It's no secret that our brains contain the motivating energy that drives our everyday lives forward to the success and happiness each one of us seeks. We must cherish them, enrich them, and make sure they know how important they are to us by trying our best to boost them every possible opportunity we can. Here are 3 scientifically proven ways to do just that.
1. Try new things
It's definitely not a secret that the geniuses we are most familiar with have always made a habit of trying new things. People like Einstein and Leonardo Da Vinci were polymaths, good at many subjects, never just focusing on one. Could there be a reason for their diversity in skill?
Turns out, every time you try something new, you form more synaptic connections and generate greater neural plasticity. Plasticity is related to the number of connections between neurons, how it affects connections following formation, and the longevity of those connections. Shortly put, plasticity determines the amount of information your brain can take in, how well you can apply it, and finally, how long you retain it for.
2. Practice your creativity
It is a commonly held myth that creativity only requires the right side of the brain. In reality, creativity takes an enormously large range of brain activity--on both the left and right sides. When thinking creatively, you make associations between remote topics and switch between conventional and unconventional thoughts in order to form novel ideas from which you can draw your conclusions.
So, it turns out that creative thought actually promotes cross-hemisphere activity in the brain. Keep in mind, however, that creativity is mistakenly defined as artsy activities. Creative cognition and thought is actually much more than painting or dancing. It can be a way to work smarter at your job, or an idea for improvement that saves your company millions of dollars.
3. Challenge yourself, constantly
Take every chance to think deeply about something. When people write and/or talk about things like "training your brain," many us call to mind games like Sudoku or Tetris. While playing these games and completing crosswords is certainly a good way to keep from falling too idle--they actually aren't good for much else.
The benefit of constantly challenging yourself is similar to trying new things: You are forced out of your comfort zone and must learn new modes of action in order to overcome an obstacle when your first (or comfortable) approach does not work. Allowing yourself to be constantly challenged creates much more space in the mind for new connections to be made.
So, take a leap of faith, try something new, and push yourself. Your brain will thank you for it.