Learning how to boost your brain power is not as hard as it sounds. All it takes is a few adjustments to your daily routine and building it up from there. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at these steps for boosting brain power. Hundreds of studies prove the effectivity of these methods so it’s worth adding them to your routine to optimize your brain’s performance.
Sitting still and not doing anything for a couple of minutes doesn’t seem like much but its effects on the brain cannot be underestimated. Plenty of studies prove the wonderful benefits of meditation which include stress reduction, improved focus, improved short-term and long-term memory, optimized brain performance, and enhanced mood.
You can easily get started with meditation just by sitting still for five minutes a day. It can be hard in the beginning since we are all so predisposed to distractions, but the longer you are into this practice, the more brain benefits you reap.
2. Listen to music
Ever felt a surge of motivation after putting on your favorite tunes? Well, there’s a very good explanation for that. Music can increase your motivation and improve your mood by engaging a wide range of neurobiological systems that affect your psychology.
Perception plays a huge role on music’s effectivity. For example, just because you’re playing happy tunes, it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically feel alert and energized. People’s taste in music vary; some feel calm and centred listening to melancholic songs while others focus better while tuning to rock music. It all depends as our emotional response to music is unique.
Find the tunes that inspire you the most and if you can, put it on shuffle mode. Studies have shown that playing your favorite music in random order delivers a hit of dopamine which is a chemical responsible for making you feel good.
3. Drink coffee
There’s a good reason why some of us can’t live without having a cup of coffee in the morning. It keeps you alert and focused allowing you to get on tasks that need to get done for the day. By drinking coffee, you activate the neurotransmitters in your brain that enhance reaction time, mood, and learning. Coffee also has the potential to enhance both your long-term and short-term memory, and even reduce your risk for problems like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
So the next time you are feeling tired, foggy, and anxious, just drink a cup of coffee! Without sugar or milk that is. It’s the best way to get the benefits. Coffee will instantly make you feel energized, awake, and focused. As with anything, coffee should be taken moderately. You don’t want to overly depend on it as your body could develop a tolerance for coffee overtime, meaning, you’d need to drink more coffee just to enjoy the same benefits.
4. Quality sleep
Ah, sleep. No amount of coffee will ever replace the benefits of a good sleep. It can be hard to get enough of it especially when your schedule is so packed with activities and you have electronic devices that keep you wired till the wee hours of the morning. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone but it seems to be the norm considering just how easily addictive work and the internet is. (Guilty!)
If brain performance really matters to you, sleep should be a priority. I’m not just talking about the regular 6-8 hours of sleep. I mean quality sleep where you feel rested, fully re-energized, and ready to take on the day. Yes, quality matters. Studies have shown that quality sleep not only helps your brain to function optimally but it also protects it from cognitive decline.
Naps are also a great way to boost your brain power. If you didn’t get enough shuteye the night before, consider taking a quick nap in the middle of the day. Studies show that napping can improve cognitive performance and even stave of age-related degenerative mental diseases.
Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to instantly fall asleep the moment they close their eyes. Some people suffer from insomnia or sleep apnea which can greatly affect sleep quality. To help you with this are two activities which not only help you sleep better but also improve your brain power.
5. Get moving and get some sun
Getting some sunshine does two things for you. It helps regulate your circadian rhythms allowing you to sleep better and it amplifies your brain’s ability to process information. A study by the University of Manchester found an association between low vitamin D levels and slow information processing speed. So if you’d like to get your brain in tip-top shape, make sure to get some sun exposure for at least 15 to 30 minutes. That’s enough time for the body to synthesize that much needed vitamin D.
And while you’re at it, why not squeeze in a workout? Exercise is one of the common remedies for insomnia and it’s been touted for its brain-health benefits. It gets you energized, improves your mood, and enhance your cognitive performance over the long-term. Your brain literally grows when you exercise allowing you to perform better and focus on tasks.
No need to join crossfit to get the benefits of exercise. A simple cardio workout for 15-30 minutes at least three times a week is all you need to reap the benefit.
Who knew improving brain power could be easy as taking care of your body? It all sounds very basic but the moment you adapt these habits and do them consistently, the more apparent the results will be. The same also goes for Flow State. If you really want to get its full benefits, you have to take it consistently towards days when you need to be at your best. You can’t expect instant results. Habits take time to build.
What about you? What habits have helped improve your brain’s performance? Share your thoughts in the comments below.