Ever wondered if you remembered to lock the front door to your house? Is that your second or third cup of tea today? You unlock your cell phone every day, but you sometimes can’t remember those darn 4 digits? Well, you’re not alone.
We’ve all felt it, some of us earlier than others. Problem is, many believe these small brain malfunctions only happen due to aging. Thankfully, cognitive decline does not only depend on aging. The brain, like most of our other organs, is working on a “use it or lose it” basis. Which is actually great news!
Although there are many things you can do to protect your brain from cognitive decline, Harvard Health Publications claims you can implement a set of 6 very simple steps in your everyday life and start sharpening your brain immediately.
1. Always Be Learning
Advanced education could help keep your brain sharp by creating a habit out of staying mentally active. With mental exercise, individual brain cells are stimulated as is the communication between them.
In addition to that, it’s never too late to learn a new skill. A hobby or a project that requires a skill you’ve never used before reminds your synapses how much they love firing up in ways they never did before.
2. Put your senses to work
Yes, looking at things usually works, but have you ever noticed how easily smell can take you to a trip down memory lane? Your brain is constantly looking for sense queues to gather and react to interesting information coming from its environment.
Remember to allow yourself to listen, look, smell, touch, or even taste your surroundings (don’t forget to check for any expiration dates and hygiene issues involved in the latter), to keep your brain interestingly stimulated with information.
We believe games are especially brilliant at stimulating vision, hearing, and touch at the same time, so find your favorite casual mobile game and you can stay sharp on the go.
3. Believe in yourself
Myths about growing older are far more potent in holding you down and damaging your potential than aging itself. Seniors exposed to negative stereotypes about aging and how it affects memory, perform a lot worse than those exposed to positive ones. In addition to that, if you do believe in those stereotypes, chances are you won’t even work towards maintaining or improving your memory.
If it’s all in the brain, you have to help it help you! And talking about helping your brain…
4. Use your brain efficiently
There is no need to pester your synapses with pesky mundane everyday tasks. There are many tools for doing that so you can focus all your brain power into remembering or learning far more important things.
If you need to remember a swarm of telephone numbers or constantly shifting meeting dates, use a phonebook and calendar. Your brain will thank you for that!
5. Repeat, repeat, repeat
As an ancient Greek saying goes: “repetition is the mother of all knowledge.” Twenty first century science still agrees on that one. If there is something you really want to learn and mentally hold on to, like a name, create the occasions to use it frequently. However…
6. Evenly space those repetitions
Don’t cram. It might have worked for an exam following a weekend long party, but your brain doesn’t work well when cramming information. You need to give it enough time and actually repeat it in prolonged periods of time for best results. This works especially well when you are trying to break down and understand complicated information. So if you’re studying something new that seems complex at first, don’t try to speed up the process.
See? Simple enough to follow every day! Stick around; we’ll be giving you more tips on what you can do to help your brain stay sharp in the future! 😉
Source: Harvard Health Publications