Ever have one of those days when you just can’t seem to remember anything or when there is just too much going on in that brain of yours to focus on the task at hand? Us too. Our brains sure are busy trying to keep up with our hectic lives.
There are ways we can help. Here are eight ways to increase your mental clarity:
8 Ways to Increase Your Mental Clarity 1 of 9
Strike a Pose 2 of 9
A recent study showed that a single, 20-minute session of Hatha yoga can improve one's ability to both rapidly process and recall information. In fact, according to the study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, yoga is more effective for increasing mental focus and retention than aerobic exercises.
Listen to Music 3 of 9
Have you ever heard a song on the radio and it took you back to a moment your past? Research shows that listening to certain types of music is helpful in recalling memories. When you receive information while listening to a particular song, replaying that song in your mind later on can bring up that information from your memory.
Meditate 4 of 9
Though some people find it difficult to meditate, studies show that meditating can lead to significant improvement in concentration and cognitive abilities. Meditating allows our brains to shut off the mental noise and be more mindful of what is going on within. People who meditate tend to have stronger mental clarity than those who do not meditate.
Get happy 5 of 9
Stress, particularly stress that comes from depression and anxiety, can lead to an inability to focus and retain information. Depression and anxiety increase the levels of cortisol in the bloodstream and elevate the cortisol levels in the brain. The increase of cortisol in the brain can damage areas of the brain where memories are stored. If you are having prolonged issues with depression or anxiety, consider talking with a professional about alleviating those concerns.
Get hypnotic 6 of 9
You do not have to seek out Svengali or buy a pet cobra to get hypnotized. You can simply see your therapist or download hypnosis sessions that will help you improve your ability to concentrate. The underlying belief with regards to hypnosis is that retention and memory are learned. During hypnosis our brains have a chance to completely relax. It is then when we can teach ourselves more effective ways to focus and retain information.
Go herbal. 7 of 9
Herbal remedies are often recommended by naturopathic doctors for memory related conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's. Some of the herbs that may be recommended for increasing mental clarity are ginkgo biloba, ginseng root, tumeric and sage.
(Be sure to speak with your pharmacist or physician before taking herbs.)
Feed your brain 8 of 9
Eating healthy fats is extremely important in keeping our brains sharp and effective. For better mental clarity, cut down on trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Consuming a diet that contains a mix of healthy fats is imperative for memory and clarity. Consider adding nuts, fruits, seeds (especially flax seed), fishes (such as wild salmon), oils (such as olive and grapeseed), and dark leafy green vegetables (think kale and spinach).
Use it or lose it. 9 of 9
Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, reading, or playing cards on a regular basis are effective for delaying memory loss. Along the same lines, playing games such as soduku and doing crossword puzzles may be better for keeping anxiety at bay than other activities. When it comes to our brain and staying mentally sharp, experts often repeat the old adage that we use it or lose it.
“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” -Alexander Graham Bell
Please note that this post is intended to share information and ideas, as well as to create conversation. Please consult a medical professional before making changes to your lifestyle.