People of all ages experience moments where they forget where they put they keys or cannot remember a name. Fortunately, it is possible to boost your mental capacity by following basic health habits such as exercising on a regular basis, not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, and eating a nutritious diet.

In addition to maintaining healthy habits in your daily life, there are other ways to sharpen your mind. Following are 6 strategies you can use to boost your mental clarity and keep your mind healthy.

1. Always Continue Learning

It is generally recognized that a higher level of education is linked with increased mental function. Learning to play a new instrument or studying a new language are both excellent ways to challenge your brain and keep your mind sharp. Additionally, you could take on a new hobby or volunteer for a new project at work that requires a skill you do not use often.

2. Play Puzzles and Brain Games

Puzzles and brain games are excellent ways to challenge your brain and build your mental capacity. Games are fun, effective ways to train the brain to operate faster and sharper. Consider trying jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or other brainteasers.

Stimulating your brain with mental puzzles is believed to promote healthy brain cells, keep neurons active, and encourage communication among them.

3. Get Adequate Sleep

Getting quality sleep on a regular basis is proven to sharpen mental function. Without adequate sleep, our bodies run out of the necessary energy to maintain focus and productivity. Lack of sleep can even lead to injuries within the nerve cells that can reduce cognitive function.

Aim to get around 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. To ensure a night of quality, restful sleep, be sure to avoid caffeine too close to bedtime, develop a bedtime routine, avoid staring at computer screens or phones prior to going to sleep, keep your room completely dark, and take other measures to promote healthy sleep.

4. Make a Point to Socialize

Socializing can improve your brain’s focus, alertness, and ability to retain information.
By nature, we are social creatures with brains that need to interact and engage with others. This means that a lack of socialization can lead to feelings of sadness and loneliness that contribute to mental decline.

Being socially active stimulates our nerve cells and encourages our brains to stay healthy. Consider volunteering, calling an old friend, joining a gardening club, or having your neighbors over for dinner.

5. Practice the Repeat Trick

Repeating information is a proven way to help you remember facts, names, or other data. When trying to remember information, write it down, think about it, or say it out loud. For example, if you have just been introduced to someone, you can help yourself remember their name by repeating it when you address them.

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To really boost your chance of recalling information, focus on repeating the information soon after you learn it and aging later. Spacing out your recollection will help improve your chance of remembering the information.

6. Work Smarter, Not Harder

Utilize tools such as lists, daily planners, and calendars to plan out your activities. By using reminder tools, you free up your brain capacity for handling other tasks and operating at a higher level.

Overall, it is possible to keep your brain sharp even as you age. By incorporating one or more of the tips mentioned above, you can assist your mind in staying clear and increasing the quality of your life.

*Photo courtesy of NBC News

Author – Brian Rees is a media relations representative for Lumonol. In his spare time, he enjoys writing, music, and maintaining a healthy, conscious lifestyle.