Your intelligence is flexible, which means that you can give your brain little jolts by changing your daily routine a bit here and there. To be on top of your mental processes and your brain game, your mind needs to have information, be able to focus on an idea or problem and receive thinking process training.
Luckily, you don’t have to devote your life to encyclopedias to power your mind. Try these 16 tiny things to start boosting your brain power today!
1. Grab Two Gasses Of Water In The Morning
While you sleep, your body is deprived of the water it needs to function at its best for hours. Drinking two large glasses of water when you first get up will help you offset the deficit in fluids you got while you were dozing. This will keep your mental processes flowing, and being hydrated also keeps you energized.
2. Try A Breakfast Book Summary
Reading in general is a great mental exercise, but at breakfast, you can’t very well read an entire book. Instead of looking at news that probably has little impact on your life right now, check out the summaries of best-selling books. You can find summaries by searching for your book title with the word, “summary” or by using online subscription services and book-lovers forums.
3. Drive With Podcasts Or Audiobooks
Your work commute, whether it’s ten minutes by bike or an hour by car, is a great time to listen to some audio that will stimulate you intellectually. Finally start listening to that book you’ve been dying to read, or tune into a podcast about something you’re really interested in. The web is a wonderful source for all sorts of audio intrigue, so feel free to search around and learn something new every day.
4. Have Green Tea At Work
Caffeine has long been the gold work standard, but it can make people jittery. Green tea can actually boost your brain and provide focus without that nervous energy. According to Science Daily, a 2014 study found that green tea extract improved memory and enhanced cognitive focus, although the exact mechanism is still being researched.
5. Take A Day Nap
Naps can essentially help “reboot” your mind. A nap between 15 and 90 minutes long can boost many brain functions, including focus, creativity and memory, as reported by Time. The key with day naps is to pick a time and duration that works for your schedule and your body. If you nap for too long, you may end up dozing too late and disrupting your nighttime sleep, so experiment until you find what nap length works the best for you.
6. Cut Sugar From Your Day
Sugar, as you’re probably well aware, can pick you up and then drop you right back down. These highs and lows aren’t good for your mental focus, pacing or clarity. Try to remove sugar from your life during the day or at least around the times you need to focus.
7. Limit Your Meme/Social Media Exposure
Your brain will adapt to the information coming at it. If you’re constantly flooding your mind with fast-moving and non-stimulating information, it will negatively impact your focus. Keep your mind working at a higher level by exposing it to stimulating content. When you do feel the need to watch or read something pointless, set a timer on your phone or computer so you don’t get lost in it.
8. Trade Your TV Time For Games
When you watch a movie or TV, your brain is receiving information but in a passive way. It doesn’t have to interact with or process what you’re watching on the screen. Try a little gaming instead. As explored by Psychology Today, studies have shown that video games can stimulate new brain neuron growth and enhance connectivity in the brain regions responsible for functions such as memory and your fine motor skills.
9. Read A Book
When you read a book, it’s an exercise for your brain, since your mind has to actively create mental images of the words on the page. Trade in some TV time for a book now and then to give your mind a workout.
10. Try Your Hand At Programming
Computer programming is actually an easy way to learn how to think in patterns and with logic. This used to be difficult to learn, but today there are free websites that make programming both fun and easy to pick up. Not only is programming much like doing a puzzle, but this will also be a skill you can add to your resume.
11. Schedule Simple Exercise
Your body and mind are connected, and physical fitness can boost the health of both. You don’t need to become a gym rat to reap the mental benefits of physical activity. Walk up the stairs at your job instead of using the elevator, or jog to the neighborhood store. Work in a little physical activity about every hour, even if that just means getting up at your desk and stretching.
12. Seek Out Someone Smarter
Habits are contagious in a social environment; it’s just what human beings do. The thinking patterns and habits of people you spend time with may rub off on you, so try to interact with those who are smarter than you to see things from a different perspective and acquire some beneficial habits.
13. Have Disagreements Sometimes
Be okay with having friendly discussions with others who disagree with you on a topic. When you’re debating with them, you’ll either become convinced you were wrong or improve your arguments. Both scenarios are a win-win; you either are out-reasoning the other person or discovering the flaws in your own logic.
14. Take A Nature Walk
Being out in nature has a ton of benefits. There’s more oxygen thanks to the plants, the movement helps your blood circulate and you get less anxious, which helps your mind focus better. Try to do a nature walk before going back to work after lunch or prior to your big meeting or presentation for a free and natural mind boost.
15. Have A Notepad With You At All Times
Many famously smart people carried some sort of notepad with them to record ideas, questions and other things that came to mind. Having a little notebook with you and jotting down interesting things can help you work on your logic and curiosity.
16. Plan Tomorrow Today
If you plan for tomorrow at the end of today, you’ll start the day off knowing what to do. This will let you work in a much more productive fashion. Instead of running around busy all day and not getting anything done, you’ll actually get some things accomplished. Smart work beats out inferior work any day, so start your days off on the right foot by having a plan in place in advance.
Try all the simple brain-boosters above to sharpen your mind. The smarter you are, the higher you’ll rise, so inspire your mind as often as you can!