Only a quarter of people believe they tap into the full potential of their mind at least once a day.
It’s body over mind at the moment, with most Aussies prioritising general physical health rather than cognitive health – for example 92% focus on exercise while almost half never practice mindfulness techniques and over a third don’t dedicate any time to learning new skills.
This is despite research showing both activities are key to supporting cognitive health and the fact that we have plenty of time to be devoting to this – 7 in 10 people have four plus hours each week of downtime, with almost half of these (a third of the total population) having ten plus hours free.
So let’s try to reverse this by following some of the simple techniques below.
- Try to maintain regular sleep patterns as alternating between minimal zzzs and marathon sessions can impact on concentration and creativity levels.
- Eat more fruits, nuts, and vegetables – they’re positively associated with cognitive ability.
- Get outdoors and see the sun! Vitamin D has been shown to help maintain a healthy mind as you age.
- Experience new cultures and interact with people of different age groups, or try volunteering. Doing this once a week can help decrease the risk of cognitive complaints.
- Physical exercise is important too. Participate in aerobic exercises, such as walking, at least three times a week.
- Step-up at work and try taking on leadership role or hit the books and return to study to stretch your thinking.
- Learning a new language can also help keep the mind sharp and efficient – and will come in handy when you go on your next holiday.
- Doodle on a piece of paper. Research shows that drawing while you listen to an instruction improves memory as it keeps the brain stimulated.
- Listen to your favourite songs to activate areas in your brain that are responsible for memory. Research shows learning can be improved by absorbing information through both visual and auditory channels.
- Question everything – focus on the reasoning behind the information.
- Develop new skills and actively learn by writing (taking notes, highlighting), speaking (asking questions, explaining things to others) and creating your own meaning (making up your own reminders).
- Do your most important thinking and any learning between 11am to 9.30pm, and study over a steady period of time rather than in short bursts to help with retention.
- Hone your focus! Complete tasks one at a time as opposed to multi-tasking.
The Carousel would like to thank Flordis for this story.