Keeping yourself mentally sharp and focused will pay off in virtually every part of your life. Whether you want to boost your cognitive function to improve your performance at work, make it easier to learn new skills, or just to improve your general quality of life, there are some methods of doing so that are better than others. By taking the time to learn more about these techniques, you can be as efficient as possible in boosting your mental agility.
Your brain is just a much a part of your body as any other organ, which means that the same habits that improve physical fitness will improve mental fitness as well. Exercise is not just good for helping you get in shape; it will also keep your brain functioning at its peak capacity as well.
A number of studies have found that exercise helps to improve memory, boost cognitive functioning, and guard against mental decline. Exercise improves oxygen flow to the brain and also helps stimulate the production of various hormones that are key for cognitive health.
Seeking out novelty is another important habit to foster if you want to increase your intelligence. Of the five main personality traits, openness to new experiences is the one that is most correlated with intelligence. The more open you are to novel ideas, and the more that you tend to seek them out, the more intelligent you will be.
New ideas and new ways of thinking help to improve your mental flexibility by encouraging the growth of new synaptic connections in your brain. Your brain will be primed for learning, which makes it easier to retain new information and connect it with your existing body of knowledge. In addition, novel experiences stimulate the production of dopamine, which is an important neurotransmitter that helps neurons grow and connect.
Remaining socially active is another key to enhancing your intelligence. Humans, like most primates, are social animals, after all, and our brains evolved to navigate the complex social hierarchies of primate culture. If you restrict your social activities, these parts of your brain will tend to diminish.
Not only is social activity quite simulating mentally, but it also exposes you to new ideas and different perspectives on the world. Social isolation can have many negative health consequences, both mentally and physically. Get out of the house and spend some time with other people. Just being in the company of others can help even if you are not directly interacting with them.
Try to challenge yourself on a daily basis. Learn something new each day, and once you master a certain skill or activity, move on to a new challenge. Resting on your laurels is not a way to improve yourself. You always need to be on the lookout for new challenges and new mountains to conquer.
Improving your cognitive function is a lifelong activity. You need to cultivate habits that will do so on a daily basis. This way, you can remain mentally sharp for many years to come.