Simple tips to increase cognitive skills

There are everyday changes you can make that will improve your brain function.

Simple tips to increase cognitive skills
Photo by Margarida Afonso on Unsplash

As we age, cognitive function becomes a concern, because of the number of people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and various forms of dementia. Some older adults and even younger ones are troubled because they have a parent or other relative who succumbed to such mental decline. It's important to know when there is something serious going on, or you are dealing with stress and or normal signs of aging. You might also be dealing with side effects of medication. This is why it is always important to let your personal care physician know of the changes you re dealing with.

Once health problems have been ruled out, there is no need of living in fear. There are easy ways to fight for your mind to be sharp as you need it while ageing. The following are some tips that may help and it will be fun trying to do them all. This article is not to diagnose or cure any medical problems but to relay information that could possibly be beneficial to some adults. Everyone will have different results so please keep this in mind. Diet, lifestyle, and hereditary all play a part in who we are. The good news is that most of the time we can take steps to prevent a negative outcome.

Try doing things backward or in the opposite manner to outsmart brain fog and increase your cognitive skills. In a safe space where you will not fall, try walking backward for a few steps at a time and then increase. Walk backward in your home, outside or up the stairs but please be very careful. There are also people who are confident enough to run backward. This is also said to improve balance if you can pull it off. The April 1 edition of Women's World Magazine, (page 5) stated that using your non dominate hand will sharpen your thinking by stimulating the neural connections between hemispheres.

When done on a daily basis using the opposite hand or a backward stroll will give you a much needed mental boost by increasing the number of nerve fibers in the brain. If you are right handed, simply begin using your left hand for tasks. If you are left handed then do the opposite. The article suggests moving your mouse keyboard with your non dominate hand for a few moments at a time. Try picking up and or holding items with the hand you use the least. Studies have also shown that driving in directions you don't normally travel in will also boost your brain.

On page 18 of the April 1, 2019, edition of Women's World, there is a food listed that can help with cognitive issues. Peanut butter is suggested as another brain booster. A study by scientists from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina suggests two tablespoons of sugar free peanut butter in a smoothie to combat brain fog and increase cognitive abilities by 41%. The healthy plant fats in this food speed up neuron communication and heal aging brain cells.

Canadian researchers are reporting in the Journal of Neuroscience that coffee actually protects brain health. Drinking up to four cups a day is recommended and the darker roasts have the most protective abilities. Both my mother in law and grandmother were avid coffee drinkers who averaged 2 cups a day for decades. My mother in law died at 83 and my grandmother at 91. Both had strong cognitive skills until they took their last breath. There was never a hint of dementia and only a bit of short term memory loss, which is natural for aging adults.

If you feel overwhelmed and your mind is racing try 30 seconds of rubbing your earlobes. Traditional Chinese medicine indicates you should grasp your earlobes with your thumb and index fingers and rub for half a minute to reduce stress. This is said to remove blockages in the flow of qi and at bedtime will help you sleep better. These tips have no side effects and cost nothing but a few moments of time, so give them a try and good luck.

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Cheryl E Preston
Cheryl E Preston
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Cheryl E Preston

Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, published author and former newspaper columnist. She is currently pursuing a degree in Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. Tips are greatly appreciated.

See all posts by Cheryl E Preston