9 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your brain
Everyone hopes they could have a bit more brain capacity, whether it’s to become a Sudoku champion or to recall the name of someone they just met.
When it comes to increasing or preventing the deterioration of cognitive processes such as memory, information processing, and critical thinking, there are no quick cures, but there are some very basic actions you can take to maintain your brain as healthy as possible.
Dr. Joe Verghese, professor of neurology and medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, adds, “A lot of the things that should be recommended for lowering dementia are basically plain common sense and work for general health as well.”
“Getting people to do it is the issue.”
Brain health enhancers include eating well, exercising, and staying mentally busy, but these aren’t the only options
1. Continue to learn
Education has been found to provide some protection against deteriorating mental function, according to a large body of studies.
According to the notion, those with more education have a higher cognitive reserve, which acts as a buffer against the consequences of aging.
However, it’s a double-edged sword.
“People with greater levels of education are more likely to get Alzheimer’s at a later age, but once they do, they have a higher load of the disease and appear to decline at a faster rate,” adds Verghese.
2. . Do A Crossword
Even if you don’t want to return to school, you can still exercise your mind by engaging in other sorts of mental activity.
“Education provides you a boost earlier in life — it strengthens your cognitive muscle,” explains Verghese. “However, if you want to keep that advantage later in life, you must continue to engage in mentally challenging activities.”
In a research of 488 seniors over the age of 75, he discovered that engaging in cognitive activities such as crossword puzzles, reading, and playing music actually helped to delay the beginning of memory loss in persons who later had dementia.
The findings revealed that dementia was delayed by nearly two months for every cognitively active day.
3. Ignore Negativity
When a person is in a situation where they are afraid of conforming to a negative stereotype aimed at their social group, they are said to be under fear of stereotyping.
The possibility of stereotypes arising from perceptions about aging and memory loss can stifle middle-aged and older people’s ability to perform well on memory tests.
Positive stereotypes or previous memory success, on the other hand, can assist counteract this negativity.
Surprisingly, when tasks are focused on losses rather than profits, stereotype threat has been found to boost performance.
4. Make full use of all of your senses
Sensory memory is made up of three types of memory: iconic (visual), echoic (auditory), and haptic (touch-related). It is usually relatively short-term.
Despite this, studies have shown that integrating several senses, such as an image of a flower with a floral aroma, improves people’s capacity to remember what their senses are taking in.
While many studies have linked social support to improved cognitive functioning, it’s difficult to say which one causes the other.
According to a 2008 research of elderly persons, memory declines twice as much in those who are least socially integrated as it does in those who are most socially connected.
Socializing, according to researchers, may benefit our brain because it motivates people to take better care of themselves, reduces stress, and generates good neurohormones as a result of the feelings elicited by being with loved ones.
6. Don’t do more than one thing at a time
Many of us pride ourselves on our multitasking abilities, but research reveals that dividing our attention is more problematic than beneficial.
Younger and older persons were given recognition tests with or without pauses in one study focusing at working memory (rapid storing of knowledge).
Folks of all ages are distracted by distractions, but older adults have a harder time refocusing once they’ve been distracted.
7. Repetition in Spaced Intervals
You’ve probably heard of spaced interval repetition if you’ve ever had to learn something (SIR).
SIR is a learning method that involves testing at increasing intervals until the information you’re seeking to remember sticks.
So you put yourself to a lot of tests at first, then less and less as time goes on.
SIR may appear to be a simple concept, but it is a well-supported method for getting the most out of your memory, which is why there are so many new smartphone apps that use it.
As we become older, the hippocampus — the area of the brain responsible for long-term memory formation — decreases, which can lead to memory loss and dementia.
Thankfully, exercise (which is already beneficial to our health) has the potential to reverse this shrinkage.
Exercise increased hippocampal volume by an amount equal to what older adults lose in one to two years, according to one study.
According to Verghese, “studies have demonstrated that exercise enhances blood flow to the brain and stimulates the creation of nerve growth factors.”
After learning, even six minutes of movement can assist improve memory.
9. Eat Healthily
The link between what we eat and how our brains operate is well-documented.
A study found that feeding rats a high-sugar diet for just six weeks harmed their cognitive abilities.
Obesity has also been linked to an increase in mental health issues.
If you can’t get enough of your high-fructose corn syrup, the researchers discovered that eating foods strong in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts, and soybeans, can help balance the effects of sugar on the brain.
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