Cognitive Ability & Skills (+ How to Improve Them)

Updated on October 18, 2022
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)

This is a comprehensive guide on how to unlock your brain’s full potential. We give you a breakdown of how to improve your cognitive abilities and skills through natural supplement intervention and natural activities.

Cognition has everything to do with how a person interacts and engages with the world. It refers to the mental processes at play that relate to how we receive, interpret and use information.

Cognition is frequently measured as a level for abilities of how we learn, memorize, problem-solve, and question. And, skills such as our perception, social, and problem-solving skills.

Many studies show that cognitive abilities and skills are wholly supported by a complex system of neuronal networks. How we improve our cognitive abilities and skills comes down to how we stimulate our brain.

This post will give a breakdown of how you can improve your cognitive abilities and skills with interventions of natural supplements and how to stimulate your brain through natural activities.

What is Cognitive Ability?

Cognitive Ability & Skills (+ How to Improve Them)

Cognitive ability is often associated with a human's level of general intelligence. It can also be characterized as a person's capacity to adapt and navigate their environment with an ability to think, reason, learn and problem solve.

It refers to an individual’s mental faculty which generally associates a person with higher cognitive abilities being more proficient at developing innovation and implementing skills. Those with cognitive impairment experience lower cognitive abilities as a result of a complication in their neuronal network.

Cognitive abilities are not stagnant, they can be worked on and improved over time through using different exercises, targeting practice, and strategic interventions. A person’s cognitive ability will change throughout their lifetime as a result of trauma and age.

An example of cognitive ability is attention.

What are Cognitive Skills?

Strong cognitive skills are highly sought after in the workplace as they are considered to be a reflection of an individual’s cognitive ability.

Cognitive skills can be characterized as the actions which demonstrate a cognitive ability/ brain function. Each cognitive skill is supported by a significant neural network. Cognitive skills are something that can be built on and developed over time.

An example of a cognitive skill related to attention is the ability to juggle multiple tasks and manage converging demands.

Why Improve Your Cognitive Ability and Skills

Improving cognitive ability can help to promote mental clarity, improve productivity, develop stronger cognitive skills and improve overall cognitive performance. The desire to improve cognitive ability is growing in popularity. As a result of a competitive social environment, more people are looking for solutions to enhance their cognitive abilities.

In improving cognitive abilities, people are able to perform more effectively at work, school, during exams, etc.

Developing cognitive abilities may work to improve attention, focus, memory, and mood which will contribute to improving the way you interact with the world.

How to Improve Them

Improving cognitive ability can be done in numerous ways. You can either work on building your cognitive abilities naturally by performing certain activities that may aid in enhancing brain function. Or, you can look toward a more effective solution such as taking cognitive enhancement supplements.

Natural Activities

There are multiple ways in which you can improve your cognitive abilities without the use of an intervention. These include incorporating strategies that work to improve blood flow and stimulate the brain to enhance brain function. Some effective activities include;

Maintaining a Healthy and Balanced Diet

What you put in your body has a significant effect on how your body operates. Filling it with the necessary nutrients will ensure that your brain receives the correct fuel to reach its potential.

Incorporating nutrient-rich foods that contain omega-3, flavonoids, vitamins, and choline. Foods containing these substances contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which work to reduce oxidative stress in the body. Preventing oxidative stress helps to regulate vital bodily functions which help to maintain homeostasis.

Physical Activity

Undertaking regular physical exercise is a great way to naturally improve your cognitive ability. Performing regular exercise works to improve the heart rate. Doing so results in an increase in blood flow.

An increase in the blood leads to an increase in nutrients and oxygen reaching the brain. The results of this lead to a promotion of brain plasticity as the increased blood flow promotes the stimulation of the development of new neural connections.

The development of new connections and the restoration of damaged cells aids in improving brain function. The result of this is improved memory and mental clarity.

Sleep

Studies show that getting a good night's sleep is essential to maintaining brain health and development. Studies show that poor or disturbed sleep has a significant effect on how our brain functions.

These studies show that patients who experienced poor sleep showed a significantly reduced volume of gray matter located in the brain’s frontal lobe. This is the area of the brain that is responsible for cognitive processes such as working memory.

Good quality sleep has been shown to have positive effects on cognitive performance because the process of sleep enables the brain to regenerate as it undergoes neuronal reactivation. Neuronal reactivation is more effective whilst sleep and it results in improving cognitive abilities such as memory retrieval.

Supplements

Cognitive enhancement supplements are growing in popularity as a quick and efficient way of improving cognitive abilities. They are characterized as an intervention that can be taken as a drug or supplement to improve brain function, health, and overall cognitive performance.

Supplements are considered to be a more effective solution to enhancing cognition as they contain strong compounds that stimulate the brain and interact with the central nervous system to produce desired effects.

What are Nootropics

Cognitive Ability & Skills (+ How to Improve Them) 1

Nootropics are characterized as drugs and supplements that produce cognitive-enhancing effects. There are two types of nootropics, natural and synthetic.

Natural nootropics are made from substances that contain naturally stimulating effects. Many natural nootropics contain compounds that have commonly been used as substances for alternative therapeutic treatments. Many of which are easily accessible and contain effective results. Their natural origin and effective properties make them highly desirable as a way of improving cognition.

On the other hand, synthetic nootropics are pharmaceutical medications that are also used to improve cognitive ability, however, they are more commonly used in medical treatments for treating neurological disorders. Though effective, synthetic nootropics carry a higher risk of developing side effects.

Synthetic nootropics are more commonly used in the treatment of neurological disorders such as cognitive impairment, and sleep disorders such as narcolepsy.

Common Cognitive Enhancement Nootropics

The most popular cognitive enhancement nootropics are caffeine and L-theanine. Both of which have had multiple studies conducted which show that they may be effective in improving cognitive abilities and brain health.

Caffeine is a highly potent natural stimulant and is characterized as the most popular nootropic supplement in the world. Caffeine can be found in substances such as teas, cocoa, and coffee but it is highly effective when taken in the form of a supplement. It contains compounds that produce stimulant effects that studies show may improve cognitive performance.

The stimulant effects of caffeine work by interacting with the brain and the central nervous system. It works to inhibit adenosine receptors in the brain. Doing so reduces the feeling of tiredness.

Simultaneously, caffeine works to increase the heart rate and increase blood flow. This results in an increased amount of oxygen and nutrients reaching the brain.

The effects of which create mental clarity and focus. The prevention of tiredness and stimulation of energy work to increase alertness. This has been shown to significantly improve cognitive abilities by enhancing overall attention and improving cognitive performance.

L-theanine is another highly sought-after cognitive enhancement supplement. Studies show that it may promote relaxation and mental clarity which work to increase attention span and concentration for deep focus.

L-theanine works by interacting with serotonergic pathways. In doing so, it stimulates the production of hormones responsible for producing pleasure such as serotonin and dopamine. The increased level of these hormones results in promoting a state of relaxation and clarity which aids in improving attention, clarity, and focus.

Where to Buy

Supplements for cognitive enhancement are easily accessible in stores and online. However, both natural and synthetic nootropics contain powerful compounds. Hence, it’s important to ensure that the products you purchase come from a reputable source that provides high-quality and legitimate products.

When looking for cognitive enhancement supplements, be sure to look for reviews to ensure that the product aligns with your needs. Also, ensure that you look for evidence that they are a reputable source by looking for relevant and up-to-date validations and certifications.

It’s also advised that you consult with a healthcare practitioner before starting any new supplements. A reliable supplier of nootropics is Mind Lab Pro. They provide a range of natural supplements that contain high-quality ingredients which are tested and validated.

Enhancing cognitive ability and skills has never been easier. Whether you’re looking to develop your cognition over time or are looking for a quick and effective solution, there are options for everyone. Treat this post as a guide to helping you figure out which way you want to uncover your brain’s full potential.

Our cognitive abilities and skills are forever changing and improving as a result of internal and external factors. The solutions presented in this post show that there are many options available for improving cognition to achieve your goals.

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