Mind Tricks

5 Ways to Keep Your Mind on Its A-Game

We all know that our brains don’t always stay as sharp as time goes on. However, scientific advances in the last decade or so have shown that not all loss is permanent. Just like the muscles that make up our bodies, our most important organ benefits from being stretched and strengthened. Translation? Treat your brain right and it will return the favor. Want to keep your mind on it’s A-game? We’ve got a few tips:
 
Get Your Zzz’s…
Contrary to our workaholic, 24-7 culture, burning the midnight oil doesn’t lead to increased productivity. In fact, skipping sleep guarantees the increased likelihood of error, whether it’s your big presentation or operating your car safely. Turns out, few things have a more detrimental effect on your brain or your health in general than long-term sleep deprivation. Getting 7 to 8 hours nightly helps manage your hunger levels, boosts your immune system and sharpens your memory.
 
Connect Mind & Body
You may not realize it, but your body is an integral part of how you think. In other words, how you move your body and how you interact with the world around you have an impact on your thoughts – and on your brain’s health. Exercise is obviously important, but before you go start training to become a tri-athlete, consider that incorporating regular movement into your day (like a walk at lunchtime or a quick stretch before bed), can also have a positive effect.  
 
Turn Eastward (and Inward)
Practicing yoga and meditation not only help strengthen the mind body connection, they’re proven to help clear our heads and make us more present. Clarity like this has immense benefits, including improved problem solving and a tranquil mind.
 
Train Your Brain
Brain teasers (games like chess, soduku or attending a weekly trivia night) are the equivalent of a trip to the gym for your gray matter. These types of exercises keep you feeling young, strengthen your memory and helps stave off Alzheimer’s.
 
Stephanie K. Smith is a freelance writer working across mediums. Her pieces have appeared on sites ranging from CNN.com to National Lampoon and she’s written television pilots for Fox, CBS, The CW and Legendary Television. She lives in Los Angeles with her son, Dash and their (girl) cat, Fred.  http://www.stephanieksmith.com/

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