Have you ever had a day when your mind felt sluggish and you reacted like you were not connected to the situation or were a beat behind?

You may notice it first thing in the morning but it also might happen in the afternoon meeting after lunch. Or it may be what happens after concentrating for a long time on detailed work, and that feeling of tension and overwhelm that sometimes leads to a mental meltdown.

How can you have more days when your mind is clear and functioning well?

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Just like a professional Project Manager you can tune up your mind to respond to details and the big picture in a way that fuels your sense of satisfaction that you are at the top of your game.

How do the mind and the brain fit together? “The mind is the manifestations of thought, perception, emotion, determination, memory and imagination that takes place within the brain.” (Control Mind.info).

Making sure that the brain is healthy is the foundation from which the mind can continue to function optimally.

5 tips to achieve a S-H-A-R-P mind

Here are 5 tips to achieve a sharp mind that is responsive to events and situations in a way that is clear, focused and leads to better outcomes for you.

S – Sleep, Rest and Pay Attention to Good Nutrition

According to The Brain, The Ultimate Guide published by Harris Publications, we spend a third of our lives sleeping. During that time the brain is very active.

Five things the brain does while sleeping are, “creates and consolidates memories, makes creating connections, clears out toxins, learning and remembers how to perform physical tasks, and makes decisions.”

No wonder we need to regularly need to lose consciousness on a regular basis. In fact memories are only encoded/consolidated at night. Nutrition is important to the body and the brain as it can change DNA (The field of epigenetics explores this).

Researchers have established a strong link between the gut and brain function. According to John Hopkins Medicine “Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system may send signals to the central nervous system (CNS) that trigger mood changes.”

If either of these areas of your life needs attention, find resources to help you take charge of them. Of course WatchFit is a great place to go for tips and ideas that will make a difference and optimize your sharp mind.

H – Honor Social Connections

Being socially active makes a difference to the brain functioning. According to Dr. Mabel Lopez (Neuropsychologist) positive relationships can make a different in what you think and that can change DNA.

Our thoughts are chemical messages and they make a difference to the functioning of the mind.

tips to achieve a sharp mind_2A – Stay Active Now

An article by Christopher Berland from Psychology Today discusses two research studies from 2014.

In the first study, researchers from the University of Minnesota found that young adults who run or participate in aerobic activities preserve their thinking and memory skills for middle age.

The second study, from Finland, found that middle-aged people who are physically active protect themselves from dementia in older age.” There are biological reasons why this is true as the mind and body are connected by blood flow and nerves. Exercise increases the number of brain cells in the brain.

Being active is not just about the body, as the mind plays a part. The old adage “if you think you can or think you can’t; you are quite right” is applicable here.

R – Revel in Learning New Things

Yes there are all kinds of games online and for many of them the outcome is getting good at a particular game. The same goes for crossword puzzles.

What makes a different to the brain is new activity. Learning a new language or a musical instrument uses many parts of the brain and keeps it actively working in a healthy way. If something is difficult for you, that is the best thing for you to choose.

P – Turn Problems into Challenges

What about events that are troubling and happening right now? How a person handles them makes a difference. Turn those stumbling blocks into stepping stones! Creative problem solving can make a big difference.

The first step is to shift the problem into a challenge/puzzle to be solved. Once you determine what is possible and beneficial to be done, just do it. You may be surprised at the result. And the result will be increased connections in the brain.

Be awake and aware of your surroundings

I have a friend who found out that she needed to use an electric scooter to get around after an accident. At first she cried and lamented her fate of not driving and being so independent. Because she wanted the best quality of life, she found that she could walk her dog with the scooter and the dog walking ahead.

Now, the dog is happy and she is going further than ever on these walks. In fact she is seeing more wildlife than ever and it is so enjoyable. What a surprise! This was something she took for granted before and now realizes how much joy there is in this activity.

Perhaps consciousness is a matter of being “awake and aware of your surroundings” (Christof Koch, Ph. D., The Allen Institute for Brain Science).

And although there are still questions about the relationship of the brain, the mind and consciousness, having a sharp mind brings more things that are beneficial, possible and joyful to our attention moment by moment. What could be better than that?

Using these 5 tips to achieve a sharp mind will be useful to successfully age as well.

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