It is human nature to strive to improve all facets of our lives continually. We work to get more healthy, fit, happy and successful. But imagine how changed your life would be if you could learn faster, think more clearly, solve problems easily, make better decisions, and remember more. These fundamental mental abilities are better known as cognitive abilities or skills.
Cognitive skills are activities that involve conscious intellectual activity like reasoning, remembering, and thinking. These skills determine how your brain understands and analyzes new information and recalls past memories to deal with today. Research has shown that now you can actively enhance cognitive abilities.
Usually, the term cognitive development is associated with children and babies. Many adults usually do not think to develop themselves cognitively, although they should do so because research shows that that reduced cognitive function can not only age us prematurely it also reduces life expectancy. Everybody is well aware that people suffering from advanced stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s have a shorter life than those who do not have these conditions.
You can feel much younger than your chronological age making smarter lifestyle choices such as those which challenge or tax the brain. Studies show that an adult brain could generate new synapses and neurons. In reality, whenever we study something new, puzzle over a new concept or try a new activity, the brain will automatically rewire itself to accomplish these activities. Adults can work to protect cognitive functions and grow their brain as they get older.
In modern times, making lifestyle changes that help in improving the brain structure, cognitive function, and connectivity has become very important. Cognitive decline is the main cause of premature aging. As the brain gets older, your ability to learn new things, memorize them, and how you apply them in real life situations dies with it. Cognitive abilities include factors which influence knowledge such as reasoning, memory, language, and attention.
The cognitive performance also depends on endogenous factors like stress, physical health, and mood. Specific neuron networks in our brain help us respond to a stimulus. Healthy neurons are needed for perfect transmission of cognitive abilities. Here you can read how to improve the cognitive ability for a longer lifespan. Implementing these tips will not only help to increase cognitive ability but will also keep the unused cognitive potentials in perfect condition.
Exercise to improve cognitive function
Everybody is aware that exercise is very important for a healthy body but what most people are not aware of is that physical exercise is extremely beneficial for the brain as well. Numerous studies have proven that exercise can:
- Reduce the possibility of dementia
- Simulate growth factors that help to improve the health of brain cells
- Safeguards your brain against deterioration as you age
- Improves the memory
- Reduces stress which can negatively affect cognitive abilities
- Provide a positive boost to your mood
Recent studies have proven that people who are aerobically fit had less loss of tissue density in the brain making them better able to perform cognitive functions. Several studies have also proven that exercise increases an individual’s ability to make clear decisions, handle stressful situations, learn, and recall memories and facts.
Reading is one of those life’s pleasures that can also increase your mental capacity. Many people have forgone reading in favor of Netflix and YouTube that is why are losing out on its benefits. Reading is a brain-stimulating activity that invites critical thinking and imagination. It gives a new perspective on everyday things. Reading for at least 30 minutes every day can help you acquire many of its benefits.
Take up a new hobby
Taking up a new hobby that involves learning can increase cognitive enrichment. Pursuits like gardening, taking up an instrument, learning a foreign language, antiquing, selling products on the internet, or raising chickens to help to develop new connections between neurons thus decreasing cell loss as a result of aging.
Solve all types of puzzles
There are many types of puzzles that help to help to build new networks in the brain. These include cryptograms, crosswords, acrostics and many more while some brain teasers do not have words like Sudoku. Challenge your brain with different forms of puzzles so that it can work to master the different levels of difficulty.
It is not possible to be completely stress-free; however, you can learn to manage your stress to increase productivity. Reducing stress can improve cognitive ability because the increase in stress can cause cognitive dysfunction such as depression or anxiety which can significantly impair your memory. It can also cause physical complications making you feel lethargic and fatigued.
Nootropics are cognitive enhancers that can greatly increase memory, attention, and learning. They are also effective in protecting the brain from chemical and physical injury. Regular use of nootropics can improve muscle control and enhance learning abilities and memory.
Get enough sleep
Don’t neglect sleep as it is important not just for rest, but also to reboot on a daily basis. If you do not get at least 8 hours of sleep, you become more susceptible to symptoms of stress, and the memory gets worse.
Meditation helps you gain full control over the functioning of your mind. It can have positive effects on your professional life, stress levels, and life goals. Research also shows that it can prevent the brain from deteriorating. Meditating for 10 minutes every day could help you get the full benefits.
Watch educational TV shows
Watching educational science or historical TV shows that spark questions in your mind or make you think objectively can also be cognitively enriching.
Visit zoos, historical sites, and museums
Visiting historical sites and museums can help build better cognition. Don’t be a passive visitor when you visit any such place of interest. Read the information provided at each exhibit and try to retain the information. Repeat this information to yourself at regular intervals. This will help you remember this information for days to come.
The brain is an incredible organ. A fully functional brain is important for growth. With proper training and guidance, you can unlock its unlimited potential.