Have you ever heard of the term “mental acuity”? If not, it’s okay, because you’re definitely not alone! Mental acuity is essentially a fancy term for mental sharpness. Mental acuity is generally defined as the sharpness of the mind. A person’s mental acuity is memory, focus, concentration, and understanding.”
As a culture, Americans are fixated on working. We work, work, work, and then work some more. We push ourselves to new limits every day, and while that is certainly a good time, many of us forget to work on our mental health and the overall well being of our minds.
Mental acuity is often times overlooked due to the demands of everyday life, but when you dedicate time and effort to improving yourself on a mental level, the benefits are incredible.
Today, we are bringing you what we believe to be 10 great, efficient ways to improving or sharpening your mental acuity.
Continue reading to check them out:
Eat A Balanced Diet
Your brain needs fuel just like your body does! Make sure you are including lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, “healthy” fats, and lean protein in your diet. Not only will it increase the health of your body, but it will also increase the health of your mind.
Moving on, it is not just about the foods you do it, but it also about the foods that you do not eat. The following nutritional tips will help increase your memory and overall brainpower:
- Make sure you are consuming omega-3s: Fish is a great source of omega-3s. In specific, try to eat cold water “fatty fish” such as salmon, tuna, halibut, trout, mackerel, sardines, and herring. If you do not like fish, you can get your omega 3s by eating seaweed, walnuts, ground flaxseed, flaxseed oil, winter squash, kidney beans, pinto beans, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, and soybeans.
- Limit calories and cut out saturated fat: Do your best to cut out, or at least limit red meat, whole milk, butter, cheese, cream, and ice cream.
- Eat more fruit and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, which are substances that protect your brain cells from damage. Colorful fruits and vegetables are particularly good antioxidant “superfood” sources.
- Drink green tea: Green tea contains polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that protect brain cells. There are many other benefits such as enhanced memory and mental alertness. It is also believed to slow brain aging.
- Drink in moderation. Make sure you keep your alcohol consumption in check. Alcohol has been proven to kill brain cells. But in moderation, however, alcohol may actually improve memory and cognition. Red wine, for example, is rich in resveratrol, which is a flavonoid that boosts blood flow in the brain and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Get Your Sleep
Sure, you can get by and function on a few hours of sleep. There is a big difference, however, when you get the amount of sleep that your body needs because that is when it functions its best. The majority of Americans typically need between 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Getting a good night’s sleep can make a huge difference. It can boost your memory, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills.
Sleep is even more critical to learning and memory than most people actually realize. It is necessary for memory consolidation because it provides your brain with the memory-enhancing activity that occurs during the deepest stages of sleep.
Try setting a bedtime every night, and avoiding technology an hour or so before you go to sleep every night!
Cut Out Negativity & Stop Complaining
Due to the common stresses of life that we all deal with, it is easy to complain. Many of us complain so much that we do not even realize how much we are doing it.
Complaining is a negative behavior that comes back to negatively affect us.
It’s hard to wake up every day and feel motivated. Everybody has their everyday struggles and stressors, but you cannot let this define you. Morning enthusiasm is a decision that you make, and it is crucial for succeeding and achieving your goals. We all get overwhelmed from time to time. It is up to you to flip the switch and change your approach. Be enthusiastic, don’t play the victim, believe in yourself, and take every day by the horns! Focus on the positive rather than the negative, and you will see results in no time!
Physical exercise will help you maintain a sharp mind. It is proven to increase oxygen levels in your brain, and it reduces the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, disorders that lead to memory loss. Not only will exercise reduce your chances of memory loss, but it also enhances the effects of helpful brain chemicals and reduces stress hormones.
Check out the following exercise tips for a sharp mind:
- Aerobic exercise is very good for the brain. Make sure you are doing exercises that boost your heart rate and keep your blood pumping. Beneficial heart exercises are almost always good for your brain.
- If it takes you a long time to clear get moving and thinking straight in the morning, try working out as soon as you wake up in the morning. It will help you get going in the morning and prime you for the rest of the day.
- activites that require hand-eye coordination and complex motor skills are very beneficial for brain sharpening.
- Take a break in the middle of the day to knock out some pushups, dips, or jumping jacks. Take a little break to help you reboot your brain.
Give Your Brain A Workout
Over the course of your life, your brain will develop millions of neural pathways that help you process and recall information quickly. They also help you solve problems and complete task with a small amount of mental effort.
If you stick to these well-worn paths, however, you are not giving your brain enough of a challenge. You should always stimulate your brain so that it keeps growing and developing. Change things up from time to time!
In order to make sure you do not lose your memory, you must put it to use! When you work your brain, you will be better at processing and remembering information.
The best brain exercises break your routine and challenge you to use and develop new brain pathways. Holly Green of Forbes.com offers the several brainteasers that help boost your mental acuity. Check them out below:
1. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?
2. A clerk at a butcher shop stands five feet ten inches tall and wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?
3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?
4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?
5. What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?
6. Billie was born on December 28th, yet her birthday always falls in the summer. How is this possible?
7. In British Columbia, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?
8. If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?
9. Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg is white” or “The yolk of the egg are white?”
10. A farmer has five haystacks in one field and four haystacks in another. How many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in one field?
Did you get them right? Check out the answers below:
3. Mt. Everest. It just wasn’t discovered yet.
4. There is no dirt in a hole.
5. Incorrectly (except when it is spelled incorrectly).
6. Billie lives in the southern hemisphere.
7. You can’t take a picture with a wooden leg. You need a camera (or iPad or cell phone) to take a picture.
8. You would be in 2nd place. You passed the person in second place, not first.
9. Neither. Egg yolks are yellow.
10. One. If he combines all his haystacks, they all become one big stack.
Take A Break From Social Media
Americans are addicted to technology and social media in specific. There is no getting around it. When we get up in the morning to check our phones for any notifications or text messages, dopamine floods our brains. Dopamine is the chemical that our brains make when we experience happiness.
Spending huge amounts of time on your phone scrolling through your favorite social media apps can take a toll on your intelligence. Social media does not stretch your brain and develop your intelligence and can play role in reducing your attention span.
Many of us use different media devices at once, which can physically shrink your brain. Try limiting your social media use by turning your phone off an hour before you go to bed, and keeping it off for the first hour or two every day.
If you are feeling up to it, try taking a temporary break from your favorite social media plaform for a month or so. For example, I deleted my Twitter account for a month after deciding I was spending way too much time scrolling through my news feed, watching videos, and commenting on anything and everything! I am so glad I made that decision!
Set Goals For Yourself
Goals are extremely important for the health of our brains! Goals take you forward in life and always give you something to work towards. Goals are the first steps to every journey we take in life.
A goal is generally defined as a desired result a person or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development. Many people endeavor to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines.
Always keep in mind that small tasks account as goals, and why they might not seem like they are very significant, be mindful of goals in everything you do!
Goals help you remain focused, they allow you to measure your progress, they keep you locked in and undistracted, they help you defeat procrastination, and they give you added motivation.
Goals are critical to mental and brain health!
Learn Something New Every Day
Many researchers have concluded that people who learn new things every day are much less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Give your mental health and your mental fitness a challenge by stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Try something that requires an entirely different set of skills than what you are used to. For example, try learning a new dancing style, a new trade, picking up a new hobby, or speaking a new language. Your brain will benefit every time you try to learn something new.
Always try to push your mind to new limits that it has not experienced before.
Mental acuity is something that we should all be more mindful of. As you increase the sharpness of your mind, you will most likely experience more happiness and live a better life!
Always be mindful of the health of your brain!
Thanks for reading today, and please feel free to drop a comment below!