Every single one of us has had a moment when we walk in to a room and we cannot remember something we decided to get. And it gets scary if these occurrences increase. You begin to wonder, if you’re losing your memory as a result of aging. It is important to know memory lapses can happen to anyone and is not always a singular direct consequence of age. Organic disorders, neurological disease or sudden brain injuries can result in memory lapses of severe nature. The normal memory lapses can be handled with a few exercises and lifestyle habits. There are various strategies you can use to battle memory lapses and keep your mind sharp, active and running as you age.

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A number of health conditions can lead to memory lapses. These include diabetes, hypothyroidism, depression, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and others. A good deal of medication can also cause memory lapse and stress can lead your brain to shut down and get dull. The human mind is like a machine, you have to oil, you have to use it and the more you do so, the more active it remains.

12 Tips to Keep Your Mind Sharp

  1. Eat Healthy and Sleep Early

    One of the most important tips to keep your mind sharp is to maintain a proper body cycle or body clock. Consuming healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, protein and going to the bed early and waking up early is a way to keep your mind under control. If your mind is like an engine, maintaining a proper diet and sleep cycle is the oil to the machine.

    Skipping a meal can really upset your mind; for example, imagine working for the whole day and then skipping lunch. Your mind will not allow you to work physically; you will not be able to concentrate on your work. Thus, having every meal and eating healthy, not junk food that will upset your stomach and your mind too. Having too much junk foods will make your mind fat and your mind will not be able to move around freely.

    Being sleep-deprived is similar too. If someone does not get proper sleep, they will not be able to concentrate on their work, for example, sleeping for 2 or 3 hours at night and then working the whole day. Your mind will get tired and will sleep, and if your mind falls asleep you will be feeling unsettled. No one wants that to happen, do they?
    Therefore, sleep early and eat healthy and keep your mind happy!

  2. Exercise to Keep Your Mind Stay Fit

    Exercising helps in keeping your mind sharp too. If you keep your body sharp and healthy, your mind will stay sharp, healthy and fit too.

    Research concludes that cognitive functions improve with physical exercise. Out of many reasons, one is it increases the level of Brain-Derived Neurotrophin factor, also known as BDNF.

    Working out at the gym or going out for a walk can increase your mind sharpness. Walking somewhere, where the ground is unpredictable can increase your brain sharpness. Hiking or mountain climbing are some examples. Yoga and Tai chi can also improve sharpness, as it is calm and composed yet very effective exercise. Aerobic exercises or any exercise that increases your heart rate for at least 15 minutes for a few days in a week can also improve sharpness of the mind. Getting out of depression or boosting your immune system can be done by exercising. When someone is in depression, they are mentally sad, their mind refuses to work, and thus exercise can boost up your mind to work. Exercise is like an energy drink for your mind. It instantly will make you energetic and happy. Therapists ask their patient to exercise for the same reason. Exercise brings down stress by boosting up the chemicals that makes your mind feel good or optimistic, and those are dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.

    Thus, exercise as per your ability to live a happy and healthy life!

  3. Too Lazy to Exercise? Meditate For A Change

    Meditation is another calm and productive way to calm your mind and keep it sharp. Over 18 million people in America meditate to keep their mind sharp and maybe that is why USA is considered to be the most powerful country in the world.

    Big shot companies like Google, Nike, AOL, and Apple provide meditation workshops to their employees and executives to encourage them to work in a peaceful state of mind and give their 100% to every work they do. Even the army men use meditation to get over with stress, tension and increases their focus and mind-set for the war. To plan out a successful war attack tactic, one needs to have a sharp mind.

    To meditate, one needs to have a peaceful and silent surrounding, close their eyes and focus on one thing, can be any though, object or even your breathing. Try to let everything go. Do not stop at any moment. Try to find the inner peace in yourself. Do not stop any feeling or thought from leaving your mind, just let it go. When you are done, your mind will feel refreshed and you can do your work with more productivity.

    Yoga and Tai chi is a form of mediation too that enhances your mind.

    Thus, meditation is a really effective way.

    Namastey!

  4. Learn to be a Good Listener

    Whenever you are in a situation that calls for communication, your neurons and synapse needs to bolt up and function properly. Taking too much stress or brain injury can prevent you from doing so. It can make your speaking, listening and the whole process of communication too complicated and mix things up, making it more difficult.

    As mediation calms your mind and kick off stress from your mind, you must practice listening to enhance your mind to work properly and take the correct decisions, which will help the neurons to work properly in their own space, peacefully.

    You can do a lot of mini exercises to practice this. Try taking small pauses between speaking. Take a deep breath. Inhale and exhale slowly and start speaking again. It is like giving your mind a little rest.

    Rushing though a conversation makes the communication difficult and meaningless.

    Feel the words; try listening from your heart. Do not say things without thinking. Let it come out of your heart, that is when it is in its purest form.

    If you face trouble giving a speech, you can jot the points down whatever you want to state in your speech. Writing it down makes it easy and you know from your heart and the paper what to state.

    Try to find a safe and comfortable place to rant, be it your best friend, your parent, therapist, your teacher or your siblings. They must be a good listener too. Everyone dislikes that person who interrupts every time at regular intervals.

    Thus, be a good listener and maintain a proper good relationship between your heart and your mind!

  5. Don’t Stop Learning, Just Do Not

    It is believed that the higher the level of education the higher your mind sharpness is. Learning new things has no boundary and learning new things opens up your mind. As we learn something new, the neurons in our mind get excited and it wants to learn more, thus creating a huge space for learning as our mind gets worked up. For example, if you introduce a kid to some new kind of a toy, they get excited. In the same away, our mind gets excited too when we learn something new. Learning up new hobbies, a new skill always helps. It improves our knowledge as well as our memory.

    Reading is the most important way of learning. Reading books with your friends or anyone or even alone can lighten up your mind. Reading books will give you more and more information about things, places, people and so on. You can learn about politics, weather change, history, science and even stories that will sharpen your mind and broaden your imagination.

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    If you are not much of a reader, one can watch movies too. That is almost like reading a book but with audio-visual quality. Watching movies of famous directors, real life incident movies, and society structured movies will increased your mind’s sharpness.

    Three distinct activities sparkle up the mind that is read, heard or seen.

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    From memorizing algebra and geometry equations to learning to make a bowl of Maggi in 2 minutes, there is a lot of learning to be done for the mind to be sharp and active.

    Although learning capabilities differ from person to person, still a normal human brain or mind functions in the same way, learning improves your academic performance as well as your knowledge and of course your mind. Thus, never stop learning. Never. Learning has no boundaries.

  6. Put All Your Senses To Task

    You must use all your senses to learn something to sharpen your mind.

    Humans have 5 senses, the 6th one still being a mystery. Those five senses are to see something (eyes), to smell something (nose), to hear something (ears), to feel something (touch sensitivity), to taste something (mouth).

    One should master themselves in all these senses. Using sensory organs to the fullest is a great way to sharpen your mind. Your mind should immediately detect a substance by using the sensory organs.

    So challenge your sense to dive into the unfamiliar things and learn something new.

    Research has proved that using all your sensory organs activates various parts of your brain that enhances your memory skills.

    You can also challenge your mind by doing unusual things like, work with your left hand if you are a right handed for a day or vice-versa.

    Or try to draw something with your eyes closed, have the image inside your mind. Play with your mind by challenging it to improve its sharpness.

  7. Trust Yourself, Believe In Yourself

    There is this misconception that says when you become old, you mind stops working, which is completely wrong. Those who say this for themselves or others are the one who lacks behind in being mentally strong and mentally sharp. Old-age has nothing do with mental sharpness. You may have noticed a lot of doctors saying, that the patient needs to be mentally strong to be physically fit during a disease or any operation. It is because our mind or our brain is the powerhouse of everything. Our brain gives out energy and confidence. If you lack in self-confidence, you will lack in everything from decision making powers to being physically strong. If you ‘think’ you will not recover, you will not. It is all about your thought process.

    Believing yourself or having self-confidence is the way to perfectly deal with life. Think of all your fears and overcome them one by one. It feels really nice.

    Self-belief is the most important thing to be successful in today’s world.

    To be healthy, to have a good relationship, to be happy in general- the key is self-belief and self-confidence. There are a lot of factors that affects our self-confidence, for example our upbringing, our parents, our friends, our surroundings our society and many more. Thus, one should consider all these factors and take out all the good points that makes them self-confident and happy.

  8. Creativity Creates a Sharp Mind

    Creativity does not only help in mind sharpness, but it also flex your mind muscles to work in a specific way and to be creative in that specific way with extra care making it special. To be creative in something, learning comes in again. Learning something new and to be creative about that factor is a really great way to work up your mind.

    You can try your creative mind at acting, writing stories or poetry, playing any musical instrument, painting or any form of art. If not artistic, you can be creative in cooking or baking, just learn to express yourself in a really special way. Always keep a good attitude towards your creative work. Be optimistic too, even if you fail, try again and again. Never give up. Look for questions everywhere and then look for the answers.

    Facing any problems, do not run away from it, be creative and find a solution to.

    Creativity works like magic, as magic is creativity. Always look for what is going on around you, analyses it creatively and then assess it.

    Have a creative thought process. If something is going wrong, stop and ask ‘why?’ Being creative is not a technical work, it is a mental job.

    Try to find a creative space. If you want to be an actor, join a theater group. If you want to invest your creativity in music, join a band. A lot of creative minds can literally change the world.

    Thus, go and be creative. Let the caged bird in your mind set free and find its own creativity. Be creative. Always.

  9. Safety Measures To Keep Your Mind Sharp

    There are always safety measures for everything. To keep your mind sharp, there are a few safety measures as well.

    Wearing Helmets- This is a very important and sharp minded work to do so. Don’t be foolish and not wear helmets while riding on a bike, bicycling or rock climbing. Always be safe from inside and outside.

    Drugs- This includes smoking and alcohol consumption along with other drugs. Do not do drugs, there are other good things to do. Drugs will make your mind go insane and your mind will literally stop working.

    Drink plenty of water to avoid heat stroke in this hot season. Always carry water with yourself, and if possible glucose water too.

    Home safety- This includes using sharp objects carefully and not to run up and down on a staircase.

    Injuries- If you are injured due to playing or anything, treat the area immediately with Dettol or something of that sort. Also, rest that area for some time. Repetitive injuries cam harm your state of mind

    There are more safety measures that one should keep in mind always to keep your mind sharp. Having a sharp mind requires you to have common sense, and use that to its fullest. Do not lose your common sense else you will definitely lose your mind.

  10. Help Others to Make Your Mind Feel Good

    In a society like this, helping others always make you feel good about yourself and boosts up your mind.

    Help as many people as you can in your life. Set a goal, and fulfill that.

    Cheer someone up if they lose their self-confidence. If you succeed your self-confidence will be boosted too, because it is always a two-way process.

    The secret to happiness is helping others, because if you have a pure mind, seeing someone happy will certainly make you happy too.

    When one person helps another person, it forms a chain reaction. Then that other person will someday help another person and this chain reaction will spread like rapid fire in a community where everyone helps each other, keeping everyone happy and steady and have good healthy relationship with everyone.

    Research also showed that helping others reduce blood pressure too.

    Helping others gives you a good self-image in the society too.

    Thus, be selfless and not selfish.

  11. Be Socially Active

    Being socially active makes one’s mind sharp too. It reduces isolation and stress and pushes the brain through learning experience that gets shared and relationship bonds well together. Knowing new people can give you opportunities to learn more and more. You will learn about new personality traits.

    There are many ways to be social. Some of them are-

    Emails- With the widespread reach of emails, one can write anything to anyone in the globe.

    Phone- Everyone is just a phone call away!

    Social Media Platforms- WhatsApp, Instagram and what not! Social media platforms are one of the best ways to keep in touch and to socialize with people.

    Groups- Join a dance group, cooking group or any of your creative field related groups of a few people and hang out with them. It really helps.

    These are a few ways to connect with other people’s mind and be sharp.

    Bond over sharp minds!

  12. Last but not the least, Smile!

    Always smile. Do every work with a smile on your face. The more you smile, the more you mind will be happy.

    There will be a lot of complications in life, but that does not mean it is over. It is never over unless your life gets over.

    Play games like chess, scrabble.

    Hang out with friends and family.

    Always head out towards learning.

    Remember, your mind is your biggest treasure. It is your life partner that will never leave you. So, nourish it in every possible way.

    Have a strong, sharp mind and jump over all the life hurdles. If life throws stones at you, let your tough mind block it with its sharp shield.

    Your imagination limits you only. Do not let there be any limit to your imagination.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 14, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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