5 Suggestions for Sharpening Your Mind

Synthia Stark

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Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash — It's great that you want to sharpen your mind.

Sometimes, when we’re feeling tired, we feel incredibly sluggish and are unable to make coherent and quick decisions, like we used to do in the past. Other times, when we’re stuck in a rut, we require the assistance of others to help us generate new ideas and insights.

Either way, there’s a logic behind our decisions, even if we’re not always feeling the desire to do something new. Plus, with the pandemic and other world events taking the center stage, sensationalist news headlines can easily make us feel tired, much to our detriment or amusement.

When it comes to our brains, logical thinking is the path of certainty and goal-orientation, especially if you find yourself exhibiting a high degree of restlessness, anger, boredom, tiredness, burden, or even excessive daydreaming.

To be able to think things critically, you need to continuously immerse yourself with fun but intellectually stimulating endeavours. To be able to make quick decisions on the go, you need well-intentioned simulations that anticipate these decisions ahead of time. Once you get a simulation going, you can find doing daily tasks much easier than before.

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash — Watching intellectual TV shows can be quite fun.

1. Learning a New Language

Learning a new language always sharpens your brain’s ability to quickly generate and form new information. When you learn a new language, such as French, Italian, or even Spanish, you also get to learn about the cultures and norms associated with that language, establishing a greater deal of social sensitivity and understanding towards the world, which is helpful in successful interpersonal and business communication.

Studies have shown that people who learn new languages are able to better concentrate and perform on tasks compared to the other people who only spoke 1 language only. Plus, if you’re applying to new jobs, learning another language might be your golden ticket to victory, especially as this is a skill set that is especially sought after by hiring managers.

Even if you’re older than most, language learning has been shone to sometimes reduce the onset or severity of dementia and Alzheimer's. If a little language learning is helpful to combat memory problems, then this is a great skill to have.

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Photo by Johnny McClung on Unsplash — I love learning and reading about new cultures and languages.

2. Playing Word or Puzzle Games

Whether it is filling out daily crossword puzzles, resolving sudoku puzzles, doing an online chess match, or unscrambling a finite combination of words under a 5-minute timer, you are actively utilizing your analytical, language and math skills. The cognitive pre-planning needed to make an efficient but long-term decision is important in the real world, especially if you’re working at a physically demanding job or struggling to balance the needs of your family with the needs of your workplace.

Similar to learning a new language, word games can sometimes help with reducing the onset or severity of brain conditions like dementia. However, you can try out brain games alongside the consideration of other factors, such as a healthy diet and exercise. It’s much harder to do these days, but they can still be managed.

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Photo by Carlos Esteves on Unsplash — There’s nothing wrong with a little chess.

3. Exercising

General exercise helps a great deal in promoting higher levels of thinking and memory. Even a small jog or stroll outside will keep our brains oxygenated with a new reserve of energy, especially after working for a long period of time. That being said, it might be hard to maintain your exercise indoors, but with a little creativity and the assistance of self-help videos, perhaps a solution can be generated that works best for you and even your family.

Plus, if we did find a place to walk, such as our backyard gardens or something similar, we are circulating our blood flow more efficiently and reliably for better energy intake. The more frequent and persistent we exercise, the greater our chances for a significant and consistent mental boost.

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Photo by Edward Koorey on Unsplash — Just find a quiet spot to adore the nature surrounding you.

4. Pursuing Artistic Endeavors

We all possess some levels of creativity, whether we can clearly see it or not. When we were little, we likely once drew, wrote, or even built amazing things. For example, perhaps you built birdhouses in your dad’s garage, or perhaps you once crafted beautiful dresses out of colourful fabrics. Either way, we all did things that made us creative.

As the years went on, some of us stopped doing these creative things, while others continued on. It really isn’t your fault if you lost your sense of creativity. Perhaps the bills needed to be paid, and your current job is sucking all the energy and time out of you.

In any event, many innovators often come up with strange and novel insights towards complex problems with the help of some creativity. You hear it all the time from business leaders. For example, creativity can be as simple as merging the ideas of one discipline with another seemingly different discipline to form one hybridized but unique solution. Sometimes these solutions cause our heads to spin and we can’t help but wonder why we didn’t come up with that idea instead.

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Photo by Kai Oberhäuser on Unsplash — There’s nothing wrong with a little backyard painting.

5. Socializing and Debating

While we’re not able to physically meet people during these ongoing world events, you can still definitely chat up with friends, acquaintances, and family online. You don’t have to sit in the corner of your room and shut out all interpersonal communication. You can still engage in both silly banter and intellectual conversation online and still talk to your immediate living partners as well.

Furthermore, if you find yourself having a light-hearted debate, it will keep you on your toes, especially as you contemplate different perspectives towards world issues. If you find the nature of the conversation too exhausting, you are more than welcome to change the topic, especially as true friends will understand. Even better, we have our internet and research skills to keep ourselves in check, alongside the insights from our trusted peers.

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Writer & Researcher | Therapist-in-Training | Crisis Responder | Writing wholesome stories for the masses.

New York City, NY
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