five ways to stay mentally sharp and on top of your game

Stay Mentally Sharp – Five Tips

Stay Mentally Sharp – Five Tips

A mind is a terrible thing to waste and few things provide a better quality of life than a mentally sharp and healthy mind. Your brain is like a finely tuned supercar. It can do amazing things, but if you neglect it and don’t do the proper maintenance all that horsepower will bolt out of the stable.

So what can you do to stay on top of your game and keep yourself mentally sharp?

Stay Mentally Sharp No 1. Run Forest, Run!

OK, maybe you don’t need to actually run, but according to research doing three hours of cardio exercises per week will start to improve your memory and logic after as few as six weeks. You don’t have to go all Lance Armstrong and start doing heavy training, but any exercise that gets the blood pumping for an hour like power walking will help keep those neurons lubricated. Metaphorically, not literally.

Stay Mentally Sharp No 2. Play Games With Yourself

Life is pretty easy when it comes to mental exercise these days. We don’t have to remember phone numbers or shopping lists. We can just use our smartphones to take over all of those mental chores. That’s a great thing in general, but if you want to stay sharp you should challenge yourself every now and then to remember a phone number you use often without looking it up or try to remember your shopping list without looking for as long as possible. As time goes by you should remember more and more without any extra effort.

Stay Mentally Sharp No 3. Learn Another Language

If you aren’t lucky enough to be bilingual, one great way to sharpen your mind is to learn a new language. It is not just enough to learn a new language though, you need to use it as well. Learning, speaking and understanding a new language is truly mind-expanding. In a literal way. It creates many new connections and beefs up the task switching speed of your brain compared to people who only speak one language. It’s also fun and stimulating, so why not give it a go?

Stay Mentally Sharp No 4. Go Easy On the GPS

Another fantastic modern convenience is the GPS. Without it most of us would be literally lost and it definitely encourages people to travel more since it makes it easier to do so. The problem is that navigation is an important and stimulating brain function. In fact, cabbies in London have been shown to develop super-memories that actually show up as enlarged brain sections where they store knowledge of London’s complex streets. So once you know a route well enough, switch off your GPS and navigate by memory. This will keep that part of your brain fit as a fiddle.

Stay Mentally Sharp No 5. Google Things

Here’s a surprise. Although we’ve mostly said to take it easy on the technology, it turns out that actively searching for stuff on the internet can really set your neurons alight. This is way different from zoning out with Netflix or other passive mental processes. When you are hunting for info you have to make use of every faculty your brain possesses. So make a note of questions you are wondering about and take time to find answers that will both satisfy your curiosity and keep your brain in the game.

Stay Mentally Sharp BONUS: Hang Out With Your Friends

Interacting socially is one of the most important factors in keeping a healthy brain. Solitude is also important for a balanced life, but if you never have anyone to talk to and have stimulating conversations with you’ll quickly feel that grey matter shrivel up. So make time for the ones you care about or put in the effort to make friends if you don’t have them. It’s both fun and good for you. Two things that don’t often go together.

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