Sharpen Your Most Valuable Tool in a Handful of Minutes
Take a moment and consider your own criteria for a sharp mind. Does it mean being able to solve a math problem in a flash? Always remembering exactly where you put your car keys? Instantly knowing the answer to your boss’s “problem of the day” in a big meeting? We all equate mental sharpness to different abilities, whether it’s being quick on our toes in a conversation, having a great memory or being able to juggle several tasks at once.
The benefits to having a sharp mind are numerous; sharp minds function better in tight situations, often respond better under stress, and can help with reasoning and organization in a tense work environment. With the New Year upon us, making changes to our mental exercise routine could pay serious dividends in our work lives, including reducing the amount of stress we feel when faced with jumbled or demanding tasks in a short period of time. If you’re interested in improving your mind, take a look at our time-friendly tips for sharpening your most important tool.
This is a no-brainer (no pun intended), but reading is quite literally (again, no pun intended) one of the best ways to keep your brain firing on all cylinders. Even if it’s just a couple of short articles while you’re settling in at your desk or taking your first sips of coffee in the morning, a wonderful way to get your brain off and running, especially early in the day, is to really focus on and absorb some written words. Reading has myriad benefits for your brain function, including improving memory, and demanding the types of cognitive functions we don’t often use in the age of convenient technology.
Reading anything, especially novels or fiction, forces our brain to use the powers of imagination and cohesion, connecting plot, narrative and characters together in a continuous flow. These actions can help sharpen our minds for the rest of the day, and ultimately help us perform better in mentally-challenging tasks. Taking just fifteen minutes to read a chapter of a book, an online article or a column in a magazine can put a real spark in our brain function and keeps us humming at a high mental speed for the rest of the day.
Eat the Brain Food
Another thing we may not realize is the way that our food affects our brain function. Reaching for certain foods at lunchtime or at snack time in the afternoon can help keep our brains sharp and functioning at their highest potentials. Another plus of this easy (and delicious) brain-sharpening exercise is that it takes no time at all. Simply munch away while at your desk and experience the benefits of brain-strengthening food.
One of the most brain-beneficial foods out there is fish; stuffed with omega-3 fatty acids and rich in protein, fish will help strengthen and sharpen your brain, decreasing the chances of stroke and helping to combat mental decline.
Consider Brain Training
There is a host of new options for people who want to do serious brain exercises on a regular basis, ones that can help them strengthen different mental abilities according to their own needs. Whether you want to improve your memory, response time or mental organization, there is a brain exercise regimen that can help you accomplish your goals.
Lumosity is a fantastic subscription-based website that helps you cater your “brain training” to your own specific needs. You can build a personalized training program that helps with your personal weaknesses and gives you a daily brain gym to visit when you want to up your mental sharpness and improve different aspects of brain function.
Another reputable brain training website is Brain Metrix, which also allows you to choose your training regimen based on strengths and weaknesses. Make your favorite brain training regimen a 15-minute part of each day, and experience solid results on the brain sharpening scale.
Many of us have long ago dedicated ourselves to an exercise regimen that strengthens our bodies and keeps us fit. What we so often forget to make time for, however, is the strengthening of our brains. Taking just a few minutes out of each day to exercise our brains can have wonderful benefits for us when it comes to staying alert, focused and on point throughout our work day and in our every day lives.
Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net/digitalart