Have you ever felt as though you aren’t living up to your full potential? That if you pushed yourself, just a little further, you could achieve so much more?
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You wouldn’t be alone.
We as humans have always strived for something greater, felt there was further we could push ourselves, unlock some sort of hidden ability.
While that’s a nice thought, it isn’t reality. There are, however, some very simple things that we can do to boost brainpower in a noticeable way.
Small, simple acts, that while not revolutionary on their own, together will have a huge impact on an individual’s brainpower.
These are the 6 steps you can follow to boost your brainpower.
How Much Of The Brain Do We Actually Use?
First off, it’s worth mentioning the 10% myth, probably the most infamous scientific misnomer around.
It is believed that humans only use 10% of the brain, and it’s this small number that leads people to live in hope that they could one day unlock that elusive remaining 90%.
But, tragically, it really is just a myth. It has been repeated time and time again and it has become an accepted “fact”.
No one is sure exactly where it comes from, some say Einstein, but most likely it is just misreading of scientific data relating to the cells that work away in our brain.
Performing the most basic task, like clenching a fist or speaking, uses much more brainpower than one would think.
Your brain carrying out functions like breathing, or even just thinking, uses far more power than assumed.
So while this article will not be the key to unlocking that supposed remaining 90%, it will focus in on key ways of utilizing the power we already have the capacity for, in more effective ways, to truly be the best version of yourself.
6 Steps to Improve Your Brain Power and Concentration
The benefits of increasing your brain power are numerous; you can become a more open and critical person, see things from new perspectives, understand concepts that have previously remained elusive, increase your concentration levels.
You can, in essence, become a more fully rounded person by changing very little about your day to day life.
It’s as simple as getting enough sleep, exercising more frequently, listening to music; activities that are not intrusive but will benefit you both physically and mentally in astounding ways.
Exercise isn’t just something that we do to shed a few pounds after Christmas, or to get ready for swimsuit season.
It can have enormously positive effects on your mental wellbeing too, helping to improve memory and thinking skills.
In physical terms, exercise increases blood flow to the brain as well as to the muscles being worked out, which lessons the risks of cardiovascular diseases that can lead to a stroke.
It also increases release of chemicals in the brain which effect the health of cells, the growth of new blood vessels, as well as the development and survival of new cells. In short, going for a quick run a couple times a week has no shortage of benefits.
2. Write By Hand
What with the increased popularity of tablets, laptops, and smartphones over the last decade or so, writing something with pen and paper can seem like something of a novelty, or even a task to be dreaded.
But research suggests that writing down information by hand, as opposed to tapping away at a keyboard, is an excellent way of retaining information (great news for those cramming for exams).
This is because writing by hand stimulates the Reticular Activating System (or RAS), which acts as a filter for everything that your brain processes, giving more importance to whatever you’re actively focusing on at that moment.
It’s also an excellent cognitive exercise for people as they get older, keeping the mind sharp is important and writing by hand as frequently as possible is a great way to do that.
3. Take Vitamin D
In recent years we’ve heard time and time again about the dangers of overexposure to sunlight, with the devastating effects it can have on your skin.
But it turns out that getting the optimal amount works wonders for brain power.
Getting a good amount of Vitamin D into your body can increase nerve growth in your brain, and Vitamin D can also be found in pathways in the brain involved in information processing and the formation of new memories.
In short, it can turn you into a more comprehensive person, more capable of retaining information.
And if you’re worried about spending too much time in direct sunlight, well it’s also available in supplement form (you can get your vitamin D levels tested, if you’re unsure on how much you need!).
4. Get Enough Sleep
We’ve all gone into work or school on only a few hours sleep before, and all that happens is we end up grouchy, unproductive, and wishing we were anywhere else.
Thankfully, there’s now a miracle cure in the form of actually getting a good night’s sleep.
Not only will you feel miles better physically speaking, it also (you guessed it) can boost your brainpower. Getting an adequate amount of sleep not only allows us to feel more well rested but can help us to “reset” our brains, as it were, enabling us to look at things from different perspectives and tackle problems in a more creative way.
Sleep is also the time when growth occurs in the brain, which informs the brain’s ability to learn and process memory.
Sleep loss can negatively affect the brain’s ability to do this, and can lead to lethargic feelings and even depression, so needless to say, sleep is pretty important.
5. Listen to Music
We’ve probably all listened to music while studying, writing an essay, or while at work, and there’s a good reason we all do it; it can help with concentration and with memory.
Aside from avoiding the temptation of social media, one of the most difficult things when writing an essay is concentrating fully on the topic at hand. Listening to music can enhance reading and comprehension skills.
Not only that, but it has also been proven to release oxytocin, a chemical in the brain which is known as the “love hormone”, as it is most commonly associated with relationships and bonding.
Music can make us feel more trusting, loved, and more socially involved.
6. Challenge Your Mind
Opening yourself up to new experiences can be daunting, but is one of the most rewarding things we can do for ourselves.
Picking up a book on something we haven’t studied before, learning a new instrument, taking up a new hobby or learning a new language.
Keeping our minds busy with interesting new activities is incredibly important at every stage in life, as the size and structure of neurones can be physically altered as you learn.
This is an incredibly simple step and seems obvious, but opening your mind to new things when done in collaboration with these other 5 steps will lead to a happier you.
You’ll have a more positive mindset and capacity for personal growth.