We do so many things to trim our belly fat, exercise, deck up, and look good to feel good. There is another important thing that we might be missing.
As we grow older, our brains are not so fast enough to recollect things we did or what we are supposed to do.
It’s a theory which proves our brains have the ability to change.
It also means that the more you use and test your brain, the brain will perform better.
On a closer call, stop using 5 per cent of your brain. Instead, train your brain to capture information and recall things swiftly.
Here are 8 tips to increase mental strength and your brainpower. Scroll down for remedies if you want your brain energies to get back into action and if you want no more of ‘forgetful’ episodes in the prime of your youth.
1. Mind Games
Did you know your brain is a muscle? It means you need to exercise it regularly (no dumbbells or weight lifting needed in this case).
Norman Doidge, psychiatrist and author of The Brain’s Way of Healing, has something for you.
He suggests playing “Scrabble” and “Sudoku” to sharpen your mind. Perfect! Find time to do these two mental strength exercises. They will enhance your brain power. They always did.
Cynthia Green, PhD, Author of Brainpower Game Plan is of the opinion that while working a Sudoku or crossword, time yourself. This will help in boosting up your mind’s processing speed, attention and intellectual engagement. Yes, it makes sense.
It goes without saying that people who are mentally active have better memory as they age.
So, QUIZ yourself, participate in quiz competitions, flex your brain and improve your memory power. The more you exercise your brain less in your day-to-day life, the more lethargic your mind will get. Therefore, doing mental strength exercises are as important as eating or drinking.
Dr Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager at Baidyanath says, “Ayurvedic herbs such as Ashwagandha, Brahmi and Shankhapushpi help improve the brain’s memory functions like attention and concentration, and prevent nerve cell damage”.
These herbs are not born as of yesterday. They are age-old in the Ayurvedic science and yield promising effects when it comes to increasing mental strength.
Every time it’s not almonds and walnuts sharpening your mental skills. The next time you want to increase your productivity, consider using aromatherapy.
Adds Dr Ashutosh Gautam “Aromatherapy works wonders, and some particular essential oils help sharpen the brain”.
Which essential oils to use?
Try rosemary essential oil if you want to gain mental clarity and state of alertness. If you want to reduce mental fatigue and enhance your focus, then peppermint/basil oil is the go-to oil. Try and use diffusers to aerate the oil. Or apply the essential oils directly to the skin to get the benefits.
Not many of us would know that every time we exercise, we create new brain cells. Exercise of any form increases our heart rate. This pumps blood flow to the brain, thus keeping your memory sharp.
Every day, spend 30 to 45 minutes running, swimming, dancing or cycling. This benefits your brain health and even enlarges the catalyst for long term memory in the brain.
This is good reason to get you off the couch.
Even a 10-15 minute walk around the block or doing a few jumping jacks reboots your brain (in case you haven’t had the time to do a full workout).
Quite obvious a choice when it comes to 8 tips to increase mental strength.
Count on Meditation to increase mental strength.
In a study published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, researchers measured the brains of 16 people who had not meditated before – NEVER. They then measured the brains of these 16 people who had completed an eight-week meditation program.
What did the tests reveal?
There was an increased grey-matter density in the area of the brain associated with learning and memory.
There is more – there was reduction in part of the brain which controls stress and anxiety.
The end result – not only does meditation reduce your stress levels, it also improves your brain power and memory. Meditation also delays and prevents neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
For all those who avoid meditation, this one is the best mind exercise. And the best part is that it does not need any prescription or approval from elders.
6. Sleep Well
Says Dr. Adarsh Kumar, Internal Medicine, National Heart Institute “Poor sleep takes a toll on everything, especially your memory. Sleep helps your brain consolidate and organise information.”
Sleep helps our brain to solidify the connection between neurons, thereby helping us learn and remember better.
The amount of sleep you get is an individual matter. Just go by what your body and mind tell you. Get quality sleep – it recharges and rejuvenates the mind, and improves both short-term and long-term mental ability and skills.
7. Eat Well
Our brain, as you know, is energy hungry. This makes up for 2 per cent of our body weight. But on hindsight it gobbles up more than 20 per cent of our daily energy intake.
This means we need to eat throughout the day (not too much or too little but average and optimum) in order to optimise brain power.
Not just eat, but drink at least 8 glasses of water. Dehydration can also lead to memory loss and confusion (something you didn’t know, right?).
When it comes to the eating habits, make sure to eat green leafy vegetables, low-fat protein sources like eggs, fish, whole grains, mushrooms, nuts which are rich in magnesium, seeds, antioxidant-rich berries, avocados and tomatoes.
Blueberries also have anthocyanins (the antioxidants that create the blue hue) which promote neuron-to-neuron communication in the brain.
Says Dr. Supriya Bali, Internal Medicine, Max Hospitals “Fish oil contains DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, which helps improve your brain power by encouraging the growth of neurons”.
8. Do Yoga
Yoga comes with a vast variety of benefits. It helps in clearing the mind and making you relaxed and peaceful.
Let us take a look at what yoga asanas do –
- Sarvangasana and Bhujangasana boosts memory power. That they do by increasing blood supply to our brain
- Paschimottanasana promotes brain activities
- Padmasana boosts brain power
- Padahastasana sharpens your memory skills, and
- Halasana improves overall brain health.
So which of these 8 tips to increase mental strength will you adopt?
Don’t forget to put your comments below.