How Can I Sharpen My Mental Acuity?

Donald Pennington By Donald Pennington, 26th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Personal Development>Improving Potential

Far to many people yearn for the mental vitality of our youth, while accepting the demise of our aging minds without a fight. Brain games, such as crossword puzzles and sudoku can help but what if we're unable to concentrate enough to do them? This is information on how to improve the mind's fundamental ability to focus and remember, in the first place. I hope you find it as helpful as I did.

What is mental acuity?

“Acuity” is defined as “Keenness of sense perception,” according to Merriam-Webster. In regards to the tactile senses, it relates to the fineness of detail you're able to feel. In relation to vision, it relates to how clear and sharp you vision works. In regards to mental acuity, it relates to how well you can focus, concentrate and/or remember.

Why would mental acuity need improvement?

When we were children, our minds are as sharp and fresh as they will ever be. Over time, life, drugs (including alcohol, sugar and tobacco), injuries and psychological trauma dull the mind's acuity. Adults often find themselves less able to remember facts or unable to concentrate. The attention-span is shortened and we find ourselves with a lower frustration tolerance threshold.

What would a sharper mental acuity do for me?

Although I am no licensed medical authority (and what is that worth these days in America, anyway?) I do have some experience with both the damage done to myself, as well as a noticeable recovery. Imagine, for yourself, what benefits there are to improved focus and memory. What more could be done with an improved frustration tolerance threshold? What would it mean to you, to enjoy a younger mind, while retaining your experience as an adult?

One side-note about this exercise:

This is where it must be said, I will no more guarantee this helps than I can guarantee you will discipline yourself to do this exercise daily. But, just like physical exercise, if done consistently, you will see results. Nothing is instant. It takes effort over time. Results are as gradual as was the loss of mental acuity over the years. It took you years to slow down. Be patient with your recovery and meticulously fair to yourself.

This being said, the exercise is remarkably simple.

How can I exercise my mental acuity? The 8 remarkably-simple steps.

1. Do your best to set aside some time when you can be alone and relax, much as if you planned to meditate in silence. Let someone else answer the phone. Turn your television or music off. Forget the world for awhile. It will either save or destroy itself, without you and is out of your hands, anyway.

2. Sitting comfortably (or lying down, if you must) make an “L” shape with the thumb and index finger of your left hand. Next, do the same with your right hand, making a reverse “L” shape. Now, bring the tips of your thumbs together to make something resembling the shape of an American football goal-post. It will resemble a square with only the two sides and the bottom.

3. Next, bring your index fingers slightly towards the center but not touching. The angle you choose is up to you, of course, just don't touch your fingertips. Keep your thumbs together.

4. With your eyes, keeping your head motionless, trace a line from the tip of the index finger of either hand, to the thumb, to the other thumb, eventually ending at the tip of the index finger of the other hand.

5. Reverse course with your eyes, ending up back at the tip of the index finger where you began. Do this forth and back as few or as many times as you wish, with your eyes open.

6. Next, close your eyes and in your mind's eye, visualize your hands and continue tracing the same route, from fingertip to fingertip and back again, repeatedly. Do as many as you wish. I recommend you start small, with perhaps 20 repetitions the first day. Do less, the first day, if concentration is difficult. Be patient with yourself, if need be.

Acknowledge and then ignore distracting thoughts. They're just the brain's initial reaction to doing something new and different. They'll fade with time.

7. Each day, increase the number of repetitions by one. In time, you'll eventually be doing 50, then 100 daily. But begin at the beginning, as with any other discipline or exercise.

8. If you miss one day, even two days, do not beat yourself up and quit. Daily practice is ideal but, life happens. Just resume as soon as possible at the next point where you should be. There is no hurry. Remember to be meticulously fair to yourself. You'll see progress, in time.


Acuity, Addiction Recovery, Aging, Improving Concentraion, Improving Focus, Improving Memory, Mental Health, Psychological Trauma, Ptsd, Recovery, Vitality

Meet the author

author avatar Donald Pennington
Donald contributes to a variety of sites, networks, blogs, and other publications. He sometimes writes in the dark, but longs for the light.

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author avatar Funom Makama
26th Mar 2014 (#)

What an unbelievable share and great recommendation to the old. Thanks a lot for it.

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author avatar Donald Pennington
26th Mar 2014 (#)

It is an honor to do so. It's quite believable, though, I must say.

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