5 Tips For Boosting Your Mental Agility
Whether you’re a busy entrepreneur with little time on your hands or working a high-pressure job in a big corporation, staying mentally agile and sharp is important.
Mental agility is about using your brain to its full potential (which many of us currently don’t do): being able to solve problems, make decisions faster, think creatively, compete better, and think on your feet. Plus, in the long run, it can benefit you by warding off memory loss and dementia.
That’s why it’s important to look after your brain and keep your mind mentally agile.
In this post, we’ve gathered five of the best brain-boosting tips for keeping yourself mentally agile – read on for inspiration and stimulation.
Related: How to Focus Your Attention Better at Work
Tip #1: Play card games to keep your mind fit
That’s right – one of the first brain-boosting tips on our list is something that fun to do and can easily be done in your spare time; playing cards.
Whether it’s offline or online, playing card games will keep you mentally fit and stimulate your brain. This is because you’re constantly having to think strategically, concentrate and make decisions throughout the game to beat your opponent(s). Playing card games or gambling is great for keeping you sharp and your mind active.
Whether you’re challenging yourself by learning poker (check out these One-on-One poker tips if you want to start) or simply improving on an old favorite like blackjack, card games are all great for boosting your mental agility.
Tip #2: Challenge yourself with mental puzzles
If you want to stay sharp and mental agility, then regularly working on mental puzzles should definitely be on your to-do list.
Crosswords, sudoku, word searches, and word ladders can help to keep your mind nimble and speedy. Completing these puzzles successfully relies on you using your memory, reason and analytical skills – pushing you to use your mental power. Word puzzles also improve your memory and increase your vocabulary.
You can easily find all sorts of puzzles online, or you can go traditional and head to the puzzle section in the newspaper or magazine. Depending on the publication, you may find the difficulty of the puzzles vary – so watch out!
Tip #3: Boost your brain with the right foods
Playing card games and challenging yourself with puzzles are both great for keeping your mind sharp and practicing your strategic thinking, but you should be feeding your brain with the right food too.
The food you eat plays an important role in maintaining brain health, as well as improving your memory and ability to concentrate. There are lots of great foods that help to boost your brainpower, but here are some of the best:
- Superfood berries like blueberries are packed with high levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants which reduce oxidative stress, delay aging and protect your brain from dementia. They also enhance brain function, learning and improve memory.
- Fatty fish like salmon and trout are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids and therefore can vastly improve your brain health. Omega-3s are used to build brain cells and are vital for learning and memory; plenty of brain-boosting benefits.
- Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach improve your brain function because of their high levels of vitamins E and K, folate and beta-carotene. All of these are great for a healthy brain, but in particular, beta-carotene improves your cognitive ability, memory, and even protects your brain from oxidative stress.
Tip #4: Learn a new skill or hobby
While doing activities or hobbies you are familiar with has its benefits (de-stressing and relaxing you), trying your hand at something new is great for boosting your mental agility.
Learning a new skill or hobby stimulates and challenges different parts of your brain that you’re used to using – and as a result, can sharpen your mind and prevent memory problems.
Get out of your comfort zone and pick something you have never done before: learn a new language, take up crafting, attend dance classes or try learning how to play that instrument you’ve always wanted to. Some of these you can do on your own, through apps (Duolingo is great for learning a new language) or online courses, and some you may have to sign up for a class with a tutor.
Try to do this exciting hobby regularly (once a week or so) to keep testing yourself, pushing your brain and cementing your new knowledge.
Tip #5: Exercise regularly
Regular exercise has a whole host of benefits for you physically: keeping you healthy, improving your fitness, and allowing you to maintain a healthy weight. But did you know that that it can also boost your mental agility?
Staying active has plenty of benefits for your brain because it keeps your blood pressure and cholesterol steady (high levels of either are bad for your brain health). It prevents cognitive decline by keeping your mind sharp too.
Exercise also helps to improve your sleep quality and quantity – and good sleep is vital for a well-functioning brain and concentration levels. You’ve probably noticed that when you get a poor night’s sleep, you struggle to concentrate, learn, and remember things the next day.
If you want to stay mentally agile and improve your concentration, then regular exercise will help with this.
You don’t have to complete a high-intensity workout or run a marathon to reap the mental benefits of exercise either; just starting the day with a small yoga or swimming session will help. Walking outside in nature is also great for your mood, memory, and concentration levels.
Follow these five tips to boost your mental agility – keeping your mind sharp, your memory strong and your concentration high.
About the Author: Kayleigh Alexandra
Kayleigh Alexandra is a writer for Micro Startups, your online destination for everything startup. She’s passionate about hard-working solopreneurs and SMEs making waves in the business world. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup and charity insights from top experts around the globe @getmicrostarted.