If you want to have better focus, improve your memory, and boost mental performance, you can take several steps to nurture your cognitive health. Certain daily habits may not only contribute to your mental acuity but also may help improve your mood, keep your body in shape, and provide a good foundation for supporting your overall well-being.
Flex Your Mental Muscles
You may be surprised to learn that some of the things you do for fun, including socializing with your friends, can help promote mental acuity. Leisure activities like playing a game of cards or a musical instrument can engage your brain while you practice focus and memory recall. Even listening to your favorite music could help activate your recognition memory.
On top of that, having positive social relationships is associated with better cognitive performance and less memory decline as you age. So, the next time you enjoy time with your family or friends, know that you’re also contributing to self-care for your mental and psychological health.
Move Your Body for a Helathy Brain
If you exercise regularly, you’re not only improving your physical strength but also taking an important step in keeping mentally fit. Whether you prefer to dance, ride a bike, swim, or participate in another active sport, you may be helping improve both your motor abilities and mental health.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to experience the benefits of physical activity. It’s recommended to get consistent exercise, with at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic movement each week. That could be about 30 minutes of activity per day for 5 days. It’s also recommended to do muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice per week.
While not everyone can reach this goal, a little bit of exercise is better than none. Even a simple fitness activity, like a regular brisk walk, can make a difference.
Rest for Mental Restoration
When you don’t get enough sleep, it can be difficult to think clearly, focus, and even control your emotions. Sleep has a critical relationship to memory, including long-term retention when it comes to learning. Good sleep habits are also important to help you achieve a quality night’s rest.
- going to bed at the same time every night
- getting exercise during the day
- not taking in alcohol, caffeine, or large meals before bedtime
- avoiding tobacco use
- making your bedroom dark and a comfortable temperature
Physical and cognitive health go hand in hand. In other words, to take care of your mind, make sure you take care of your body, too. Many self-care habits, like getting a good amount of exercise and good sleep, help support your ability to perform mental processes and can help strengthen your current cognitive health.
You may be surprised to learn that you’re already taking some of these steps to stay sharp, and others are easy to incorporate into your daily life. So, why not give them a try?