Tips to Increase Neuroplasticity

 

Are you a little bit worried about getting older?

It’s true that your joints may get less flexible with age. But your mental agility doesn’t have to diminish. Instead of wishing that you could stop time, you can do a lot to reverse its effects on your brain.

What’s Neuroplasticity?

Your brain is a dynamic system. [1] It is in constant motion, forming new neural pathways as you experience new things.

Neuroplasticity is your brain’s ability to change. The biggest changes happen in childhood and adolescence. However, some changes are possible well into adulthood.

What Can You Do to Retain and Increase Your Neuroplasticity?

Physical workouts are the key to keeping your body healthy. But mental workouts are what your brain needs in order to stay flexible. Here are some of the top ways you can make sure your brain stays in the best possible shape.

  1. Learn New Languages

Studies show that being bilingual is great for your brain [2].The process of learning a new vocabulary challenges your memorization skills. This means that you will become less likely to forget things later in life.

But learning languages challenges your working memory as well. Practicing new syntax requires serious intellectual work on your part. Thus, it will improve your problem-solving skills in a number of different fields.

People who take the time to learn a new language also have a lot more opportunities. After all, it can give you access to new music, cinema, and literature. You’ll also have a new basis for forming connections and expanding your horizons.

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  1. Work on Improving Your Focus

How does a better focus improve your neuroplasticity? Being able to finish a task without interruptions is crucial to your cognitive abilities. In order to improve the way your brain works, you always need to give yourself the chance to think things through without losing steam.

There are many reasons people become more distractible. Maybe you are overworked, exhausted or you’ve developed some bad habits over time. Whatever the reasons behind your lack of focus, it can have a serious negative effect on your career.

Fortunately, being scatterbrained isn’t a permanent condition. Here are some simple ways you can get your focus back if it has started to waver:

  • Take Scheduled Breaks

Forty minutes of work and twenty minutes of rest is a good formula for most people, though your brain may have different needs. A timer can help you keep to schedule and there are also many apps you can check out. Use your breaks to rest, move around or get some fresh air.

  • Cut Out Electronic Distractions

Breaking flow to view updates on social media is a sure way to mess up your ability to focus on whatever you’re working on. It may take some time to get rid of this habit, but it will definitely be worth it. Disconnecting for a while has a few other benefits too, such as improving your sleeping schedule.

  • Try a Nootropic

You may be able to improve your focus with something as simple as a cup of coffee. After all, you may just need a little boost to cut through brain fog. But make sure to look into any negative effects your chosen nootropic may have.

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  • Pace Yourself Better

Feeling overwhelmed by your workload is sure to make things more difficult for you. So plan your work in advance and don’t count on last-minute bursts of inspiration. Even if the extra adrenaline of an upcoming deadline feels useful at the time, frequent stress isn’t good for your capacity to pay attention.

  1. Take Care of Your Mental Health

Did you know that depression and anxiety have a negative impact on your neuroplasticity [3]? Both of these disorders require treatment and lifestyle changes. Once you implement those changes, any negative cognitive impact of the disorders will recede.

But everyone has occasional low moods that can mess with their cognitive abilities. Feeling sad or irritated all the time is sure to ruin your focus and it also makes it much more difficult to start learning anything new.

If you’ve noticed that your mood is affecting your mental performance, do something about it as soon as possible. Whether you need meditation, exercise, counseling or a change in circumstances, remember that you deserve to use your brain at its full capacity.

  1. Take Care of Your Physical Health Too

Sleeping well is crucial to keeping your brain in good shape. This means sticking to a regular schedule even on weekends. Frequent all-nighters are a sure way to kill your motivation as well as your ability to concentrate on the task at hand.

If you keep waking up tired despite falling asleep on time, make sure that your bed and bedroom are appropriate for you. Furthermore, cut back on using electronics late at night. Sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders are another potential danger to your neuroplasticity.

What about your diet? It’s worth taking the time to read up on brain foods. Find out which nutrients protect your brain’s long-term health and make sure to include them in your meal plans.

Physical exercise isn’t only a great concentration booster and mood lifter. It also protects your brain from age-related damage and some serious chronic conditions. Can it affect your current mental performance as well?

Research has proved [4] that taking up exercise is a great way to protect and increase your neuroplasticity. If you feel like your cognitive skills are stagnating, it might be the right time to take up a new sport. Learning new rules is good for your memory as well.

  1. Never Stop Improving Yourself

Dull routine is one of the biggest threats to your neuroplasticity. Going through life without mental challenges means that your brain will simply stop changing over time.

So don’t stop learning new things and don’t give in to inertia. If you feel like your current life situation isn’t offering enough opportunities, take steps to change it. But don’t forget that there are small ways you can improve and maintain your sharpness as well.

Read challenging books and don’t just stick to one genre. Try out new logic games, online or offline. Surrounding yourself with people who enjoy intellectual pursuits is a great motivator too.

Working on your neuroplasticity can be your path to living a more fulfilling life. So don’t put it off and wait passively for something to change. Instead, work on creating your own opportunities. 

 


Hi! We’re Team Neuro, aficionados of all things brain-related, from creativity to working out. With backgrounds in art, science, and athletics, we love delving into all the potentials of the human body.


We also created the world's first sugar-free nootropic caffeine gum that utilizes the effects of caffeine and L-theanine, made to help you optimize your mind — anywhere, anytime. Find out more here.

[1] http://web.stanford.edu/group/hopes/cgi-bin/hopes_test/neuroplasticity/#strategies-for-promoting-brain-reorganization

[2] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/life-bilingual/201401/cognitive-advantages-second-language-immersion-education

[3] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/heal-your-brain/201107/neuroplasticity-and-depression

[4] https://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2016/3643879/

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