Do you forget names of acquaintances, numbers etc? Can’t remember what you’re looking for? You call up a friend and forget what you had to say? Why do you sometimes mangle sentences and blank at a pivotal moment in a big work presentation? Don’t worry: Despite occasional glitches, your brain may actually be at its peak. Here’s how to make it even sharper.
- Take up a new activity – New research suggests that a great way to boost brainpower is through learning either mental, such as learning Spanish, or physical, like signing up for a CrossFit class, quilting and digital photography. Those who listened to classical music, watched classic movies, or engaged in social activities, on the other hand, didn’t have the same gains.
- Go deep – Take your learning to the next level by using your brain for what it does best: fusing existing and new information. Read a book and write a review on it. You might be surprised at what you come up with while mulling it over again. Or reach for a pen and your journal: Studies show that writing by hand, rather than typing, improves information processing as well as the ability to remember what you’re writing about.
- Diet – A healthy brain diet looks a lot like a healthy body diet. Like the Mediterranean diet, the MIND diet emphasizes nuts, beans, whole grains, poultry, and olive oil. Consumption of leafy greens daily and at least two weekly servings of berries, as both are rich in brain-benefiting antioxidants.
- Work out – It’s not news that exercise is good for your head. But working out on days when you have, say, a big presentation or test is key. Stress is toxic to the brain and can make you momentarily forgetful and may weaken neural connections over time, increasing the odds of dementia. Hence, those who did aerobic exercise regularly for four weeks—and exercised the morning that they took memory tests—scored higher than did regular exercisers who skipped their workout on test day.