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Train your brain: 6 ways to keep your mind sharp and focused

Trinity College Foundation Studies

Mon Aug 14 2017


Working out your brain is equally as important as exercising our body, as the human brain is one of the most complex organs. Nonetheless, many people don’t take into account that mental health is just as important as our physical health.

While the majority of international students we spoke to knew that maintaining a sharp mind was important, not many knew the best way to do so.

To help keep your mind sharp and train it, we’ve got six activities that you can do to help improve your mental wellbeing. These activities have been categorised based the amount of time it takes to properly stimulate and maintain an active brain.

Brain teasers (Quick Fix)

Take a break from your work and tackle something new!

Rather than put together the same jigsaw puzzle over and over again, why not play with some fun brain teasers to boost your brain activity and increase your capacity to remember and store knowledge? Additionally, brain teasers can help improve concentration and reduce the risk of dementia later in life.

Have a go at some during your leisure time! Want to know what kind of brain teasers you can try? Check out Sharp Brains’ list of activities to help you stimulate and exercise your mind.

Physical Exercise (Mid-range)

Exercises for your brain are important but let’s not forget about your body too.

Physical exercise helps to circulate blood which carries oxygen to your body, making you feel fresher and pumped up for the day. Get into the habit of engaging in regular exercises such as jogging, yoga or even taking a walk in the park — work out your mind and body at the same time!

Some also say heading to the gym in the morning can help sustain energy during the day so no more falling asleep in the middle of class!

Read (Mid-Range)

Reading not only tends to relax the mind, but also helps improve your memory. Pick up a book and read away rather than succumb to social media.

Reading will also promote growth and development of brain regions. Additionally, you’ll be surprised by how reading can bring about immense inner peace and tranquility.

Play a musical instrument (Long Term)

Learning to play a musical instrument can help keep you mentally sharp. This activity engages the sense of vision, hearing and touch, which is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout. Additionally, music also helps soothes the mind and acts as a great form of stress relief.

For more information on how playing musical instruments benefit your brain, check out this five minute TED talk on YouTube.

Eat brain superfoods (Long Term)

Our brain uses up to 20 – 30 per cent of the calories consumed in a day. It is thus important to feed your brain with superfoods and keep your brain sharp and alert.

An example of such foods are whole grains, nuts, fish, berries and kale. These foods contain healthy fat, vitamins, protein and energy that the brain requires to maintain a sharp and active mind.

For more examples of healthy foods and additional information for their benefits, you can visit this link.

Get enough sleep (Long Term)

Sleep is a highly active time for brain development and brain function. Our sleep quantity and quality have a major role in what and how well we process and remember information.

The average recommended amount of sleep is around eight hours. But as students, we tend to not get enough sleep and as a result, our brains are over-stimulated, stressed, and tired. So, consider this a permission slip to get a good night sleep and to take a nap sometime this week.

This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via