'Tis the season to be jolly! But it's also the season to be completely stressed out! Whether it's upcoming finals, getting ready for the holidays, or just a need to keep more focused on the everyday tasks at hand, here are five great ways to keep the mind in shape!
Staying well-organized by using things like calendars, planners, shopping lists, file folders, and to-do lists helps keep you focused on everyday tasks. It’s also a great way to prioritize your brain. Instead of wasting the mind energy you would need to remember where you placed that important document, you can focus on more important things. To top it off, if you stay very well-organized, you will be happier because there will be less stress from tasks not getting done or forgetting something important. Organization keeps you thinking positive and helps you bring better ideas to the table.
Repetition is a great way to learn when used effectively. If you have a test tomorrow, or your boss wants to know what you think about the report from two days ago, it’s not good to wait and cram in the information. The most effective thing to do is to study the essentials, then restudy. After an hour, review the information you learned and see what you remember. Go over it again after a few hours, and for a bit every day. Quiz yourself and write it down like an essay. This is the best method for mastering that new topic at school or any new set of information. Using repetition in this fashion helps your brain soak in details like a sponge.
3. Eating Healthy:
Of course eating healthy is a great way to keep the mind sharp. Make sure not to skip out on any of those three main meals of the day and be sure to have healthy snacks in between. Our brains are powered by the nutrition we take in. If you miss a meal, you’re depriving it of vitamins, protein, and — yes! — carbohydrates, which are essential for sharp processing and focus.
4. Switch Hands:
Play a few mind games before you start a task where you have to utilize your brain. Try switching hands and using your non-dominant hand to write or use the computer mouse. It activates parts of the brain that are rarely used. By simply switching hands, it helps stimulate brain growth because the brain has to focus on non-automatic behavior.
Most of us don’t have time to do a full yoga routine before or after we start our day, but there is a simple type of meditation that can easily be practiced whenever your mind starts to wonder. All you need is one word that is calming to you. When you feel yourself start to drift, simply state that word silently to yourself. This can reduce the stress hormone cortisol, which interferes with your memory. Easy meditation tricks like this one help keep your focus, pushing away thoughts of depression and anxiety.
Work on these five tips and you will notice an easier time focusing and a happier, more productive day!