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Today, we are going to learn how to increase cognitive function. In a nutshell, cognitive function is the term used to define the different tasks our brain performs every day. Examples of these tasks are thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving.
Have you ever thought about how we do these tasks? It all seems natural to us but in fact, each function or task can be a complex endeavor for our brain especially as we age. Coincidentally, as you’re thinking about that fact right now, you are already using your brain’s cognitive function to process the words you are reading, comprehend them, analyze them, and come up with a logical answer.
How to Increase Cognitive Function
Improving one’s cognitive functioning might sound difficult, especially in a world that considers intelligence as hereditary. Fortunately, that is not really the case. We can do different activities in order to exercise our brain muscles and make them stronger—and that’s what we are going to talk about today.
We are going to divide this section into three parts or age groups. The first part will cover cognitive exercises for kids, the second part will feature activities for adults, and finally, we are going to share with you some helpful brain drills specifically for older people. Let’s get started!
We take pride and responsibility as parents to maximize the potential of our kids, and one of its most crucial aspects is cognitive functioning which certainly plays an important role in learning. It doesn’t matter whether your child is homeschooled or they attend a traditional school, here are three activities that will make them do better in their studies:
1. Allow Your Child to Play Strategy Games
Much has been said about how video games can derail your child’s physical health since it would keep him indoors instead of playing outside, or even their studies. On the flip side, strategic video games can actually stimulate your child’s cognitive functioning because of all the analysis and decision-making involved in each game.
If you want to lessen your child’s screen time, though, then encourage him to play board games or card games with the family instead. Not only is it brain food but it can also serve as fun bonding sessions to share with the family.
2. Take Your Child to Educational Trips
Going to the zoo or a museum will not only help your child learn about science, history, and arts in a more interesting way than being stuck with a boring book, but it will also improve your child’s observation, exploration, and comprehension skills along the way. Here’s a pro tip: Don’t forget to ask your child thought-provoking questions about the things that you will see while you’re there.
3. Get Your Child Involved with a Hobby
It doesn’t matter whether you take the creative route (with some painting or crafting lessons), the scientific route (with robotic classes), the sports route, or all of them for that matter. Each of these activities targets specific cognitive functions in your child’s brain that will also improve different aspects of the learning process.
What about us, as parents? Surely we can use some brain exercises too, right? That’s what we are going to talk about next.
Being employed can certainly exercise our brain every day, but a lot of times, especially when the tasks become a routine, we might start feeling like a mindless zombie. This is a good sign that your brain already needs some serious stimulation! While you can also start a new hobby, or play strategy games like your child, here are some more activities that you can dip your feet into:
1. Take on a Physical Challenge or Goal
Physical activity can release certain hormones in our brain which can help improve memory. Aside from that, it can also improve motor skills, which in turn, also stimulate the parts in our brain responsible for thought and learning.
Exploring new places can certainly get you out of your comfort zone, and because of this, your brain will be more alert, observant, curious, and keener on problem-solving. Even mundane activities such as thinking where to eat next are more mentally challenging when you’re in a new town.
3. Deal with Anxiety and Depression
Mental health issues can severely affect your brain’s cognitive functioning. If you find your mind wandering aimlessly, you can’t seem to remember things or find difficulty in concentrating because of anxiety or depression, then this factor is truly a hurdle you must undertake, not just for your brain’s sake but for your heart’s, as well.
As mentioned earlier, employment can already be enough to stimulate your brain on a regular basis. The problem is, what happens when you retire? This is the reason we’re also going to share with you some tips on increasing cognitive function for elderly people.
For the Elderly
We believe that one should never stop stimulating their brains, and the challenge becomes even more important as you get older, when the brain is already experiencing the changes brought about by aging. Here are some tips you can keep in mind to keep your brain sharp as a senior citizen:
1. Meet New People
One can never get too old to make friends. Just like traveling, meeting new people can also stimulate the cognitive functioning of the brain.
Exposure to new faces and names can practice our memory, and conversations on new topics can stimulate comprehension and analysis. Not to mention that going out to meet new people is way better than just watching television at home.
2. Watching Television Actively
Speaking of watching TV, did you know that you can also stimulate your brain by watching more attentively and curating the shows you watch? For instance, watching scientific shows, documentaries, and historical fiction series can trigger “aha” moments when the show you are watching actively asks you to be curious, analyze the aspects of the program, and explore new ideas.
3. Be a Student Again!
You don’t have to go back to school if you don’t want to. There is a wealth of learning materials out there: books, online seminars, video tutorials, and more. All you need to do is pick a new skill or area of interest that you are curious about and start studying it.
Exercise the Mind
So you see, one can never be too old, too young, or even too busy to give the brain an active workout. We hope that the tips on how to increase cognitive function in every stage of your life we have shared with you can motivate you to go out there and flex those brain muscles. Never stop learning.