Boost your cognition
Cognitive development is a lifelong process, not just linked to developing children. Studies show that reduced cognitive abilities are linked to premature ageing and reduce life expectancy. It is a well-known fact that people who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer or other disorders of cognition have less life expectancy than healthier people. Certain habits and exercises that specifically challenge the brain can make a person many years younger in their brain activity than their actual age. Newer researches have shown that even at an older age, the brain forms new connections and there is constant rewiring of brain circuits. In short, whenever we learn new things, the brain makes new connections. Just like in newborn children, the adult brain also has the ability to cognitively develop at any age.
Here are a few tested methods to improve cognition and achieve a healthier lifestyle:
Exercise is known to increase cerebral blood flow, especially to areas of the brain concerned with memory and cognition. Studies show that people who exercise have better cerebral tissue density, increase the ability to learn, can make clear decisions and hand stressful situations with ease.
Watch and Read, but actively
There is a difference when you watch for entertainment and when you watch for knowledge. Similarly, reading for pure entertainment has a different effect on the brain than reading for educational purposes. Active watching and reading boost the cognitive ability of the brain and helps in the retention of knowledge.
Solve puzzles and play games
One of the best ways to build new connections in the brain is to solve puzzles. By puzzles, I don’t just mean crosswords. There are a lot of word-oriented brain puzzles that help the thought process to become more effective. If you are not partial towards puzzles with words, there are some which do not involve them at all like Sudoku. Similarly, games that include strategy are a great help to boost cognition. Two most popular games are checkers and chess with well-known positive effects on the brain. If you do not prefer the old school approach you can always take out that smartphone of yours and play the same games on the palm of your hand! It is always better to seek out variety.
Never leave being a student
Being a student does not mean that you have to attend classes all your life. What I mean by this is never stop learning. Always seek out new things to learn and adapt. Non-degree classes are offered in various fields and can help gain extra knowledge and improve intelligence.
When a person is under stress, the cognitive ability is decreased exponentially. Reducing stressors from life and adopting exercises, counselling, relaxation techniques and, if needed, medications can help decrease anxiety, depression and improve cognition.
The secret to improving cognitive ability is found in bringing some lifestyle changes as mentioned above. If these are incorporated in daily routine, there will be definitive cognitive improvement and slowing of cognitive decline.