One’s mental performance could greatly influence a person’s ability to succeed, build and maintain relationships, have a balanced lifestyle, and cope with challenges. It affects every aspect of a person’s life. Because of this, it’s vital to boost one’s mental abilities and maintain the mind’s health and strength.
However, there are times when people experience a cognitive decline due to various reasons. Some may be age-related, while others are due to environmental and health factors. Some of the common signs of cognitive decline are:
- Poor concentration
- Lack of motivation
- Having difficulty handling new information
- Feeling disoriented
There are many ways you can counter these cognitive problems. Here are some suggestions that you may find helpful in boosting your mental performance:
1. Improve Your Nutrition
Animal proteins, such as meat and eggs, are rich in iron to improve concentration. On the other hand, experts advise eating whole grain for added Vitamin B1, which is also thought to enhance the performance of mental processes.
Aside from these food items, you can also consider adding more fruits and vegetables to your shopping list as they’re rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants may help counter the negative impact of free radicals on the brain, allowing it to retain its strength and health.
You can also consider taking supplements and stimulants known to boost cognitive function. Nootropics, as an example, are natural cognitive enhancers that are commonly sold over-the-counter and can be taken without prescription. These substances can give you more help if you’re finding it hard to focus or if you need motivation.
Moving your body may also help boost the health of your mind. Exercise enhances mental ability by encouraging the growth of new blood vessels in the brain and new brain cells. It can also lower blood pressure, balance cholesterol levels, and reduce inflammation and insulin resistance. These physiological improvements can help maintain the brain’s health and optimal functions.
Also, physical activity triggers the release of the feel-good hormone endorphin, which enhances the mood and minimizes the effects of stressors in the body. This hormone is incredibly beneficial for mental and physical wellness in general.
3. Engage in Mentally Stimulating Activities
Experts recommend engaging in mind-stimulating activities to exercise one’s cognitive functions. These activities strengthen the brain and encourage brain cell growth and development. Aside from this, participating in stimulating activities may also help fight boredom and depression, which are detrimental to mental performance.
Here are some fun and stimulating activities you can try:
- Solve puzzles or math problems
- Read regularly
- Learn a new skill
- Write a journal
- Express yourself through art by drawing, painting, and making crafts
You can also consider taking adult learning courses to keep your mind active while learning something new and meeting new people. As you feed your mind with further information, you’re letting it enhance its functionality, which will benefit your cognitive performance in the long run.
4. Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep deprivation can be detrimental to one’s mental performance. This is because lack of sleep can cause poor concentration and lower alertness. It can also impair one’s judgment and ability to perform tasks where in-depth thinking and logical reasoning are required.
Experts advise getting at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to avoid this. Getting sufficient rest is needed to help the brain rest and recuperate. Brainwaves, essential in knowledge retention, are also more active when asleep. Given this, getting adequate sleep is vital in improving your mental performance.
5. Take A Break From Your Routine
Having a routine is unavoidable for many adults, although it’s not ideal for boosting cognitive performance. This is because predictability can cause boredom, and the lack of stimulation may cause mental functions to decline in the long run.
As such, it’s essential to engage in new, engaging, and exciting activities to retain optimal cognitive functioning. Experts suggest doing unfamiliar and mentally challenging activities to stimulate mental and social abilities.
6. Care For Your Emotional Health
Anxiety and depression can both be detrimental to cognitive functions. It can weaken decision-making, reasoning, attention span, and memory. Also, emotional wellness influences other aspects of a person’s health. As such, caring for your emotional health is essential in enhancing your mental performance.
Here are some suggestions you may find helpful when it comes to improving your emotional health:
- Maintain a balanced lifestyle
- Keep in touch with your support systems, such as your family and friends.
- Socialize and interact with others.
- Regulate consumption of stimulating substances such as alcohol and cigarettes
- Ask for help as needed
Learning problem-solving and coping strategies might also help care for your emotional health. This way, you’ll be able to handle challenging situations with courage and resilience while overcoming negative thoughts and feelings.
7. Allocate Time For Recreation
Another way you can improve your mental performance is by doing things that you love and enjoy. Engaging in recreational activities such as sports and hobbies allows your mind and body to rest and recharge. Also, doing the things that you want can make you feel more connected to your thoughts, feelings, and actions. As a result, you become more self-aware, essential in caring for your mental well-being and cognitive abilities.
Recreation may be overlooked and given the least priority for those who lead a hectic lifestyle. Because of constant stress and exertion while at work or school may impact one’s cognitive abilities. As such, allocating time for recreation should be prioritized even more if you are constantly on the go. This way, you can avoid burnout and exhaustion and prevent cognitive decline in the long run.
There are several methods you can consider to improve your mental ability. Many of these require a change of habits and lifestyle, which can also benefit your overall health and wellness. As such, you can consider these changes as a way to invest in your general well-being for the long term.
It may also be helpful to consult with a doctor if you notice a sudden decline in your mental performance. This way, you’ll know if there are any underlying medical conditions, and you can get professional help as needed.