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Top 8 Strategies to Sharpen Thinking Skills

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Updated June 15, 2007

While stress can negatively impact your thinking skills, contributing to memory problems and fuzzy thinking, these techniques have been shown by research to sharpen thinking skills and cognitive functioning while relieving stress and bringing other health benefits at the same time. Learn effective and natural strategies for relieving stress and improving your thinking skills.

1. Try Journaling

Research has shown that journaling has many tremendous benefits ranging from stress relief to reduction in health conditions like asthma. Journaling can also help you improve your thinking skills and create a better life. Learn more about the benefits of journaling and find out the most effective journaling strategies here.

2. Take a Power Nap

When you don't get enough sleep (as a great proportion of the population doesn't), you have decreased cognitive functioning and can even have the same slowed responses as an intoxicated driver! Learn more about the effects of sleep deprivation and the benefits of the power nap.

3. Lower Your Blood Pressure

Multiple studies have shown that high blood pressure is correlated with poorer cognitive performance in older adults, and new research shows that this correlation affects younger people as well! These natural treatments for high blood pressure can ward off hypertension and raise your thinking skill level at the same time.

4. Practice Meditation

Meditation provides a great mental workout and can relieve stress and bring other health benefits as well as increasing creativity and sharpening thinking skills. Many people shy away from meditation because it seems challenging or confusing to learn. Fortunately, there are different types of meditation, some of which are easy for beginners. Learn more about meditation and how to get started and you'll do your mind and body a big favor!

5. Get Some Exercise

We all know that exercise has many benefits, but did you know that increased I.Q. and sharper thinking skills are among them? Newsweek recently did a feature on the recent research that shows a correlation between aerobic exercise and improved cognitive performance, and it's been discussed online as well. Now you can use this information for your own benefit by using exercise for stress relief as well as improved thinking skills. Learn more about the benefits of exercise and find valuable exercise resources you can use.

6. Play Some Games

Mind games can be good for you! No, I don't mean the relationship mind games that we all despise, I mean mentally stimulating games that can relieve stress and sharpen our thinking skills, working out our brains like the muscles they are. Here are some non-addictive online games you can play to relieve stress and work on your thinking skills, as well as some more challenging mental games to keep your mind sharp.

7. Improve Your Nutrition

A balanced and nutritious diet can be great for your body, but it can also help your mind, improving cognitive functioning, relieving stress, and helping you function at your most efficient levels. This article can tell you more about stress and nutrition, like how stress affects what we eat, and how to maintain a healthy diet when stressed. This can be good for your thinking skills as well as your whole body.

8. Pick Up a Good Book

Reading provides a wonderful escape from stress and flexes your mental muscles. The following book recommendations can teach you new skills or immerse you in a unique and enriching experience, which can help you improve your cognitive skills over time and relieve stress right now. These books can also provide stimulating topics of conversation around the office or at your next social gathering!

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