Young professionals, whether office-based or athletic, are required to stay mentally sharp and ready to tackle whatever their day throws at them. After all, nobody wants to stroll into the office kitchen to find that that they’ve forgotten the boss’ name, arrive half an hour late for an important meeting with the board of directors, or even forget the lineout call during rugby tryouts.
Staying mentally sharp not only helps young professionals avoid devastating embarrassment, but can also help them succeed at what they do best. It’s important to remember that cognitive decline doesn’t only come into play in the senior years. Much like the body, which needs to be kept in shape, failing to exercise the brain and keeping it active can lead to mental unfitness too.
Below are some tips, exercises and advice to help make staying mentally fit easier than ever.
Jogging your memory
As mentioned earlier, the brain needs to be exercised in much the same way the human body does. That doesn’t mean doing brain curls using weights every morning, but rather finding ways to stimulate brain activity and build neural pathways.
Reading and writing are great ways to do just that. The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience states that pen and paper activities can stimulate several brain regions responsible for execution, imagery and observation of actions.
Learning through reading not only boosts brainpower but also opens the mind to entirely new ways of thinking.
It’s okay to play mind games
Thanks to the internet, brain games are easy to come by and can be played in between meetings or sports practice. Games like chess, sudoku and crossword puzzles are a fun and engaging way to boost brainpower.
Great news for e-sport fanatics, video games have also proven to be brain muscle builders. Studies have found that action-packed video games may increase perceptual and attentional abilities, improve reaction time as well as task-switching ability. It’s good to know that beating the final level boss won’t only level up the character, but the brain, too!
Remember to take a mental chill pill
Much like the body needs a breather to recover after a demanding workout, the brain also needs an occasional break.
Taking a few minutes every day to relax the mind is just as important as a mental exercise. Without these breaks, the mind would have no time to recuperate and absorb all the information it’s been exposed to.
Keeping both body and mind fit
Hitting the gym or going for a run helps increase blood flow throughout the body, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. These cardio activities also release vital chemicals that stimulate brain cell growth, learning and emotional regulation.
This process also releases dopamine and norepinephrine, which helps with focus and mood. It’s a win-win for both physical and mental fitness.
Revitalise the mind with high-quality nutrients
Essential B-group vitamins, like those found in Red Bull Energy Drink, are vital micronutrients that contribute to mental performance, the functioning of the nervous system and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
As proven by some of South Africa’s most elite athletes – including Siya Kolisi, Brad Binder, Kagiso Rabada, and Africa’s first Red Bull sponsored eSports athlete, Thabo ‘Yvng Savage’ Moloi, among many others – the functionality of a Red Bull helps athletes and young professionals in high-demanding jobs boost their performance. This iconic energy drink does just what the name implies, improving physical and mental stamina to help the drinker power through any task: whether pulling an all-nighter studying, racing to meet a work deadline, performing at their best while playing a video game or physical sport, or staying alert on a long road trip.
Exercising the mind and improving concentration and alertness when required with the B-group vitamins and 80mg of caffeine in every can of Red Bull, especially when undertaking demanding work or physical activity, is key to keeping both body and mind revitalised.
These are just some of the ways young professionals and athletes can optimise their mental performance and succeed at what they do best.
About Red Bull
Red Bull Energy Drink is available in over 170 countries worldwide and more than 6.7 billion cans of Red Bull were consumed last year. A 250 ml can of Red Bull Energy Drink contains 80 mg of caffeine, about the same as in a home brewed cup of coffee. For more information, visit www.redbull.co.za.