Keeping Your Mind Sharp after School

| December 7, 2017 | 0 Comments

Keep brain sharp

I finished with my schooling a few years ago. Since then, I’ve started to notice some changes. I’m worse at remembering people’s names. Sometimes, it takes me an extra read-through to process a news story and fully understand it. And I’m reading books and watching documentaries that challenge me less and less often.

Of course, some if this is merely to be expected. Your brain can’t forever be quite as quick to pick up on new things as it was when you were a young adult. However, there are plenty of things that you can do to keep your brain young and healthy.

What are the benefits?

  • Sets an example of a love of learning for your children (which, trust me, will make getting them to do homework that much easier.)
  • You’ll be a better, more interesting conversationalist at cocktail parties.
  • Your mind stays healthier, with less risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  • Better memory serves in every function of life.
  • Improves higher executive function, including logic, decision-making, and impulse control.
  • You’ll make more informed choices in shopping, voting, etc.
  • You’ll find joy in learning itself.

Work out and eat properly

It’s important to realize that your body and mind aren’t as separate as you might think. What you eat and how active you are both have a major impact on your thought patterns, mood, and ability to think.

So, in order to support better thinking, you need to be eating the right things, and exercising regularly. This link has a great guide to important nutrition for your brain.


Keep brain sharpYou’d think that Lord of the Rings would have about the same impact on you, whether you read the book, watched the movies, or listened to someone relay the story to you orally.

But it’s not the same! The truth is that something unique happens when we are engaged in reading. More parts of our brain are active, making connections and storing information away, when we read. So, one great way to keep your brain active is to read.

Read long-form fiction and nonfiction. Read things that you hadn’t known about before. Read things that are fun to you. And read things that make you think, even if they’re not quite as fun.

Take classes

You might think that your school days are over, but you could be wrong. Today, there are so many options for continuing education classes.

You can look into what’s available at your local community college, research classes at your local YMCA or community center, or you might even ask someone you know to give you private lessons on something like a new language or a musical instrument.

You might even sign up for a remote class or camp. For example, 2-week coding courses are available all over the place. Or, you might want to look into fiddling camp one summer, where they teach people of all levels.

Learning online

If nothing else, you can always look into online learning. You can find curriculum for any level, and any stage of intensity that you desire. If you’re simply curious about something, it might be a matter of following Youtube tutorials and trying something out for yourself.

Or, if you need a little more structure, you can sign up for free classes at Khan academy, or a paid course with any online university.

Just remember, if you want to work towards some kind of accreditation, make sure that the course or school that you sign up for is able to give you legal certification.

Additionally, if you’re going to pay for a service, read reviews and look at their reputation to make sure that it will be worthwhile. All online learning centers are not created equal, by any means.

Meet new people

Meeting someone new might just feel like a normal Tuesday, or like a huge emotional undertaking, depending on what kind of person you are.

However, it’s one of the best things that you can do for your brain. There are few things that require as much mental capacity as communicating with someone new.

Numerous studies have found that meeting new people helps keep your brain young, and can even keep your mood positive. There are so many opportunities to make new connections, especially when you start making a goal to learn more!

Challenge yourself

The most important thing to remember is this: if it’s something that’s easy and routine for you, then it’s probably not enough to exercise your brain effectively.

The trick is to be constantly challenging yourself. Go do something you’ve never done before, even something that you might be embarrassed to admit you’re a beginner at. Travel somewhere new!

Go to a cooking class and work on a dish that you have no idea how to proceed on. Your brain will thank you.

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