The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die.
As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions;
they cease to be mind.
There are many things we can do to help keep our minds sharp or even augment them. There are a variety of ways to exercise our brains, ranging from learning something new, to physical exercise, to dropping unhelpful habits.
Our brains eventually age just like every other part of our bodies. But there is much we can do to slow, or even reverse, some elements of the aging process. It is never too early or too late to work on keeping your mind sharp.
Startegies to Try:
1. Learn a new language.
- Learning a new language is very challenging!
- Between learning new vocabulary and grammar rules, you will give your brain a complete workout.
- This will help you become a better listener.
- Pick a language that interests you, one that will help at work, or one linked to a future travel goal or plan.
2. Learn to meditate.
- Meditation is all about focus.
- With age, it can be more challenging to concentrate.
- Daily meditation is s great practice that will help you feel good, help you relax more, and gives your brain a workout.
- Develop a daily meditation practice and notice all the benefits you gain.
3. Get some physical and mental exercise.
- There are many ways to exercise your brain.
- Listen to classical music, take a math class, do a crossword puzzle, read a challenging book, make a list of random words and try to remember it.
- Play chess, bridge or poker.
- Exercising your body can help your brain, too.
- Avoid exercising to exhaustion. But do enough exercise to give your heart and lungs a workout too.
- Find an activity that you love doing.
- See your doctor if you have any concerns or questions.
4. Stop smoking and excessive drinking too much.
- There are studies that have demonstrated that a drink a day is healthy. That is one drink.
- There are no studies that support smoking as a health enhancer.
- One of the ways to keep your mind sharp is to stop doing the things that damage it on a regular basis.
5. Learn something new.
- Opening our minds to the possibility of learning new things creates actual physical changes in our brains.
- Take a class at your local community college or an artists guild.
- Teach yourself sign language or how to play the piano.
- There is something that we would like to know more about. Now is the time to indulge yourself a little.
6. Get enough rest.
- Less than seven hours of sleep has been shown to impair cognitive function on multiple levels. Decision-making and memory are just two examples.
- Get enough sleep and your brain will function at a higher level. Start tonight.
7. Do things in a different way.
- Take a few everyday tasks and try doing them in a new way. For example:
- Eat with your non-dominant hand.
- Get dressed with your eyes closed or with only one hand.
- Wear your watch upside down.
- What ideas can you come up with?
8. Turn the volume on your TV down a notch.
- Set the volume to a comfortable level and then turn it down one click.
- See if you can still follow what is being said.
- When that becomes easy, turn it down another notch.
- These steps help your brain’s ability to process auditory information.
The best time to work on maintaining your brain health was 20 years ago; the second best time is today.
Get started on your new brain project today.
Challenge your brain in new and creative ways.
Part of the reason we lose our mental sharpness is because we stop thinking when everything becomes rote. We do the same things each day and rarely try to learn or add anything new to our routines.
Dare to be different.
Stretch your brain and reap the rewards.
The mind is not a vessel to be filled,
but a fire to be kindled.