How many times have you walked through a door and utterly forgotten the reason for entering the space? Do you forget your parking spot? Do you find it hard to make decisive choices? Are you a procrastinator? Many of us have been through these situations. We have always thought of doing something about these problems but then eventually, lost the thought in the hustle of every day.
Countless articles in magazines and blogs on the internet have been published about brain-boosting foods and the importance of exercise and regular sleep. Nutrition is, without a doubt, a building block in our lives. What we eat is always reflected in our health, especially, brain health. Consuming a balanced diet that is rich in protein and good fats is essential for us. Meals devoid of added sugars and preservatives stop the aging of the brain and prevent age-related neurodegeneration.
There are not enough ways to reiterate the importance of exercise. It not only helps you build stamina and fight blue thoughts but also makes your brain sharper. Exercise releases serotonin in your brain which is a hormone responsible for happy thoughts. It stops degeneration within the brain and improves memory retention. Exercise helps your cognitive abilities and directs you towards decisive choices.
Sleep is a blessing appreciated from times of old. Scientists have proven the utter importance of sleeping regularly. Your body recuperates while you are asleep. Your brain, on the other hand, has an even more substantial job to do; consolidate your memories. Any and everything that you have thought throughout the day and learned from your class or presentations are stored in your brain while you are sound asleep. Which is exactly why taking power naps during study sessions is appreciated by the experts.
At some point or another, during our childhood, some classes or posts on social media have all given us awareness on the importance of these things. We know about eating small meals of the right foods. We are told to sleep regularly for 7 to 8 hours a day to prevent a reduction in the grey matter in our brain. The benefits of exercise are also not forgotten.
Here, we have curated a list of 3 best ways to boost your brain power that are new and insightful. The tiny steps that you can take to better your brain. Without much ado, let’s jump into it!
Variety is the key
Trying new things is critical for brain health. Since humans are creatures of habit and depend on the familiarity of patterns they have developed, a change in these set patterns helps to keep your brain active. Trying to learn new things like a language or a word every day is an easy choice. You can also take up a new hobby such as painting, reading or even salsa classes, if you’re sassy enough, who knows!
If you too suffer from the fear of the unknown, worry not! Look up the term ‘neuroplasticity’ on the internet. It is a theory that explains that your brain grows and changes as the rest of your body. Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit is a brilliant book that explains how small changes in your daily life can transform you into a newer and better version of your own self. You can simply try to switch things in your daily routine. Try being ambidextrous for a day! If you are used to brushing your teeth with the right hand, try using the left one. Repeat the same for buttoning up your outfit for the day too. Keep the curiosity alive!
Your mood matters
Your feelings matter immensely when it comes to the health of your heart and brain. Depression can hinder cognition and brain health. Thinking positively and clearing brain fog regularly will be of massive help in this regard. Thinking of things to be grateful of, is also a simple exercise to uplift your mood in the morning.
Remember to de-stress as often as you possibly can. Try to write morning pages to get rid of the inner voice within your mind that stops you from being your best. Doodle about your thoughts to get the frustration out. Don’t hold on to negative feelings when letting go is better for your health.
For people who have recently been through traumatic experiences, Tetris is a fantastic stress buster. This game can redirect your thoughts and prevent negative flashbacks. For people who suffer from migraine meditation can help them feel calm and better. So being mindful of your mood is technically a winning situation.
Ditch the devices
The human brain is a miracle. Its abilities are more or less unchartered. While we may feel amazed by the advancements in technology, the truth is that our brain is way more capable than the credit we give it or the extent we use it.
Have you heard the story of the dinosaurs that could fly but then they lost their wings because they stopped flying? Your brain works much of the same way. If you do not use it effectively, you are likely to lose a lot of your abilities. Here is a small test of how technology dependent we are. Honestly answer the following questions:
- What is the answer to 15*24=?
- Can you guide someone to the nearest Starbucks without your GPS?
- Recite a mobile number of your parents, sibling or spouse.
- Do you stop using your phone a few minutes before falling asleep?
If you were unable to answer the first 3 questions and your last answer was positive, you are probably in big trouble. Solving basic math without a calculator has the tendency of improving neuron connections within the brain. Trying to actively remember locations and phone numbers is another exercise for your brain to get sharp. Always remember, your brain is a muscle and exercise is essential for it as well. You can try to solve crosswords and Sudoku puzzles to give your brain a nice workout. Or try to solve an optical illusion if you’re into those things.
Most importantly, avoid social media and work on your real relationships. Your family and a few of your loyal companions are the only ones who matter. Making strong emotional connections is important for your brain as much as water is to plants.
Scientifically speaking, the use of devices with blue light is generally unhealthy for the brain. You should stop using all sorts of devices at least an hour before bed so that your brain gets optimal sleep and rest. Remember to keep your phone out of your arm’s reach to wake up on time!
Boosting your brain is just a few small steps being repeated regularly. Change is a process and not an event, that’s why you should remember to be easy on yourself. Try to go under the sunlight for vitamin D, do yoga to relax and read books before bed to entertain yourself. Make your own self a priority and give yourself the right to be a better person. Drink more water and moderate amounts of coffee, and you are all set to get your brain, sharper, faster and smarter!
About the Author:
Alma Causey is a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about tech education and health related issues. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover.