10 Simple Ways to Improve Cognitive Function

10 Simple Ways to Improve Cognitive Function

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Have you ever met a person who was perceived as intelligent at school and later on didn’t excel in life? Have you also met someone who was perceived as stupid or ordinary in school but later on excelled in life and was then perceived as intelligent? That goes to show that intelligence is not a stagnant given. You can be born genetically smart and end up not so smart if you do not nurture this inborn capacity.

Cognition is the process wherein a person acquires knowledge and understanding through experience, sense, or thought. The situation previously mentioned tells how this process can be efficient at a given time and how cognition might slow down later in life. It is imperative for us that if we want to have a long life that equals its good quality, we must continually maintain and improve the way we think. This is also the reason why people from different areas and cultures have different learning abilities, retention, skills, dexterity, attention span, motor skills, language, and comprehension. The way we think differs because of several factors. No matter how incredible you think during your high school years or today, there will come a day when you will struggle a bit and find that your brain does not have the same efficiency. The good news to this problem and cultural difference is that wherever you are and no matter what culture you believe in, there are simple ways for you to improve the quality of your life by improving cognition.

1. Exercise

Did you ever think exercise was for the body and reading was for the mind? There is some truth in that but there is also a missing fact in that statement. We should acknowledge that the brain is part of the body and will benefit from exercise. When you exercise, you allow the body to distribute oxygen to the brain. Each of our cells needs oxygen to function and to defend itself from possible pathogens. In fact, cells with more oxygen are able to defend itself from pathogens. This becomes possible with regular exercise. We don’t mean the extreme types of exercise. We understand this will sort of make you go crazy especially if you are not a fan of exercise. Simple aerobics will do. Start stretching during day one. Most people make really huge goals with exercise.

Make your goals short term and focused within the week or three days. And begin again when the three days end. Start with simple stretching, jogging, or  cardio for 5 to 10 minutes. This is a forgiving routine so you have no excuse not to do it. 5 minutes is almost nothing but if you are able to do it for three days, you will feel reinforced to do it for a week, and if you are able to consistently do it at least for 5 minutes per day in a week, it gets easier. This tiny tweak can lead to big changes both in your body and in your mind.

2. Indulge in fun games

Whether it is board games, card games or puzzles, or even playing Candy Crush or Monopoly, games help you develop the part of your brain that focuses on strategy. Chess and checkers are also excellent games for it. Games help the brain rewire itself and literally learn something new. Puzzles help the brain learn new patterns, strategies, and tap that part of the brain that even teaches you about manipulation. The game Cry Wolf is an excellent example of games that teach you about manipulation. The word manipulation might sound like a negative word but if you think about it, most of the business world requires some sort of manipulative skills to get the best out of a negotiation. So if you are a little bored on the train or on the way home, have a game ready. It will boost the odds in your favor.

3. Ask

Asking is perhaps one of the least things you would consider when trying to develop your cognition. But let’s face it, when your boss gives you a task, most people do not ask for the specifics and even blindly let negotiations or things fall into their place without their full knowledge just because they didn’t ask. One of the main characteristics of an intelligent person is not only glibness and knowledge but curiosity and the extent to which he goes through to answer his curiosity. Children learn because of curiosity.

4. Take mind-enhancing food and supplements

Since your brain is a part of the body, in fact, one of the most vital parts of your body that must be healthy, it is imperative that you pay attention to its nutrition. Eat brain-boosting foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and take fish oil in case salmon isn’t available. Taking Longjack or Maca Root can also help your brain adapt from stressful situations and function more efficiently since these foods help normalize neurotransmitters, helping you focus more and even have more energy to do so.

5. Learn a language

You’ve probably heard this before but there is a huge reason why learning a language does not only make you sound savvy and sophisticated, it actually makes you more intelligent. Speaking multiple languages helps improve your attention span, memory capabilities, decision making, and helps the brain get used to multitasking, because why not? A language is a task to learn and being able to speak more than one language is a cerebral way of multitasking. So get that Langenscheidt off that bookstore and start reading it. Who knows? It might land you a job in the city of Paris or make your trip to Germany a fruitful one because you can speak their language.

6. Play an instrument

Have you ever had a crush on someone who played the guitar or violin really well? That someone could have been you if you knew how to play an instrument. Playing a song that you like in an instrument that you find interesting helps you release stress, regulate depression, and lower cortisol levels. Picking up a new skill such as playing a guitar, piano, or flute helps give you both the emotional and intellectual benefit of improving your memory skills and attention span. It also taps into your artistic side making both sides of the brain active.

7. Sleep

It is a no-brainer that sleep is a vital thing that you need to do to simply let your brain recharge and ensure that it will continually work well. That common knowledge isn’t enough for most people and they go on to keep themselves awake for unreasonable hours. Some people try to cheat sleep by taking stimulants which work for a while but damage the body in the long term. Forget the status quo that tells you to sleep less and work more. You can do that but if you want to make sure you have better health, a sound mind and body, take this advice and get enough sleep. It will allow you to be more efficient at work and have less stress in dealing with people at work and in your family.

8. Meet people

When you were young, you were perhaps told that friendliness is a good thing. It still is. As long as you keep your good judgment in choosing friends and people and the places where you meet them, networking will always be a great way to learn from people and get new ideas. Be guarded but be inquisitive and consider people as gold mines. Of course, you must also have a sense of doubt but learn anyway, and if possible, learn from the role models that you want to become. If you find that there is a gathering of entrepreneurs or writers or a group of people whose careers of expertise is something that you find interesting, go ahead and meet people, make new friends, network. One of them could be a potential client or mentor. Choose them correctly and use your judgment well.

9. Get a pet

Having a pet nurtures the emotional part of our brain. Pets help us nurture our sense of caring and helps reduce anxiety levels. Going outside to walk your pets also give you the benefit of exercise that comes with jogging. Plus, it is known in psychology that people who bring pets with them are perceived to be more attractive than they really are because it makes them appear more nurturing and more attractive. So not only does it give your brain the satisfaction of emotional fulfillment, it actually gives you the benefit of looking more attractive.

10. Meditation and Laughter

Do you ever notice that one of the most prevailing qualities and activities of people who are incredibly happy is meditation and laughter? There is a saying that goes “Laughter is the best medicine.” You cannot go wrong with happiness. Scientifically, laughter stimulates endorphins that make your body feel good and even strengthens your immune system. Laughter, come to think of it, even stimulates blood circulation, which makes it good for the brain, apart from its ability to lower cortisol and stress. Mix it up with meditation, and you get the focus and mindfulness you need for whatever task you have. Try meditating for 5 minutes. The reason why we recommend 5 minutes instead of 30 minutes is because you can always do 30 minutes after you’ve transcended the 5 minute time frame. The key is consistency. So watch that funny movie or joke with friends and meditate for 5 minutes.

Cognition is a mental and sensory process. But if you improve your cognition, not only will you improve your mental process, you will also improve the quality of your life. These tips are not too hard to follow. If you notice, most these are just times at 5 minutes. So apply these tweaks because these tiny changes can lead to great improvement.

5 Astonishing Ways to Escape Routine & Recharge Your Mental Batteries

Escape Routine & Recharge Your Mental Batteries!recharge-mental-batteries

Image credit: Unsplash

These days, many people find that the daily stresses of life leave them feeling overwhelmed, irritated, and anxious. If this is the case for you, now is the time to tap into the power of finding ways to escape your daily routine and recharge your mental batteries.

While there are many strategies you could implement to accomplish this objective, you may find the following techniques uniquely effective:

1. Go Mountain Biking.

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Image credit: Unsplash

One great way to escape your regular routine and recharge your mental batteries is by mountain biking. This strategy is effective because it enables you to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Additionally, mountain biking empowers you to engage in a great form of physical activity which functions as a form of cardiovascular exercise. This benefit is incredibly important because we now live in a sedentary society where many people do not attain the daily recommended amount of physical activity. Failing to attain the right amount of exercise can make you susceptible to a wide range of unwanted diseases, some of which include depression, diabetes, and cancer.

If you’re looking for a great bike to use when you go on your mountain biking trip, you may want to consider an off-the-wall Genesis mountain bike I wholeheartedly recommend. Do not take the process of finding the right bike lightly. Some bikes come with a wide range of features which will ensure that you are comfortable during your bike ride.

2. Indoor Mountain Climbing.

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Image Credit: Pixabay

Another great strategy you can implement to recharge yourself mentally is indoor mountain climbing. This approach is empowering because the physical activity will help release endorphins and chemicals in the body that promote feelings of calm and happiness. An added benefit of indoor mountain climbing is that it can help you get in shape. Another positive outcome that can result from indoor mountain climbing is increased upper body strength. The great changes that you attain through regular mountain climbing can help optimize your self-confidence in addition to fighting stress and generating mental rejuvenation.

3. Massage.

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Image Credit: Pixabay

A third technique that you can implement to recharge your mental batteries is massage. While many people think massage is a luxury activity that you engage in when you go on vacation and visit a spa, you can actually engage in massages to relieve stress and promote mental clarity. Massages have several other wonderful health benefits, some of which include enhanced digestion, better circulation, and improved sleep quality.

When you start looking for the right massage therapist, make sure that you select an individual who has attained the proper licensing and certification. This step will ensure that you are attaining assistance from an individual who has the experience and education necessary to offer you the customized, cutting edge services you deserve. You can do internet research to learn more about a massage therapist’s background and whether they are qualified to assist you. Be sure to carefully read through a wide range of a massage firm’s online reviews so you can gain a general understanding of whether the company is viewed in a positive light.

4. Self-Hypnosis.

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Image Credit: Pixabay

Self-hypnosis is likely not a stress relief strategy that you have considered. Yet while it may seem a bit out of the ordinary or entirely odd, self-hypnosis can be an incredibly effective way to recharge yourself mentally. As noted in Forbes, you can engage in a form of self-hypnosis that involves finding a quiet region in your living space and then repeating affirmations within yourself. While this might seem like pseudoscience, many people find that this technique helps them break negative thinking patterns that exacerbate stress levels.

Keep in mind that the positive thinking that transpires within the self-hypnosis process can have several other life-enhancing benefits. An example would be improved emotional intelligence and heightened self-awareness. As noted in “Positive Thinking Helped Me Secure a Great Job,” positive thinking can also empower you to evaluate negative emotions and gain a deeper understanding of why you feel the way you do.

5. Boxing.

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Image credit: Pixabay

One final strategy you can deploy to recharge yourself mentally is boxing. This technique is empowering because the pummeling motion of the physical activity coupled with the spread of lactic acid through your muscle tissue work to effectively combat anxiety. There are numerous strategies you can implement to start attaining the great benefits that result from boxing. One of them is purchasing a boxing DVD and practicing this form of activity in the privacy of your own home. You may also want to consider hiring a personal trainer to teach you boxing moves. This technique can be particularly empowering for a beginner who has little to no experience because you’ll be able to attain individual attention and constructive criticism from a knowledgeable professional.

Don’t Delay: Start Recharging Your Mental Batteries Today!

If you’re serious about leading a life marked by mental health, now is the time to implement the behavioral changes that will help you do so. You can implement some or all of the strategies listed above to break up the normalcy of your current routine so that you can optimize your cognitive well-being.

Written by Amanda Wilks: Amanda is an online contributor to several prestigious publications. For more similar articles and additional details, go on Twitter @AmandaWilks01.

The Healing Power of Positive Words

Healing Power of Positive Words Think Positive

The Healing Power of Positive Words

Human’s eyes represent his mind, the tongue signifies his heart, and his arms legs represent human will. The tongue is a small body organ, yet death and life reside in the power of the tongue. Words can have a positive or negative impact on our lives. A person’s speech is so powerful, that you can easily determine their mental wellbeing from the words they utter. Words have power, and proper use of the power requires wisdom. This blog explores the power of speech and gives advice for exercising wisdom in whatever you say.

1. Your Body Is the Temple of God

As an individual recognize God that resides in the tip of your tongue and in each heart of a human being. Harmful words ruin the temple of God that is located in your heart. As God’s worker on earth, you need to ensure that positive speech becomes an integral part of your life. Develop an internal alchemy that turns destructive compassion into a passion, and disliking into sympathy.

2. Positive Words Relieve Mental Burdens

Gentle words often turn even the hardest of souls. God exists in each and every human being. When we use positive feeling words and act towards another people, we shift the karmic balance by paying the previous debt. When we speak positively to another person, we relieve them of their mental burden and bring him on the way to self-analysis and light. Nothing is more discouraging than hurtful gossip, criticism, and negative speech. If you keep on slandering and gossiping about others, you are denying yourself the opportunity to be truly happy in your life.

3. Positive Words Have a Healing Effect

Words have an incredible healing power in people’s lives. Words of love, comfort and encouragement have a positive impact on people’s lives. This is evidenced by health in the body. Positive speech is a weapon against disease and bad luck. Take control of your tongue, to ensure it speaks no evil against the absent or departed. Make sure your words do not injure a person’s reputation. Practice self-control, good company and good words as they bring light to the heart. Familiarize yourself with these rules checklist on how to be happy.

4. Positive Words Uplift People’s Lives

If you are blessed in life, nature expects you to recompense the blessings you have received by uplifting others with your words. In doing so, more blessings, wealth, and health will come your way. If you fail to do so, then you are only denying yourself the joy and happiness you would have gained from uplifting other people’s lives. On the other hand, if you speak negatively about other people, you absorb their bad karma and dissipate the blessings you had gained, that you would have otherwise received.

The following are interesting beliefs regarding the impact of negative, hurtful words.

  • If you have an island under the ring finger or a line of line – it’s not a good sign.
  • A star at the base of your middle finger is not favorable. That is the reply for the sin of slander would be great.
  • A cross under the ring and/or middle fingers brings negativity in the life of those offending others.
  • If a cross appears on your mount of Venus, abstain from stay away from slander, gossip, and negativity, since they will directly impact your relations.

5. Positive Words Strengthen Our Relationships

Speech is the Light of Infinity which should be constantly increasing. We should approach our listeners humbly, and show them our intellectual gift by the words we speak. We should center our conversations around truths. We should also show modesty and respect in our speech. If you look around you, a lot of people are bringing down their love relationships, friendships and careers by speaking lies, being arrogant and showing disrespect in the way they speak with their partners.

6. Positive Words Create and Support Light

The Word is God and God is the Word. When God created us, he intended for us to be the Spirit of Light that guides all those who have strayed from the path of light. The tongue, should, therefore, not be used to destroy others. When you gossip, you attract negative forces that invade your body, mind, and heart. Such forces suck out the light out of you, leaving you weak and unable to exercise control over your heart and body. The only way to avoid this situation is by dedicating the words that come from your mouth to create light and support others who might be too weak having been possessed by dark forces.

7. Positive Words Improve the World

The world we live in is full of karma. We always hear that karma will get back at us in one way or the other. Your achievements, challenges and everything you go, are not by accident. Rather, they are the result of karma. Instead of attracting negative karma, you can attract positive karma. By using deliberate words and actions that are intentionally constructive, we set positive forces in motion, that will act on the good for all mankind. Positive words will improve your life and further karma incarnations, and by extension, improve the world through enlightenment.

In conclusion, positive thinking is something that you need to practice over a great deal of time to get it in your system. An empty stomach brings out the negative energy from your body. To help yourself, you need to eat healthy, at regular times and also stay out in the sun as bonding with nature cancels out the negative forces. Above all, learn to love yourself by taking good care of your body, refraining from listening to and participating in negative talk. This way, you will always keep your mind, heart, and body healthy. Here is an inspirational speech to get you going in your endeavors.

Healing Power of Positive Words Janet Anthony

About the Author: Janet Anthony is a blogger from Kansas City and content writer at Resumes.Expert who has been writing professionally for five years now. She mostly writes about motivation, self-development, blogging and inspiration. Her motto is “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows”. Find Janet here: twitter

Source of the featured picture: 1

Why Is Important To Take 10 Mindful Minutes And Do Nothing

Here is an incredible video from TED. The speaker is Andy Puddicombe. His speech is called “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes”. The following words are the transcript of this talk and at the end of this post, you will find the video. Enjoy below the speech:

“All it takes is 10 mindful minutes”

 

Transcript of “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes”

We live in an incredibly busy world. The pace of life is often frantic, our minds are always busy, and we’re always doing something.

So with that in mind, I’d like you just to take a moment to think, when did you last take any time to do nothing? Just 10 minutes, undisturbed? And when I say nothing, I do mean nothing. So that’s no emailing, texting, no Internet, no TV, no chatting, no eating, no reading. Not even sitting there reminiscing about the past or planning for the future. Simply doing nothing. I see a lot of very blank faces. You probably have to go a long way back.

And this is an extraordinary thing, right? We’re talking about our mind. The mind, our most valuable and precious resource, through which we experience every single moment of our life. The mind that we rely upon to be happy, content, emotionally stable as individuals, and at the same time, to be kind and thoughtful and considerate in our relationships with others. This is the same mind that we depend upon, to be focused, creative, spontaneous, and to perform at our very best in everything that we do. And yet, we don’t take any time out to look after it. In fact, we spend more time looking after our cars, our clothes and our hair than we — okay, maybe not our hair, but you see where I’m going.

The result, of course, is that we get stressed. You know, the mind whizzes away like a washing machine going round and round, lots of difficult, confusing emotions, and we don’t really know how to deal with that. And the sad fact is that we are so distracted that we’re no longer present in the world in which we live. We miss out on the things that are most important to us, and the crazy thing is that everybody just assumes, that’s the way life is, so we’ve just kind of got to get on with it. That’s really not how it has to be.

So I was about 11 when I went along to my first meditation class. And trust me, it had all the stereotypes that you can imagine, the sitting cross-legged on the floor, the incense, the herbal tea, the vegetarians, the whole deal, but my mom was going and I was intrigued, so I went along with her. I’d also seen a few kung fu movies, and secretly I kind of thought I might be able to learn how to fly, but I was very young at the time. Now as I was there, I guess, like a lot of people, I assumed that it was just an aspirin for the mind. You get stressed, you do some meditation. I hadn’t really thought that it could be sort of preventative in nature, until I was about 20, when a number of things happened in my life in quite-quick succession, really serious things which just flipped my life upside down and all of a sudden I was inundated with thoughts, inundated with difficult emotions that I didn’t know how to cope with. Every time I sort of pushed one down, another one would pop back up again. It was a really very stressful time.

I guess we all deal with stress in different ways. Some people will bury themselves in work, grateful for the distraction. Others will turn to their friends, their family, looking for support. Some people hit the bottle, start taking medication. My own way of dealing with it was to become a monk. So I quit my degree, I headed off to the Himalayas, I became a monk, and I started studying meditation.

People often ask me what I learned from that time. Well, obviously it changed things. Let’s face it, becoming a celibate monk is going to change a number of things. But it was more than that. It taught me — it gave me a greater appreciation, an understanding for the present moment. By that I mean not being lost in thought, not being distracted, not being overwhelmed by difficult emotions, but instead learning how to be in the here and now, how to be mindful, how to be present.

I think the present moment is so underrated. It sounds so ordinary, and yet we spend so little time in the present moment that it’s anything but ordinary. There was a research paper that came out of Harvard, just recently, that said on average, our minds are lost in thought almost 47 percent of the time. 47 percent. At the same time, this sort of constant mind-wandering is also a direct cause of unhappiness.Now we’re not here for that long anyway, but to spend almost half of our life lost in thought and potentially quite unhappy, I don’t know, it just kind of seems tragic, actually, especially when there’s something we can do about it, when there’s a positive, practical, achievable, scientifically proven technique which allows our mind to be more healthy, to be more mindful and less distracted.

And the beauty of it is that even though it need only take about 10 minutes a day, it impacts our entire life. But we need to know how to do it. We need an exercise. We need a framework to learn how to be more mindful. That’s essentially what meditation is. It’s familiarizing ourselveswith the present moment.But we also need to know how to approach it in the right way to get the best from it. And that’s what these are for, in case you’ve been wondering, because most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind, but actually it’s quite different from that. It’s more about stepping back, sort of seeing the thought clearly, witnessing it coming and going, emotions coming and going without judgment, but with a relaxed, focused mind.

So for example, right now, if I focus too much on the balls, then there’s no way I can relax and talk to you at the same time. Equally, if I relax too much talking to you, there’s no way I can focus on the balls. I’m going to drop them. Now in life, and in meditation, there’ll be times when the focus becomes a little bit too intense, and life starts to feel a bit like this. It’s a very uncomfortable way to live life, when you get this tight and stressed. At other times, we might take our foot off the gas a little bit too much, and things just become a sort of little bit like this. Of course in meditation — we’re going to end up falling asleep. So we’re looking for a balance, a focused relaxation where we can allow thoughts to come and go without all the usual involvement.

Now, what usually happens when we’re learning to be mindful is that we get distracted by a thought.Let’s say this is an anxious thought. Everything’s going fine, and we see the anxious thought. “Oh, I didn’t realize I was worried about that.” You go back to it, repeat it. “Oh, I am worried. I really am worried. Wow, there’s so much anxiety.” And before we know it, right, we’re anxious about feeling anxious.

You know, this is crazy. We do this all the time, even on an everyday level. If you think about the last time youhad a wobbly tooth. You know it’s wobbly, and you know that it hurts. But what do you do every 20, 30 seconds?

It does hurt. And we reinforce the storyline, right? And we just keep telling ourselves, and we do it all the time. And it’s only in learning to watch the mind in this way that we can start to let go of those storylines and patterns of mind. But when you sit down and you watch the mind in this way, you might see many different patterns. You might find a mind that’s really restless and — the whole time. Don’t be surprised if you feel a bit agitated in your body when you sit down to do nothing and your mind feels like that. You might find a mind that’s very dull and boring, and it’s just, almost mechanical, it just seems it’s as if you’re getting up, going to work, eat, sleep, get up, work. Or it might just be that one little nagging thought that just goes round and round your mind.

Well, whatever it is, meditation offers the opportunity, the potential to step back and to get a different perspective, to see that things aren’t always as they appear. We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way that we experience it. That’s the potential of meditation, of mindfulness. You don’t have to burn any incense, and you definitely don’t have to sit on the floor. All you need to do is to take 10 minutes out a day to step back, to familiarize yourself with the present moment so that you get to experience a greater sense of focus, calm and clarity in your life.

Related relevant article: 4 Scientific Studies On How Meditation Can Affect Your Heart, Brain And Creativity.

All it takes is 10 mindful minutes meditation

The Secret of Mindfulness

Find here an inspiring short video that anyone needs to watch at least once in a lifetime. It presents how mindfulness empowers us. This animation is narrated by Sharon Salzberg. Same with positive words. Do not put the effort in not talking negatively. Just put the effort in finding, learning and using on a daily basis positive words. In this way, you will be empowered. It just takes practice. Enjoy the video about mindfulness!