day-to-day life. One of the broadest and most effective is to keep learning. Educate yourself on anything and everything you can. Take up new hobbies, learn history, study science and create art.
Being informed in this way gives you ready access to knowledge you need to be able to make good decisions. It’s also a “boredom cure” that helps your mental health. So read a book, or write in a journal or do a crossword puzzle. Draw a picture, or build something with your hands. Listen to music or do a jigsaw puzzle or brain teaser. Meditation, mental health counseling and other similar self-care activities will help, too.
Anything that helps you think critically, independently and deeply is like a workout for your brain, and a lifetime of doing this will help you stay sharp.
Use Your Senses
Our five senses are meant to help us experience the world to the fullest extent possible. So if you want to keep your mind active, focus on paying attention to your surroundings. Studies have shown that observing something with multiple senses helps you remember that thing more easily.
This may seem like a daunting task, but all it takes is a little daily practice. Not only will this help you keep your mind active and healthy, but it can make a big difference in how you go about your daily life and interact with others.
A digital detox will help with this, too. In this era of computers and advanced technology, looking at screens takes up a lot of our time. But to fully process your life and your environment, and to keep your mind healthy, looking away from that screen is necessary. Plus, studies have shown that lots of digital activity can actually rewire and otherwise affect the inner workings of your brain, particularly in children.
Create New Habits, Practice New Skills
Our brains are incredible wonders of science. Many scientific studies have shown just how flexible and changeable our brains are if we practice something. For instance, if you have a habit you want to make or break, focus on consciously changing that behavior for a month, and you’ll already see improvement.
This is because the cells and electrical impulses in our brains adapt to our needs and even grow to create new patterns of behavior and instinct as we do them. So if you want to try something new and get good at it, like a new exercise routine, reading more often, or learning a skill, all it takes is being willing to commit yourself to practicing it. Power through mistakes and victories until you hit success—and then continue to improve after that.
Take Care of Your Body
The way you treat your body will also affect how well your mind works. For instance, getting enough sleep or taking the occasional short nap can do wonders for your brain function.
Another way to keep your brain healthy is to exercise regularly. Exercise helps your blood and the oxygen you breathe, to flow more freely and efficiently. One of the main places oxygen is used in the body is the brain, so to exercise frequently is to give your brain a breath of fresh air. Exercising also helps minimize stress, which then takes a load off your mind. You can even practice taking care of your body when sitting down through practicing proper posture.
As always, exercise goes hand in hand with a proper diet. If you take in the right nutrients from a balanced diet, you’ll think more clearly and effectively. A diet rich in fiber, lean protein and whole grains will provide you with the building blocks your brain needs to stay healthy.
Humans are social creatures, and one of our basic needs is to receive love, affection and support from others. If this need is not met, your mind will suffer and will occupy itself with the need to receive these things. Finding people who love you and encourage you regularly and setting boundaries on bad relationships will help your mind process your life and your environment much more effectively.
If you want to keep your mind sharp throughout your life and would like advice on how to get started, or if you have any other health need, we would love to help you. Contact us today!