No matter your age, having trouble remembering can sometimes irritate you. The good news is that there are ways to sharpen your mind that will improve your attitude. As you age, sharpness of mind helps you deal with problems well and decide wisely. Learn how to maintain a sharp mind while staying positive by reading this article.
Part 1 of 4: Improving Cognitive Ability
Step 1. Exercise every day
In addition to the benefits of mental and physical health, you can overcome depression and boost your immune system by exercising regularly. Several studies have shown that physical health will increase mental strength as you get older.
Exercising every day helps you maintain the function of the frontal lobe of the brain, especially in people aged 40 years and over. Research shows that older men who are fit because of regular aerobic exercise are able to make better decisions than men who are not fit
Step 2. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy brain and heart are needed to maintain memory as we age and prevent dementia. Avoid saturated fats and trans fats that will damage blood vessels and get used to eating:
- Healthy fats in olive oil and omega 3 fatty acids in fish meat, such as salmon.
- Antioxidants to optimize brain function contained in chocolate without sugar.
- Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to reduce the risk of stroke.
- Alcohol in a certain amount. Based on research in adults, consuming less alcohol can maintain cholesterol and insulin levels in the blood which will prevent the onset of dementia. However, don't drink alcohol if there are regulations against it or drink it in moderation. Drinking too much alcohol can have negative consequences, erase brain memory, or lose consciousness.
Step 3. Get used to getting enough sleep at night
Fatigue will reduce mental abilities. Adequate rest makes your mind work optimally.
- Our brain will store memories every day while we sleep. So, you should rest so that you can remember every incident in your daily life in detail.
- After learning new or important things, it's a good idea to take a nap to store that knowledge in long-term memory.
Step 4. Get in the habit of thinking instead of using a calculator
Mathematics will improve the ability to think logically and solve problems. You can practice doing easy problems, for example by doing mental additions or writing them down on paper. Many people have never again calculated the division since graduating from elementary school. Try doing it once in a while.
When shopping for groceries, count your total groceries by heart. To make it easier, add up by rounding to the nearest thousand. When you're done shopping, compare the total price you paid with the sum to find out how accurately you calculated
Step 5. Don't stop learning
Research conducted at Harvard proves that higher education has something to do with memory strength in the elderly. Even if you never went to college, continue to educate yourself for the rest of your life.
- Visit the nearest library to get more knowledge. Apart from relaxing, you can calm your mind and concentrate by studying in the library. If you have free time, read a book on your porch or in a quiet cafeteria so you can think sharper and improve your attitude.
- Take courses that are mentally rewarding and provide social opportunities, such as photography or makeup. While taking the course, you can make new acquaintances and make new friends!
Step 6. Increase mental strength
You can improve your mental ability to think logically, solve problems, mental orientation, and think with the right process, for example by putting together puzzles and doing difficult mental tasks. Mentally challenging yourself will improve your logical thinking skills so you can solve problems more confidently in certain situations.
- Complete the crossword puzzle. Older people who liked to complete crossword puzzles scored higher on various cognitive tests than those who didn't. Researchers can't say for sure whether crossword puzzles actually improve mental ability or whether people with better mental abilities tend to prefer doing crossword puzzles because they can. However, it never hurts to try!
- Play computer games. Research at Harvard, the NeuroRacer game proved to be able to improve the ability of the elderly who are participants in doing several tasks simultaneously, memorizing, and paying attention.
Step 7. Activate all your senses
Researchers have proven that each sense activates a different part of the brain when memorizing. In one study, people who looked at images while smelling certain scents were more likely to remember the images they saw than people who didn't smell the scent when they saw the images.
- In practice, this is the application of awareness-raising techniques by paying attention to what we see, smell, feel, and hear around us in certain situations so that we are able to recall the event clearly.
- Suck on peppermint gum because peppermint oil has been shown to help us remember and stay awake. Chew peppermint gum while reading new information or memorizing a new lesson.
Step 8. Use your non-dominant hand when performing daily activities
This can be very challenging, especially if you like to write and draw. However, this method allows you to concentrate better while activating both sides of the brain.
Try to write on paper with your non-dominant hand. Your writing may look sloppy, but after a while, you'll notice your shoulders are tense and you'll be able to control your hands better. This exercise is usually done to cure epilepsy patients
Part 2 of 4: Maintaining a Good Attitude
Step 1. Find your special talent
Everyone can learn new things and develop talents or skills regardless of age. Developing new skills makes you more confident.
- Start a sport (such as playing ball or swimming), joining a choir, or an amateur comedian group. Don't expect too much and demand perfection. Have fun and make new friends while trying to give your best.
- Developing new skills, such as learning a foreign language or computer program can also improve mental abilities.
Step 2. Express yourself creatively
Creativity is very useful in maintaining sharpness of mind and a positive attitude because it encourages you to think and increases mental strength. Creativity makes you a more confident person and can enjoy everyday life.
- Use your hands to write poetry, sew, play a musical instrument, plant flowers, or paint. If you're feeling less interested in the arts or creative pursuits, learn to bake or journal. These activities give you the opportunity to express yourself without demanding a lot of technical skills.
- Use creative ways to do everyday tasks, such as shopping on a budget, creating new recipes according to a diet plan, or cooking with minimal ingredients. Put your skills to good use to find solutions to everyday problems.
Step 3. Help others
As you get older, helping your community makes you feel like you have a purpose in life and an identity so you can live a good life in the days ahead and stay positive as you age.
Help prepare meals at soup kitchens, volunteer at a nursing home helping the elderly write letters, or mentor youth/children in a religious community of your faith. Volunteering on a regular schedule gives you the opportunity to make new friends and help others
Step 4. Look at your experience in a new light
As you get older, you may not be able to work as much as you did when you were younger. However, instead of seeing it as a failure, see it as normal and refocus on the things you are capable of doing.
Changing your perspective means seeing the problem you face in a new light. In many ways, attitude means everything because you can turn a negative thought or experience into a positive one. For example, if your memory is not as good as usual, acknowledge this condition as a natural result of a life you are living well, not as a personal failure or something embarrassing
Step 5. Be grateful
Scientists have conducted many studies to prove the benefits of an attitude of gratitude in increasing happiness and life satisfaction. There are several ways you can increase your gratitude:
- Write a thank-you letter to someone who has changed your life and deliver this letter with a gift.
- Spend time writing. One day a week (or more), write down at least three major or minor experiences for which you are grateful. Write down how you feel about experiencing these things. Do this regularly, maybe before bed to form a habit of gratitude.
Part 3 of 4: Strengthening Memory Ability
Step 1. Get in the habit of writing anything
You should prioritize mental strength by using shortcuts that help you remember things you don't need to memorize because apart from being difficult, you don't need to remember everything. Writing is a great way to keep your appointments, take your medication on time, or other important things you might have forgotten.
- Use a small piece of sticky paper or a whiteboard at the office to remind you of daily tasks and schedules.
- Use a calendar or agenda to keep track of things you need to do or important deadlines and prepare a grocery list before heading to the supermarket.
Step 2. Say the important details again
Repeating what you hear can form pathways in your brain so you can remember it better.
- When you meet and become acquainted with a new friend, say his or her name and say it again at the end of the conversation. While chatting, say, "Nice to meet you, Don." Repeat his name at the end of the conversation, "Nice to talk to you, Don."
- Repeat important instructions from your doctor and write them down so you can remember them correctly, if needed.
Step 3. Do meditation or practice yoga.
By learning to calm your mind and focus your attention, you can improve your mental abilities that have a positive impact on your ability to remember and pay attention.
- In one study, participants who practiced mindfulness meditation on Buddhism for 20-30 minutes daily scored better on standardized memory tests than participants who took a nutrition course.
- Mindfulness meditation is a meditation practice performed in a sitting position while breathing quietly and focusing on physical sensations, for example on the flow of breath in and out through the nasal cavity. Meditate twice a day for 10-20 minutes each.
Part 4 of 4: Receiving Help
Step 1. Admit that sometimes you need help
In fact, a person's mental abilities will decline with age. Get in the habit of socializing with trusted people so that once you get older, you can rely on them to make important decisions for you, if needed.
The elderly tend to remember events that did not really happen. Someone younger and you've known for a long time, such as an adult child, can help you strengthen your memory if you need to recall events from years ago
Step 2. Decide who will protect you
Before you need to, determine who will protect you when and if your mental abilities decline. Hire a lawyer to take care of the process of making the necessary documents so that they are ready when needed.
- In certain countries, if you don't determine who will be your protector, the court will appoint your next of kin, perhaps your brother, sister, spouse or child as protector. If your relationship with the person closest to you is in trouble (as is usually the case), it's a good idea to decide for yourself who it is and don't let the court decide.
- Write down your final wishes on your property and funeral arrangements. If you have mental dysfunction, it ensures that no one makes a decision that goes against what you want in the future and that everything is under your control.
Step 3. Make decisions now about your health
Make important decisions about your future health care and treatment and document them in writing so your protector remembers what you want.
A lawyer can help you do this, but usually he or she will recommend creating a will consisting of a testament, power of attorney, appointment of guardian (usually your protector, but not necessarily), and your preferences for resuscitation (artificial respiration) and intubation (eg. you refuse to have the tube inserted)
Step 4. Ask for help
If you feel you have a tendency to develop a neurological disorder, such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia, call and ask the people closest to you for help. There are health and care programs that can help you deal with this problem.
- Symptoms of Alzheimer's can appear at any time, but before the age of 65, these symptoms are called early onset Alzheimer's disease.
- If you experience memory loss that is getting worse, it's natural to feel anxious, afraid, or worried. However, you can feel safe after discussing the condition with your children or partner. Once you get the right diagnosis, you can lead a more productive and happier life.
- Read books and newspapers to increase knowledge.
- Explain your views and ideas to others. Help someone else solve the problem and it will be a different situation.
- Concentrate on the things you need to remember by imagining the pictures.
- Join a new club. Doing new and different things makes your mind work in a different way. Thus, you will become a sharp-minded person.
- Many people learn foreign languages because this method is considered good for training the brain. In addition, you will be more easily accepted to work.
- Focus on new things every day and get into the habit of getting enough sleep at night. Meditation, yoga, and eating nutritious foods make you more relaxed, healthy, and positive.
- Read more to improve comprehensive skills.
- Make a red dot on the wall and then focus on this point to improve your ability to concentrate.
- Get used to sleep 7-8 hours every day.
- Beware of those who try to influence your mind, but open your eyes to good advice. You can recognize it by thinking sharply.
- Don't try to please other people because there are people who will take advantage of you. This will not happen if you are able to think sharp.