How to Improve Your Cognitive Skills
As we approach exam season many of us will want to know how to improve brain function and our cognitive skills. Thinking more clearly, learning faster, remembering more and solving problems more efficiently all comprise cognitive function and by exercising these skills, they can be enhanced. This is useful not only for exam season but for day to day activities.
Attention, response, long-term memory, short-term memory, processing and organisation are all cognitive skills and abilities that can be improved upon by considering the following:
1. Reduce Stress
Stress can have an effect on cognitive function by diminishing the ability to focus. By removing stress in certain situations you will be able to give more attention to productive uses. In the case of unavoidable stress, introducing a daily exercise regime will help release stress in a healthy way.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration can lead to a decrease in attention and concentration. Drinking approximately 2 litres of water is optimum for adults.
3. Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness, the art of being present and not thinking beyond that particular moment, improves memory and focus. Meditation can be practiced many ways and is the art of quieting your mind and monitoring your thoughts. Regular meditation can help calm the body and mind, and increase the ability to concentrate.
A lack of sleep can impair memory function. On average 8 hours of sleep per night will help to increase your brain's ability to focus and helps to reduce stress, whilst assisting with memory consolidation.
5. Engage All Senses
Multi sensory learning is more effective than learning with just one sense. When learning a new word definition or poem, reading it aloud is beneficial.
6. Exercise, exercise, exercise...
Engage in a mental activity that you find challenging - this will help keep your memory sharp and can include anything from playing chess, to writing, gardening or reading.