10 Simple Ways To Improve Cognitive Function

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In recent times, adopting lifestyle changes that focus on improving the brain structure, connectivity, and cognitive function has become of utmost importance. Cognitive decline is the primary cause of premature ageing. As the brain ages, your capacity to learn more things, retain them, and apply them in real life dies with it. Cognitive abilities encompass reasoning, attention, memory, and language, factors that influence knowledge.

If cognitive performance embraces those functions, then endogenous factors such as mood, stress, and physical health have an impact on it. For us to respond to a stimulus, specific neuron networks usually connect the brain to that incentive; Cognitive abilities need healthy neurons for the perfect transmissions. Since cognitive functions are not fixed, the need to improve them becomes necessary. This article gives you 10 simple ways to improve cognition functions for a longer lifespan.  Implementing these tips every day will not only exercise your brain but will also increase your executive abilities and keep cognitive potentials that are not usually in use, in a perfect condition.

This article gives you 10 simple ways to improve cognition functions for a longer lifespan.  Implementing these tips every day will not only exercise your brain but will also increase your executive abilities and keep cognitive potentials that are not usually in use, in a perfect condition.

For us to respond to a stimulus, specific neuron networks usually connect the brain to that incentive; Cognitive abilities need healthy neurons for the perfect transmissions. Since cognitive functions are not fixed, the need to improve them becomes necessary. This article gives you 10 simple ways to improve cognition functions for a longer lifespan.  Implementing these tips every day will not only exercise your brain but will also increase your executive abilities and keep cognitive potentials that are not usually in use, in a perfect condition.

Focus on harmonizing your mind and your body:

1. Exercise

Breaking a sweat is the simplest way to work out your brain. Exercises increase blood flow and oxygen to your brain. A healthy mind is not prone to disorders like diabetes and cardiovascular complications. Exercises also help the brain reduce production of stress hormones and increase production of beneficial chemicals like facilitating production of growth factors and enhancing new neuronal connections.

Aerobics are one of the best ways you can keep your blood flowing and your heart pumping. Taking a jog in the early hours clears sleep cobwebs and also primes the brain for learning new things. Also, physical exercises are an excellent way to rid your body and mind of accumulated fatigue and lazy afternoons. If morning activities are not your thing, then walk home from work. Feel the evening breeze. These exercises bring your brain at ease, and you can connect with a bigger realm which improves connectivity and cognitive function as well. Research shows that practices facilitate blood flow to the hippocampus, the memory hard disk; train yourself to exercise every day and give your heart a good pump. A healthy heart is a healthy brain.

Stay Calm.

2. Reduce Stress and Address Depression

Emotional intensity is one of the leading causes of cognitive decline. Stress is a habit-forming disorder that gets worse every waking day. From little worries to living in the past or continued physiological anticipation, chronic anxiety destroys brain cells leading to increased memory loss and there after a loss in cognition abilities. Reducing stress has a significant impact on depression. As with stressed individuals, depressed people are more likely to have cognitive problems as they age. Using prescriptions only addresses the issue at hand while the root is left intact. Using natural ways to deal with mental problems is a better way of improving connectivity than a lifetime of prescriptions.

There are many ways to combat stress. Expressing yourself is the best way. When you hold things in, you subject your brain to intense pressure and soon enough, your mind becomes accustomed to living in the past and anticipating the future. Letting go is the best way you can rid of stress. Research has shown that sometimes the mind fails to register pressure. But when you start experiencing constant headaches and fatigue, then it is time to meditate and find out why your body is not expressing change. When your mind is full of worries, clarity becomes problematic. Meditating is a game-changer. Meditation helps in improving memory, enhance decision making, and help you focus on the bigger picture. Sitting still with perfect silence help the brain to focus on your innermost thoughts, and connects you to the world around you. Establishing a deeper connection with yourself sets you free from worry, stress, and depression.

Meditating is a game-changer. Meditation helps in improving memory, enhance decision making, and help you focus on the bigger picture. Sitting still with perfect silence help the brain to focus on your innermost thoughts, and connects you to the world around you. Establishing a deeper connection with yourself sets you free from worry, stress, and depression.

Exercise your mind.

3. Challenge the Brain

You have probably heard of the cliché “use it or lose it.” The same case applies to the brain, which is the intelligence center of a human body. Challenging your brain involves doing things that are fun, yet they keep the mind alert. The brain thrives and prospers on sensory stimulation. As the powerhouse of the body, the brain is designed to detect environmental stimuli and respond by building neuron transmissions or connections based on the response the external environment needs. The brain keeps absorbing new information and links daily.

However, as we grow old, our cognitive functions become less responsive. Soon, genes associated with neuroplasticity shut down. By the time we are sixty, the brain is shutting down production of serotonin, glutamate, and dopamine, essential chemicals needed for high cognitive potential. As a result, we experience reduced cognitive abilities. The good news is that we can always choose to delay these declines by challenging the brain and keeping it alert.

Challenging ourselves is the most efficient way to improve cognitive functions. Research shows that stimulating cognitive abilities help to improve cognition and at the same time delay dementia. Challenges that keep the brain guessing include writing, reading, solving puzzles, and playing games. Seeking out a variety is particularly good for your mind. Solving problems is an outstanding way of building new connections in the brain. Do acrostics, syllacrostics, cryptograms, Sudoku, and crosswords. Start with the easy ones and develop your creativity up. Add a board, and card games to the menu. Scrabble, for example, is a fantastic way to make your brain build strong connections; others are Monopoly, Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune. Finally, add chess and checkers into the mix. These will equip your brain with strategic problem solving and decision making and at the end of the day improved cognition.

Do acrostics, syllacrostics, cryptograms, Sudoku, and crosswords. Start with the easy ones and develop your creativity up. Add a board, and card games to the menu. Scrabble, for example, is a fantastic way to make your brain build strong connections; others are Monopoly, Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune. Finally, add chess and checkers into the mix. These will equip your brain with strategic problem solving and decision making and at the end of the day improved cognition.

Make time for the ones that matter.

4. Socialize

Dr. Kathryn Papp from Harvard University points out that social engagements work to improve our mentality and thus improve cognitive functions. Socializing help fends off depression and social isolations factors associated with a decline in cognitive abilities. Having a working social life also contributes to combating stress. Connecting with people also reduces chances of contracting dementia.

Setting time for those that matter is one way of keeping tabs with friends, family, and acquaintances. Linger over coffee with your friends or take a walk in the park together. Participate or volunteer in local communities programs. Attend workshops and team building activities. Go camping. Do Golf. While most of us run busy lives, keeping your mind off the fast lane is important. Connections relieve pressure for improved brain functioning and increase cognitive potential. So work on building those social connections and improve your cognitive skills. Participate in activities that encourage cognitive engagements.

In 2004, Neurology published a study that verified the following statement;

‘individuals with a functional and bigger social networks and are more involved in social engagements showed less cognitive decline as they aged. As such, it is only right to say that a healthy social life is an improved cognitive potential.’

Put your mind and body to rest.

5. Sleep

Today, insomnia is a global phenomenon. Chronic partial sleep restriction is common in everyday life. Lack of sleep impairs attention and working memory. In the long run, it affects memory, decision making, and other important cognitive abilities. Research shows that lack of sleep activates the sympathetic nervous system leading to a rise in blood pressure and increased secretion of cortisol- the stress hormone. People deprived of sleep usually experience reduced cognitive potentials and are more irritable.

People have a tendency of stretching their capacity and compromising on their daily hours of sleep. Eventually, they become chronically deprived of sleep. As much as working hours are increasing daily, creating a minimum of six hours where you can enjoy a healthy and undisturbed sleep is paramount.  So set aside your busy life and give your brain time to reset. To rewind you must unwind, in that to remember you must remember to forget what you must do and just lie down, shut the world out, and sleep like a baby. Wake up feeling relaxed and ready to face the day’s challenges. A good night sleep is as important to you as it is to a baby.

6. Massage

Massage is the language of touch. The body is accustomed to understanding the language more efficiently than probably any other form of communication. Research studies have shown that massage has a positive impact on cognitive functions, emotions, and immunity as well. Therapeutic massages enhance your sense of well-being both mentally and physically. Massage also helps to combat stress- the brain worst enemy. A relaxed mind can focus, reason, remember, connect, and coordinate efficiently. So take some oil and massage tight shoulder muscles, legs, hands, bowel region, and back.

Most people love lavender scented products. The thing is lavender has a way of relaxing tight nerves. Lavender is a scientifically proven product that helps the body fight anxiety by lowering systolic blood pressure leading to a stress-free mind and hence improved cognitive function.

Entertain your mind.

7. Listen to Music

Some people say that music is the biggest discovery man ever made. Since antiquity, music has provided entertainment in the most exciting manner. Research has verified that listening to or making music confers intellectual advantages. These benefits are not only musical but also nonmusical. However, the extent of this effect varies with age; but nevertheless, taking one step at a time is way healthier than taking multiple steps back and forth.

Music listening in children has long lasting effects. Even though the conferred intellectual advantage is in small doses than in adults, the effect is almost infinite and cannot be confounded by earthy variables such as education and family income. Even though the mechanism underlying such a phenomenon is not yet established, research indicates that children who play musical instruments in schools or participate in musical events, tend to grow up more intelligently than those who just do books.

Most children have been known to express themselves or calm their nerves as they play the violin, guitars, pianos, and other instruments. To adults, the gained benefits are short-lived, but they do help the body manage stress and moods; music arouses mood which then leads to increased cognitive performance. No wonder High School Musical and Camp Rock were big hit movies. So put on your headsets or earphones and sing along with Adele as she sets fire on the rain.

Sip yourself to cognitive fitness.

8. Try Brain Power Boosting Supplements and Herbs

We’ve published a lot about how your can boost your cognitive functions with nootropics. Check our guide to the best nootropics & cognitive enhancers to get more information about a variety of chemical structures, depending on which type of cognitive enhancer you choose, from the general types:

  • Cholinergics
  • Racetams
  • Dopaminergics
  • Serotonergics
  • Adaptogens
  • Metabolics
  • Stimulants

You can also try tongkat ali, a healing herb has been used by Malaysians for many years now as a traditional medicine. The herb is capable of promoting hormonal balance and promotes a healthy libido. These elements have been associated with testosterone increase and sperm count. Additionally, research has verified that this herb can help maintain proper blood sugar levels, defending your body against type II diabetes.

As men age, they start experiencing reductions in testosterone and an imbalance in general hormonal levels. Reduced sexual response, increased body fat, lack of energy and mental lethargy are some of the symptoms associated with andropause. To women, hormonal imbalances especially those involving Estrogen production often lead to slowed metabolism, fatigue, low libido and brain fog are the symptoms of encroaching menopause. In both cases, ageing provides a decrease in the cognitive potentials of people. However, modern research has discovered that sipping Tongkat Ali every day can eliminate these symptoms. The herb balances body hormones reducing weight gains, balances energy and metabolism, boost libido, promotes testosterone concentration in the serum which further leads to healthy bones, and also reduces the production of cortisol- the stress hormone. In other words, sipping a cup of Tongkat Ali is sipping your body to cognitive fitness.

However, modern research has discovered that sipping Tongkat Ali everyday can eliminate these symptoms. The herb balances body hormones reducing weight gains, balances energy and metabolism, boost libido, promotes testosterone concentration in the serum which further leads to healthy bones, and also reduces the production of cortisol- the stress hormone. In other words, sipping a cup of Tongkat Ali is sipping your body to cognitive fitness.

Eat foods that balance your hormones.

9. Increase Your Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The simple things in life are the ones that make a significant difference. As mentioned earlier in this article, a healthy body is an improved cognition. Research from institutions like the University of Ottawa and the Tuffs-New England Medical Center; have proven that Omega-3 Fatty acids have a significant role in cognitive functions related to ageing, dementia, and neurological complications. Omega-3 plays an important role in the movement of calcium and other nutrients in and out of cells, contraction and relaxation of muscles, secretion of substances like digestive enzymes and hormones, regulation of clotting, cell division, fertility, and growth. Additionally, Omega-3 plays a vital role in brain development and hence cognition.

Omega 3 is easy to find as it is present in simple foods like fish, walnuts, wheat germ, soybeans, spinach, seafood and many dietary supplements.

10. Do Yoga

Ever heard of “let me, so you do that yoga” hit song? Well if you haven’t then its time you do. Historically and anecdotally, doing yoga has been associated with physical and mental fitness. Nowadays, people have discovered how to convert ancient wisdom of yoga to scientific evidence that has had doctors recommend their patients to yoga therapies.

For people trying to improve their cognitive functions concerning increasing memory retention, reducing memory loss, and delaying dementia, a regular yoga practice is all you need. Additionally, yoga helps to fight off depression, stress, anxiety, ADHD, and schizophrenia. You can also reduce migraines, heart diseases, and improve sexual performance and immunity just by bending over in a yoga class!

Tap your maximum cognitive potential with the above tips and live longer. A healthy brain is a healthy life. Life is that simple.

About the author Alex Harris

And here is my bio: I started working out in order to keep my mind off things during a tough period in my life, after awhile fitness and health has become an indispensable part of me. Now I just want to share my knowledge in this area in order to help others out.