Feeling a bit sluggish? Your mental performance is probably the most important thing – how you think determines how you act, the choices you make, the memories you have, and how you think about a situation all make up a lot of what defines you as a person. Sure, there are other aspects, but arguably, your brain and your experiences are the most important. To boost your brain’s power, so you perform at an optimal level at school, work, life, or any of the hobbies you passionately pursue, follow these steps to train your brain.
1. Mindful Meditation
Many studies have shown meditation can improve memory and help regulate emotions. One studied found that those who meditated were better able to focus on one task while also viewing disturbing images at the same time than people who didn’t meditate. Researchers have shown that meditation causes certain areas of the brain to grow that help boost memory, and help you deal with emotions to stay focused on the present. If you want to perform better in life and during any high-stress situation, meditation is the key.
Everyone knows exercise is good for your cardiovascular health, but there’s also a strong association between exercise and your mental health as well. Exercise released endorphins to help put you in a good mood so you’ll perform at your best, and also improves cognitive function. Two long-term studies showed a connection between how much exercise people got or their physical condition and the size of their brains or how they performed on cognition tests. People who consistently exercised at moderate or intense levels had younger, healthier, and better-performing brains.
3. Get enough sleep
You may think you need memory supplements to stave off aging, or like thousands of Americans, you may just be sleep deprived. Sleep is essential to all basic functions, including how your brain works. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’re less aware, less focused, and more accident prone. You’re so disoriented without sleep it’s often compared to drinking alcohol – and the traffic accidents due to sleepiness seem to show that’s true. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates there were 72,000 crashes in 2013 because drowsy drivers took to the wheel. Conversely, getting enough sleep boosts memory – one study asked one group of people to take a 90-minute nap after learning a new skill. The participants who napped remembered what they’d learned even better.
4. Learn something new
In 2015 NPR reported that learning a new skill was “the best way to keep your brain sharp.” While some other researchers might dispute this claim, it’s true that learning helps protect and develop your brain, so you’ll be at 100 percent throughout your life. The researchers in the study about learning found new skills worked better than socializing at improving memory – more importantly, learning builds new connections in the brain and strengthens old ones. It’s just like strength training, but instead of working your muscles, you’re flexing your brain.
5. Be social
Want an excuse to take a break and hang out with a friend? You can rightfully say you’re training your brain for peak performance. Studies in the elderly show social interaction is key to maintaining mental health, and the reasons may be obvious – just imagine if you have trapped alone all day and had no one to talk to, debate with, share with, or reminisce with about old times. Not just that, you rely on your friends and family for advice and emotional support – without social interaction, people are more likely to become isolated and depressed, especially in the elderly.
6. Seriously, take a break
Still feeling like you’re mentally lagging behind? You could try Geniux or other supplements for a little boost, but maybe you just need a short break. It might be easier to stay on track if there’s a light at the end of the tunnel that involves fun free time. According to the Atlantic, multiple studies show breaks are key to productivity. Specifically, the recommend staying on task for 52 minutes then breaking for 17.
Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s up to you to put it into practice.