It’s no secret that after a certain age, we all start losing bits of mental acuity as the years tick by. What is a bit more unknown, is that this memory and focus loss can also lead to a number of physical ailments and those physical ailments can trigger other mental ones. It’s a spiral worth avoiding, and this article will outline a few ways to keep your wits about you and even improve your memory and focus.
Looking for a Memory Boost? Better Eat these Foods!
Every organ in the body needs different nutrients to continue to perform at its best and, to no surprise, the brain is one of the neediest. The brain actually consumes upwards of 20% of a given person’s caloric intake even though it’s (unfortunately) not one of the parts of the body that gets larger when we have a few too many calories.
There are quite a few foods that make the claim as brain foods, but some that are proven to help memory and focus might surprise you (disclaimer: some have taste, too!). Fatty fish, such as salmon and trout, is one of the best memory boosters because of the omega-3 fatty acids it contains. Half of the fat in your brain is omega-3 and it needs to be replenished for top functionality. Coffee may hurt your pearly whites over time, but the same short-term effects it delivers (e.g., focus and energy) also help your brain over time. Blueberries and oranges are the best fruits for the brain, and broccoli and pumpkin seeds do the trick on the veggie side.
Make Sure You Get Your Sleep
When we were teenagers, we would have loved for someone to tell us to go take a nap. As we age, sleep can be harder to come by for some, but it’s also more important for preserving the brain. Enough sleep can go as far as improving your working memory and focus, let alone preserving it.
Getting good sleep is important, too. Interrupted sleep does not have the same positive effects on memory and focus, so be sure to garner habits that allow stressful thoughts to leave the mind before sleep. Reading and watching TV are two easy and acceptable habits, and they also help prevent headaches…
Headaches are Focus Nightmares. Here’s Tips to Help
In both the present and future, headaches are very detrimental to focus. In the moment, the affect on focus is pretty obvious: it’s hard to think about a task at hand. Frequent headaches, and even migraines, also have negative effects on the preservation of the focus parts of the brain. Determining what different things may be causing headaches is the first step in preventing them. Some common reasons headaches occur in the elderly population are mis-medicating, poor eating habits, and poor sleeping habits.
Make Mental Exercises a Priority
Saying the word “neurobics” is a brain exercise in itself, but it is, indeed, a technical term for brain exercises. Many things you may already do qualify, like chess, newspaper crosswords, Sudoku, and even watching certain stimulating TV shows like Jeopardy!
Just as physical exercise helps keep the body in ship shape, mental exercise keeps the memory and focus finely tuned.
Beat the Spiral
It was probably fairly obvious that all of these piggyback on one another, so it’s important to give each and every tip ample attention. Keeping up on your physical activity is just as important as keeping a keen brain, as physical atrophy can lead to mental issues, and an ignored brain becomes a sad brain, which leads to a lack of motivation to get up and get out.
Let you physical and mental health work together to constantly improve each other, and all parts of your body will be motivated to stay young and stay sharp!