It might seem like a weird question, but how much time do you give your brain a fair consideration? Do you stop to marvel at its supreme cleverness and incredible power? That it's a giant electrical muscle controlling your entire body? Or at the minimum, check in and give your brain a spring-cleaning and an occasional refurbish?
If you're like most people, your answer is probably a 'no'. Your brain's working overtime for you, and you barely give it a thought.
Most of us rarely think to invest in a bit of brain-training now and then. For a long time, scientists thought we were trapped with the brain we were given. Thankfully for us, that theory went out the window with the advent of a new theory.
Enter neuroplasticity--the theory that has proven one extremely amazing fact: Our brains have the ability to change. It means that if you aren't that smart in one area, that's totally fine! You possess the option to "change" that region of the brain via a bit of training. One simple way to think about it is just like this:
The brain is a muscle. It requires regular exercise.
The thrilling thing is that you do not have to be a millionaire to boost your brain power, nor do you have to go back to school or invest in expensive technology. All you need is to invest a bit of time to consistently train the brain. With that in mind, here are seven simple methods to boost your brain capacity and improve intelligence.
- Meditate. The easiest meditation, which you can start right now, involves merely shutting your eyes and paying close attention to your breathing. As the mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath. Just five to ten minutes of this meditation can help you relax, clear your mind, and leave you more prepared for any mental activity. This can be really crucial during a particularly hard day of work, or if you're having trouble relaxing during your days off.
- Regularly exercise. Consistent exercise assists in increasing brain function and enhancing neurogenesis (the growth and development of nervous tissue). That means each time you exercise you're developing new brain cells, as well as focusing your mind and body on one particularly grueling act (ideally). Get off of the sofa and move around! The brain is going to thank you for it!
- Write. Writing is a method of telling the memory what's important, clarifying your thoughts, and helping you remember things more easily in the future. It is also a method of exercising your analytical ability and creativity. Idea-journals, diaries, note-taking, poetry, and story-writing all ways you can increase your brain power. This doesn't mean you have to be a Pulitzer prize winner; simply the act can help expand and better the brain, even if it's something nobody else ever reads.
- Listen to some Mozart. In a study at University of California, scientists discovered that kids who sang daily in chorus and studied piano, were a lot better at solving puzzles, and scored 80 percent better in spatial intelligence than a non-musical group. In an additional study, 36 students were provided three spatial reasoning exams on an IQ test. Right before the first exam, they heard a Mozart sonata for Two Pianos within D Major, K. 448 for 10 minutes. Prior to the second exam, they heard a relaxation tape. Prior to the third, they remained in silence. The median scores for the 36 students: 1st exam: 119. 2nd exam: 111. 3rd exam: 110. That is a nine point increase from Mozart!
- Laugh. The release of endorphins caused by laughter will reduce stress levels--that's great for long-range brain health. Also, laughter usually leaves you more open to brand new thoughts and ideas.
- A healthy diet. Our diets have a massive impact upon brain function. The brain consumes more than 20 percent of all oxygen and nutrients which we consume--therefore remember to feed the brain the good stuff! (that is, fresh vegetables and fruit and an abundance of Omega 3 oils discovered in oily fish).
- Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is similar to a mini-detoxification for your brain. It's when the body regenerates cells, as well as removes all of the toxins which have built up during the day. Go to bed between the hours of 9:00pm and 12:00am in order to benefit from the most efficient hours of sleep.
Want even more techniques to help you boost your brain power and get things done more efficiently? Check out the infographic below by Wrike!