Mental Acuity: A Guide to Staying Mentally Sharp
* Verified by a US-based board-certified doctor.
Mental acuity refers to being mentally sharp. If you’re mentally sharp, you have an excellent memory, and you find it easy to complete different tasks. A lack of mental acuity can be detrimental to your health. You may forget important things, lack the focus to perform specific tasks, and struggle to concentrate. As a result, you become a shell of your former self.
Sadly, the mind gets weaker as we get older. Most people suffer a dip in mental acuity, which is why you need to focus on staying mentally sharp. What are the benefits of doing this? Why do we need to care about mental acuity so much? Well, here are some reasons:
- Sharpen your mind
- Increase your independence
- Improve your attentiveness
- Maintain an excellent memory
- Focus on what's important
- Increase your ability to process information
Mental acuity deserves your attention, which is why we’ve put together this guide covering all the key points.
What is Mental Acuity?
We often describe mental acuity as being mentally “sharp,” but what does that mean? Our mental acuity is the summation of our mental processing power. We rely on our mental acuity for almost everything we do. Mental acuity can be broken down into four main areas that influence our overall “sharpness.”
This is a hugely important factor as your brain’s ability to store, record, and make use of information affects how we make every decision.
Your ability to remember information is dependent on your information processing power. Your brain must discern between essential information and the things it can forget. Our memories are notoriously fallible, but we can improve them by taking care of our mind.
Our ability to focus on a task and account for incoming external stimulation is central to what we deem our attention. Some people are better at honing in on something to focus their attention while blocking out distractions. Attention and focus can be improved with practice methods such as meditation. Multitasking, or trying to apply focus to two or more things at once, can lead to poor performance on the tasks. It is arguable if concentrating our full attention on two things at once is even possible.
Making sound decisions based on our best judgment in situations is central to how well we operate in our everyday lives. Choosing the best decisions to attain desired outcomes is a valuable skill that some are better at than others. Situational judgment is especially important in environments where every second counts.
These are the building blocks of mental acuity, and we can improve upon them with practice and taking the best care of our minds and bodies.
What Causes a Drop in Mental Acuity?
Our mental acuity can be a fragile thing, especially as we age. There are some things that can cause mental acuity to decline outlined below:
Neurodegenerative genetic diseases such as dementia can quickly cause a spiral in a person’s mental acuity. Unfortunately, these diseases are incurable with medication, but we can postpone the effects of these with healthy practices.
Drugs or MedicationBoth legal and illegal drugs can alter your mind permanently, sometimes contributing to a mental decline over time. Many prescription medications can lower acuity in the short term, but the benefits are likely more important than a temporary drop in mental acuity.
External factors can affect our mental acuity as well, such as our air and water quality. Studies have shown that access to poor qualities of sunlight, air, and water can lead to mental degeneration.
Our diet, physical activity, choice of other activities all play a part in how sharp our minds are. With a good diet, plenty of exercise, and activities like reading, we can stay more mentally acute for longer.
Blood CirculationPoor blood circulation can cause a drop in mental acuity. Improper blood circulation will effectively starve the brain over time.
Sleep and our circadian rhythm play an important role in how acute we are every day. Getting the proper amount of sleep each night will help keep you at the highest levels of acuity.
How Can I Sharpen My Mind and Memory?
Below, our list of five ways to sharpen your mind and mental state will show you the best way to become sharper with time. The tips will also work to improve memory, but doing things like reading books, journaling, and drinking less alcohol can also help.
Five ways to boost your mental state
In this section, we’ll cover five things you can do to boost your memory, focus, and mental sharpness:
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Get more sleep
Lack of sleep dramatically diminishes your mental acuity. It’s shown to affect the way you store information in your brain. In short, if you don’t get much sleep each night, your memory becomes worse. The same can be said for your attention span and concentration. Sleep lets your mind rest and recharge, keeping you as sharp as can be.
Avoid caffeine in the hours before bed, and be sure you turn off all screens for at least half an hour before you sleep. Set yourself a bedtime, and stick to it. All of this will help you get more sleep and reap the benefits of a sharper mind.
Eat a low-carb diet
Eating foods high in carbohydrates can often cause massive blood sugar spikes. As a result, these spikes can fog your brain and cause you to lose some of your mental acuity. You can feel lightheaded and distracted from your tasks.
Conversely, a low-carb diet helps you improve your mental acuity by preventing these sugar spikes. Try swapping out carb sources for protein or fat sources instead. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids—like fish—have also been proven to aid cognition.
Meditation helps you slow down and focus. You breathe deeply and slowly, reducing your heart rate and getting rid of tension. It’s an effective way of calming down your mind and learning how to concentrate properly. Thirty minutes of meditation a day—both morning and night—can really help you improve your mental capacity and acuity.
We’ve found that meditation apps are the best way to start meditating if you’ve never done it before. Fire one up and follow the simple steps to gain control of your brain and keep it sharp.
Taking a break
If you don’t give your brain a break, you will burn out. It’s as simple as that. A break gives you a chance to recharge your mental batteries and avoid putting your mind under constant stress. This could include taking a few days off work if you’re feeling too stressed or overworked. Spend this time relaxing and taking care of yourself.
In effect, you lighten the load on your brain, which prevents a cognitive decline.
Exercise helps mental acuity in many ways. For one, exercising requires a great deal of focus and concentration. There’s also a memory aspect to it as you have to remember how to perform exercises, etc. It also reduces stress and releases endorphins that make you feel happy.
If you don’t exercise, you don’t see any of these benefits. Effectively, you’re not training your brain! Try and set a schedule where you exercise for an hour at least three times per week. Also, start walking more instead of driving everywhere—this helps you stay active.
What Is the Best Brain Supplement?
The best brain supplement will include natural nootropic ingredients that we will outline in the section below. Be sure to avoid any supplements that are less than clear about what is in them.
Supplements like Magic Mind have natural, proven ingredients that enhance your mental function. Magic Mind combats the negative effects of aging and helps to improve mood, focus, and memory.
How natural ingredients affect mental acuity?
Adding some natural ingredients to your daily life can improve mental sharpness. Many natural ingredients are proven to affect mental acuity positively. To understand how we need to look at the top nootropics around:
- Caffeine - one of the most common natural ingredients around. This stimulates your brain to make you feel more alert, focused, and have improved memory function.
- Matcha - the L-theanine in Matcha helps you remain focused and can keep your mind on tasks for longer.
- Turmeric: this superfood nootropic is shown to reduce inflammation and help you de-stress. In turn, this aids mental acuity by helping you avoid burnout.
- Fish oils - fish oils are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which improve your brain health. This is often why fish is referred to as ‘brain food.’
Adding these ingredients to your diet can help nourish your brain and boost your mental sharpness. Your memory will improve, as will your ability to concentrate on tasks without getting distracted.
Related: Magic properties, Real ingredients.
How does blue light affect your focus?
Blue light is part of the light spectrum and usually refers to light traveling at short wavelengths. Some studies show that exposure to blue light can help you feel more alert and focused. It can also help you process and retain information more effectively.
The problem is that too much blue light can do the opposite. Most people know that staring at screens can disrupt your sleep. Well, this is because there’s a lot of artificial blue light that suppresses the release of a key sleep hormone. So, how do you find the right balance and gain the brain benefits of blue light?
It’s simple: get natural blue light by going outside, as it is produced by the sun. Walk around for a few minutes during the day, and you naturally reap the benefits. Then, when you’re looking at screens, wear blue light blocking glasses. Now, you can sleep normally but gain rewards from the sun’s blue light.
How can productivity drinks enhance mental acuity?
A productivity drink like Magic Mind can boost your mental sharpness. How? Well, it goes back to the section on natural ingredients. This drink is full of nootropics and natural things that are all geared towards brain health. It contains both matcha and turmeric, alongside other nootropics like phosphatidylserine and choline, to improve blood flow and cognition. In essence, these active ingredients help you stimulate focus, feel more creative, improve information processing, and decrease stress. All of this leads to a sharper mind and a better memory.
All in all, it’s impossible to live a healthy life without a healthy mind. Mental acuity will decrease as we age, but you can put a stop to this. Learn how to increase mental sharpness to improve your mental health. As a result, the rest of your life will improve as well.
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