It is perfectly normal to want to be healthier and smarter. It is also not surprising to find out that having a healthy body and a strong mind are closely linked to each other, since your mental processes can determine your physical state easily, as well as the reverse.
For you to achieve your goals, it is therefore essential to find ways of supporting and enhancing the health of your body and mind. It is additionally important to remember that the better they are, the more your overall feelings of wellbeing success and happiness increase. However, you cannot improve your body and mind in a short span of time, as it requires genuine commitment to the entire process.
Here are some tried and tested tips that will help you do your best and improve yourself.
Learn to play an instrument to increase brain plasticity
There is increasing scientific research that proves the playing and learning of a musical instrument actually changes the power and shape of the brain, as well as enhancing your cognitive skills. Aside from this, it also proves to increase IQ levels in both adults and children. This is because learning to play an instrument increases the plasticity of the brain (the ability to learn and retain new information). Studies have also revealed that the brain of a musician differs from that of a non-musician, both structurally and functionally.
For example, the parts of the brain that are most affected by this learning are the ones that control the storage of audio information, the hearing aspects, motor skills, and memory. These all become more active and larger as you play an instrument. It also increases emotional perception and mental alertness.
Read more books to help you stay sharp
Before you go spending your money at New Zealand casinos, consider buying a book instead. It does not need to be of a certain genre or topic – it can be anything. Studies have proven that reading books, regardless of the type they are, will help you increase your vocabulary and comprehension levels, as well as improving brain activity. In fact, the reading of fictional material in particular has shown to increase your empathy levels, social support, and emotional intelligence.
The results of a study published in the Journal of American Academy of Neurology revealed that the more a person engaged in mentally stimulating activities such as reading, the slower their memory aged.
Write to untangle your mind
Similar to reading, writing encourages your brain to learn and retain new vocabulary, as well as language and grammar skills, and the use of correct syntax. However, the most important aspect is that it encourages you to untangle your messy mind and encourages you to have clearer thoughts. That is because it helps you absorb information better.
The brain tends to store information better when you write it down, therefore helping to enhance your memory and recalling abilities – which is why you were always encouraged to take notes in school. When a student writes notes during class as they learn a topic, they score better on tests more consistently. Writing will force you to pay extra attention to your experiences, memories, as well as internal dialogues, which always helps to improve the functioning of your brain.
Do physical exercises
Exercising is not just an activity that helps you stay fit – it is the secret to aging well and having a sharper mind. Studies continuously reveal that the people who exercise regularly feel more energized, and have stronger bodies. They also come up with new ideas easily and are better at problem solving, since they think more clearly.
The increase of physical activity results in the improvement of the health of brain cells. It also encourages the abundance of new brain cells and increase in blood vessel networks of the brain. For instance, the process of neurogenesis (where the brain produces greater levels of neurotransmitters) occurs during vigorous exercise. These include dopamine, a hormone that regulates stress levels – which is why people who exercise frequently have lower stress levels, better concentration and greater energy.
Socializing to increase intellectual performance
We are sure you have heard of the famous saying ‘No man is an island’. In real life, there is a great reason why socializing is a great aspect of human life – it actually turns out those random gatherings improve your intellectual performance. This is because socializing forces the brain to ‘exercise’ all its cognitive processes, so the more you connect with others mentally and socially, the more intellectual improvements you have.
However, you do not need to go a whole day of socializing and burn yourself out – even ten minutes a day helps you greatly.
Drinking plenty of water
You must never underestimate the importance of water. Not only does it maintain overall health, but also plays a role in the functioning of your brain – dehydration leaves you feeling exhausted, while drinking water is a natural pick-me-up.
When the body has higher fluid levels, the heart pumps blood more efficiently, which means all your muscles and cells get the nutrients they require to function optimally.
The brain also depends heavily on proper hydration. When you are dehydrated, you notice how tired you get, even experiencing headaches many times. This is due to the disruption of the delicate balance your brain cells need to function. That also affects your memory retention skills, and affects long term recalling of information.
Harnessing the ‘protégé’ effect
The learning through teaching method dates back centuries, and it all has to do with the ‘protégé effect’. That means that when you teach others the topics and points you have learnt, you actually perform much better on quizzes and tests than a person who just learns for the sake of learning. The more you teach, the more your understanding on a subject improves, and the more you find the motivation to learn.
Taking care of your brain involves many strategies – even more than those on this list. However, it is a worthwhile investment to make, and increases your desire to learn and remember new information that you come across.