6 Effective Ways to Increase your Brain Power
1. Play Mind Games
Actual games and definitely not on humans. Games like Chess, Scrabble or Sudoku are known to sharpen your senses and increase your brain level considerably. Imagine Chess for example, players have to analyze a game many moves ahead and properly evaluate the chess composition. Even when exact calculations are impossible, players can predict the advantages or disadvantages of every move by considering approximate criteria: pawn order, open lines, capturing the center of the chessboard, etc. You must time yourself while trying to navigate through a Chess game, Scrabble or Sudoku to boost processing speed, attention and positive intellectual engagement. People who are cognitively active have better memory as they age. So quiz yourself, flex your brain and improve your memory power.
2. Read Books
Those that read have higher GPA’s, higher intelligence, and general knowledge than those that don’t. Studies have found that analytical thinking is boosted by reading. Readers improve their general knowledge, and more importantly are able to spot patterns quicker. If you can spot patterns quicker, your analytical skills receive a boost. No matter what you’re wanting to do or become, you can’t do it without more knowledge. Reading is an excellent way to get where you’re wanting to go.
Don’t say you don’t have books to read. There is always a library around you. Libraries are probably the best creation man has ever made. Imagine, free knowledge for anyone. It’s like going to a clothing store, “checking out” an outfit, wearing the outfit and returning it in four weeks, free of charge.
3. Learn to Play a Music Instrument
Research suggests that playing an instrument lights up several areas of the brain responsible for different cognitive functions. It can even increase IQ by about seven points, according to several researches. Learning to play the piano—or any musical instrument for that matter—will give you a sense of accomplishment. It will also stimulate your senses and give you energy to tackle other passion projects you might have neglected because of your studies or your job.
Another byproduct of learning to play an instrument is the ability to ‘keep a beat’, which in turn develops your ability to analyze and interpret audio information. This is why adults who took music lessons as a kid have a better aptitude for learning foreign languages.
4. Exercise regularly
Did you know that every time you exercise, you create new brain cells? Any form of exercise increases your heart rate, which gets blood flowing to your brain, thus keeping your memory sharp. For at least 30-45 minutes a day, run, swim, dance or cycle as it benefits your brain health, cognition and even helps enlarge the hippocampus i.e. the catalyst for long term memory in the brain. If that isn’t reason enough to get you off the couch, who knows what is? Just take a 10-15 minute walk around the block or do a few jumping jacks to reboot your brain in case you don’t have time to squeeze in a full workout.
5. Eat healthy meals
Fact: The brain is an energy hungry organ, which comprises 2% of your body’s weight, but gobbles up more than 20% of your daily energy intake. So you need to eat throughout the day to optimise brain power (not too much, not too little) and drink at least eight glasses of water since dehydration can lead to memory loss and confusion. You probably already know that a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, “healthy” fats (such as olive oil, nuts, fish) and lean protein will provide lots of health benefits, but such a diet can also improve memory. For brain health, though, it’s not just what you eat—it’s also what you don’t eat. Leave out junk foods if you are serious about boosting your brainpower.
Sleep to remember. Yes, the other way around. Your mind is always racing, stealing your peaceful sleep every night, making you so anxious that your brain simply can’t take in new information (let alone remember it). If you have a big presentation tomorrow and you want to remember your speech better or you are in the revision stages and your exams are looking too close for relaxed reading, instead of cramming until the sun comes up, you should get at least six hours of sleep. A single night of sleep deprivation may lead to memory loss and the destruction of brain cells. Lights out!
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but when it comes to the human brain, there are things you can do to sharpen, adapt and change the vitality of it. To build a better brain, adopt the right stimulation, which can help form new neural pathways that will increase your cognitive abilities, enhance your ability to learn new information and improve your memory.