In the past 15 years, technological advancements have given neuroscientists and researchers the tools to gather more facts about the human brain than we've ever before known. These advancements have proven the brain to be more capable than we realized, but scientists have also found evidence to prove that a few "well-known facts" are nothing but myths. Many of these discoveries translate into useful information, and some are just plain fascinating.
Entrepreneurs believe they are prodigious multitaskers which, in my experience, limits productivity. We now know that to be true because your brain can't learn or concentrate on two things at once. It can do toggle back and forth between tasks, but doing so decreases your attention span, ability to learn, short-term memory, and overall mental performance. So, stop that.
2. Repetitive thoughts
The average brain is believed to generate up to 50,000 thoughts per day. If you were to track these thoughts, which is impossible, you'd find that many of them are the same thoughts that you had yesterday. Break the worry habit so that your repetitive thoughts serve you better.
Millennials, while brilliant in many ways, are more forgetful than baby boomers. Some therapists blame stress for the memory issue, since its known to lead to forgetfulness, depression and poor judgment. It's also said that, having grown up with technology, which promotes multi-tasking, compounded by less sleep, younger generations are losing their recall. Read books (offline).
Entrepreneurs understand the necessity of exercise to work off the stress. Ninety minutes of sweating can temporarily shrink the brain more than one year of aging does. It's recommended that we drink about eight glasses of water a day, and this only reinforces the necessity of water. Even a slight lack of water can cause dehydration throughout the body, which can lead to short term memory loss, fogginess, and loss of ability to concentrate and focus.
5. More about water
The brain cannot store water it's infrequent replenishing leads to the shrinking of grey, forcing the brain to work harder. You need energy to run a business; if you don't meet your daily water requirement you'll have less of it. You may also feel moody, less alert, and have difficulty processing things. Drink up.
6. Raising teens
Some parents jokingly say their kids became "brain-dead" when they turned 13. As teens, more decision-making comes into their lives. School is more difficult, and more responsibilities are bestowed upon them. All of this and the brain doesn't reach maturity until at least the age of 25. The "executive suit" of the brain calculates risk and reward (thus dumb decisions), problem-solving, prioritizing (forget those chores), planning and thinking ahead and yes, emotions. And this is the time we ask our kids to decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives?
Entrepreneurs often suffer from chronic stress, which sometimes leads to depression. Either can cause measurable brain shrinkage. It is possible to reduce your stress levels and obviously important that you do.
8. Brain power
We've all heard that only a small portion of the brain is used, say, 10%. Wrong again. Modern brain scans prove that we use most of our brain most of the time, even when we're sleeping. Now, not every region of the brain is synchronously firing, but most are used in the span of 24 hours. Yes, humans have tapped into 100% of the brain power available to us.
During overwhelming times, many entrepreneurs feel out of control of their lives. Not so, you're just not slowing down enough to tap into your subconscious mind. Why is that important? Because 95% of your decisions take place in your subconscious mind. You may recognize it as gut instinct or intuition.
Another myth: You were not born with a set level of intelligence or number of brain cells. The newly discovered property of brain plasticity (or neuroplasticity) proves that we have can continue to form new brain cells, which help enhance cognitive function. Furthermore, outstanding memory is a skill developed by employing the best memory techniques. You can be smarter and have a better memory, it just takes education and practice.
11. Negative thinking
Of the thousands of thoughts you have every day (about 50 thousand), researchers estimate that 70% of them are negative. This includes self-criticism, pessimism, and fearful thinking. You can better the odds of positivity by practicing mindfulness.
12. Mental stimulation
Your brain naturally craves mental stimulation. Research reveals that, especially men, would rather give themselves electric shocks than sit quietly in a room and think! There you go, boredom is just your brain telling you what it needs. This does not, however, negate the power of meditation and other mindfulness techniques.
Yes indeed, the brains of people who use iPhones and other Apple devices really are different than those who use Android products. MRIs reveal that Apple products stimulate the "god spot" in users' brains -- the same part of the brain activated by religious imagery in people of faith. Like Apple, mobile phones and social networks offer an opportunity for us to express our basic human need to communicate. Brands smart enough to know this can create a loyal-for-life following.
14. Use of alcohol
Do you like to de-stress with the unlimited use of alcohol? Drinking does not kill brain cells, as we once believed, but it will damage the connective tissue at the end of neurons. If you don't remember what you did last night (and you were drinking), it's not because you forgot. While you are drunk, your brain is incapable of forming memories.
15. Introverts and extroverts
Yes, the brains of introverts and extroverts are measurably different, it's not a personality-related thing. MRIs reveal that the dopamine reward network is more active in the brains of extroverts while introverts prefer to use a different neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. he difference is, acetylcholine makes introverts feel good when they turn inward, which powers their abilities to think deeply, reflect, and focus intensely on just one thing for a long period of time.