Are you looking for ways to sharpen your mind, think more quickly, expand your cognitive ability, and enhance your general well-being? If so, you should concentrate on improving your mental health. Many people place a lot of emphasis on maintaining their physical health and wellbeing. However, investing time and effort in maintaining your mental health is equally important. Not only can intellectual wellness enhance all of the aforementioned factors, but it may help lessen cognitive impairment and cut your chance of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In order to achieve the best possible intellectual state, one must actively pursue intellectual wellness. It can involve having an open mind, exercising critical thinking, increasing your knowledge and skill set, becoming exposed to fresh perspectives and viewpoints, learning more about yourself and your potential, and nurturing creativity.
Here are 10 strategies to improve your mental health.
1. Try Something New
The ability of the brain to keep developing and changing as a result of experiences in life is known as neuroplasticity. In the past, scientists thought that once a person reached adulthood, the brain stopped developing. However, current studies indicate that the brain can continue to develop and change over the course of a person’s lifetime. Through stimulation, stress, and experiences, your brain can adapt. To give those experiences is your job!
What novel endeavor outside your comfort zone would you attempt? You may take up a new sport, visit a different place and discover its history, study a foreign language, or enroll in a course at the nearby community college. Which mental exercise will you choose to increase your capacity?
One of the routines practiced by the world’s wealthiest individuals? They study. All of the following people are voracious readers: LeBron James, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Sheryl Sandberg, Elon Musk, and Oprah.
What should you read, then? anything that broadens your perspective, experiences, knowledge, and thinking. A quality novel or non-fiction work can also be considered. It is irrelevant. Jump in; your mind will appreciate it if it engages your mind, sparks interest, enables you to learn something new, or lets you explore something intriguing.
Exercise benefits your body and heart, but it can also strengthen your brain, which is another important muscle. Researchers from the University of British Columbia discovered that consistent aerobic exercise, the kind that makes your pulse race and your sweat glands squirm, appeared to increase the size of the hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for language memory and learning.
According to another research, aerobic exercise increases the production of a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which promotes the formation of new neural connections in the brain. In the end, physical activity improves your memory, learning, and general well-being.
4. Be Social
We are social beings with a strong desire to connect. This suggests that in order to thrive while learning how to have an enjoyable existence, we need to spend time interacting with others. According to studies, folks who socialize frequently are happier than those who don’t.Additionally, we learn and develop when we are near others because we hear new viewpoints and tales.
Develop and cultivate good relationships in your life by making an effort. Spend time with friends, family, and coworkers in person or digitally. Take a culinary or dance class, join a recreational sports team, or join a meetup hiking group. Attend the virtual happy hour at work. Make an effort to engage with others on a deeper level, pay close attention when they are speaking, and pick their brains.
5. Stay Curious
Brain activity and activation are increased by curiosity. Curiousity enhances learning about a particular subject as well as your capacity for general learning and memory retention.
Wondering how your car’s engine operates? Break it down. Wondering why your neighborhood baker opened her business? Query her. Are you interested in the plant-based movement? Observe a documentary. Choose one thing, no matter how tiny, that you wish you knew better. Just look for anything that piques your interest, investigate it, and use your brain!
6. Eat Well
Your diet supplies both your body and your intellect with energy. In actuality, 20% of your daily calorie intake comes from your brain! You are unfavorably impacted by inflammatory foods like sugar, dairy, and processed carbohydrates while positively impacted by nutrient-dense, clean meals.
Antioxidants in blueberries, micronutrients like magnesium and zinc in pumpkin seeds, vitamin K, folate, and beta carotene in green leafy vegetables, flavonoids in chocolate, lutein, and the good fats and substances in nuts, particularly walnuts, are some excellent food sources for brain health. Why do you suppose they resemble a brain? By regularly include a few of these foods in your diet, you can improve your mental health.
7. Get Creative
Your whole health is enhanced and cerebral wellness is stimulated by creativity. Consider music as an example. You’ve probably heard that music improves your intelligence. According to one study, musicians have improved executive functions (EF) compared to non-musicians. These include cognitive flexibility, working memory, processing speed, and problem-solving abilities.
Not a fan of music? That’s alright! Drawing, painting, creating, writing, photography, pottery, gardening, and other creative pursuits are all viable ways to express your creativity as long as you approach them with an open mind and heart.
8. Stay Hydrated
According to some research, the water content of the human brain is closer to 85% than to 75%. What transpires, in your opinion, when we become dehydrated? Since your brain cells are also dehydrated, you experience headaches, emotional problems including irritability and exhaustion, as well as brain fog, loss of focus, and memory problems. Water “gives the brain the electrical energy for all brain functions, including thought and memory processes,” according to study.
Do you wish to increase your clarity and focus? Aim to consume eight 8-ounce glasses of liquid each day. By including electrolytes or a little sea salt, you can up the hydration factor and boost cell absorption.
You say you need to sleep? That seems like a strange thing to do if my goal is to develop my intellect, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t I be doing something right now? Toxins that have been accumulated in our brains are released when we sleep, and this improves the way our brains work. Research has shown that sleep has a restorative effect. In addition to other impacts, lack of sleep hinders cognition, problem-solving, and attention to detail.
I used to consider my lack of sleep to be a badge of honor. Possibly so, too. Studies on the value of getting enough good sleep and, more significantly, the effects of not doing so, are still being published. Prioritize sleeping for 7 to 8 hours per night.
10. Practice Self-Reflection
Intellectual wellbeing is about development and strength, just like physical fitness is. It’s a terrific method to use your brain to reflect on yourself and your life.
“Meditation or serious thought about one’s character, actions, and motives” is the definition of self-reflection. It involves stepping back and considering your actions, attitudes, and beliefs. Self-reflection increases self-awareness, offers perspective, encourages a deeper degree of learning, tests your presumptions, creates possibilities for learning and progress, and even boosts confidence.