Apart from physical and mental health, cognitive health is also an important factor in dictating our brain function. You may ask, what is cognition and why is it so necessary?
Well, to put things into perspective, cognition is how our brain carries out all its functionalities, such as memory formation, attention, concentration, problem-solving skills, reading and learning, and reasoning. These are abilities that are vital to human existence.
Types Of Cognitive Skills
Cognitive skills are often divided into five categories that are designed based on the various ways in which the brain interprets and make use of information.
Attention comes in three forms: sustained, selective, and divided.
Sustained attention helps us focus on a single task for a long period of time; selective attention is when the brain allows you to focus on the main task by ignoring distractions around you; and divided attention is where you can retrieve information while completing two or more tasks simultaneously.
- Long-Term And Short-Term Memory
As the name suggests, short-term memory allows you to retain the latest received information while long-term memory helps you recall memories from the past.
- Logic And Reasoning
Logic and reasoning skills of the brain allow you to go by your day by helping solve problems and generating reasons or ideas.
The skillset is important for you to compile and analyze information gained from various sources.
- Auditory And Visual Processing
This feature of the brain enables you to process information that is gained through hearing and interpreted from visuals captured through your eyes.
- Processing Speed
For all of the above-mentioned skills to function, the brain needs to be able to process information and apply it to a certain situation in split seconds.
By improving your brain’s processing speeds, you will be able to improve productivity by many folds.
In this article, we will be discussing some important exercises that you can follow to improve your cognitive function and sustain cognitive health throughout life.
So let us get into it.
How To Improve Cognitive Function?
The most important point to note is that good cognitive function comes with maintaining a healthy mind and body.
According to research published by the Harvard Medical School in 2021, there are six key factors that are important for supporting cognitive skills which are the following:
💠 Maintain A Healthy Diet
For optimal brain function, it is highly important to include a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat.
This will provide the brain with all the essential nutrients that are necessary for enhancing cognitive abilities.
💠 Regular Exercise
Our physical health dictates our mental abilities. This is true to the last word as physical fitness will help build up strength, endurance, and stamina that is required by the body to go the distance and complete daring tasks.
A fit body also helps construct a healthy mindset which results in improved cognition.
💠 Good Sleeping Habits
Sleep is vital to our body’s normal functioning. After a long day of work, a good night’s sleep will relax our body and mind, helping us stay fresh and prepared to face up to the tasks of a new day.
Doctors say that getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night can vastly improve your brain’s attention-related cognitive skills and make you more productive.
💠 Reduce Stress
Stress is always bad for your health and is the leading cause of heart attacks. In most cases, the stress is induced by anxiety or doubt about whether you will be able to complete the task at hand.
Just take long and deep breaths when you feel stressed or maybe do a little stretching to release tension from the body.
This also helps calm you down. When you are in a relaxed state, your brain will be able to perform tasks more efficiently.
💠 Social Involvement
Our social circles dictate our mental and physical well-being. It is important for us to be active and involved to stay healthy and what better way to do that than being indulged in a social activity?
So get out there and meet up with your friends, or join an activity club and put yourself to work.
💠 Train Your Brain
Like how you train your body muscles to stay physically fit, there are muscles in the brain that can be activated by doing certain activities.
This can be achieved by challenging the brain to improve its memory, focus, concentration, reasoning, and processing skills. These are some ways in which you can strengthen your cognitive abilities:
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, cognitive skills are as important as physical and mental health for the seamless functioning of the brain.
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By improving our lifestyle, we can enhance the brain’s cognitive abilities which are vital to our daily life.
And by challenging our brains, we can improve our memory, focus, and processing powers which are necessary for maintaining a healthy body and mindset throughout life.