8 Brain Hacks That Can Make You Smarter
Brain Hacking, or the practice of taking the brain and its capacity to a higher level has nothing to do with arcane rituals, spiritual prowess or the institutions of higher learning. Basically it all comes down to exercising the most basic self control techniques that can allow you to unlock some impressive potential that exist in us all.
One way to look at this is “mind over matter”by changing the way your brain approaches its challenges it can be optimized for peak performance. Following is a collection of 8 such important techniques that can assist in improving brain processes and actually make you a smarter human being.
- Nourish your brain
This is the most important thing you can do for your brain. Have you ever heard that your mind is a muscle? The first thing to address when increasing the strength of your muscles — or power of the mind — is to improve the nourishment you are providing for the required process.
Muscles need protein and carbs to operate at top performance; the brain needs those upgraded fatty acids, especially Omega 3’s to improve cognitive function. Make sure you are getting a good supply of these acids by increasing the quantities of healthy foods like almond butter, grass-fed beef and fish of all types. This is how you can provide your brain with the fuel for success.
- Reset your Circadian Clock
No one is sleeping enough these days, it's all the artificial light and energy-induced beverages that allow us to goof around with our highly developed body clocks. But our circadian clocks — that internal mechanism that regulates sleeping patterns and such — can be reset by increasing the time you spend in the sun and cutting caffeine and sugar from your diet.
By realigning your natural clock to the Sun’s cycle you can enjoy a fresh start in the morning without the grog and then fall into a blissful sleep at the end of the day without the tossing and turning of an insomniac. There are even apps that can be downloaded for this purpose. Sleep Cycle will monitor your sleep cycles (of course) and help you figure out when you dose off in the cycle and get up. Information can be used to adjust your sleeping habits for better rest.
Remember to shut down TV's, bright lights and mobile devices at least an hour before falling to sleep.
- Practice Awareness
An easy way to gain a level of cranial capacity for memory retention is to practice the ancient art of mindfulness. This is very simple and quite the opposite of the popular multi-tasking ability so many people are flaunting these days. Mindfulness is focusing all you attention and mental function on a single task at a time. This could be listening to your boyfriend describing a discussion with his boss and not running through your to-do list for the next day at the same time or even completing a flower arrangement with no other thought on you mind.
Taking the time to increase the focus you provide to an action, project or conversation is what makes the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary. You will feel it,your results will be imbued with it and your brain empowered as you do it more.
- Do Yoga
When I was doing my stint of desk work I felt tired and unmotivated no matter how much I accomplished, or how many different diet plans I adopted. I would down coffee like a madman and I felt even more groggy as time went by.
Then I tried Yoga. This ancient routine of fitness and coordination of the mind andbody through breathing and stretching exercises has a profound effect on the individual’s sense of time and awareness of the present moment. These exercises have a cumulative effect after performed consistently which can actually be beneficial to feelings of increased focus and feelings of wellness.
- Learn to Speed Read
Knowledge is power and there is enough information at your fingertips today to make you a god among other gods and goddesses just like yourself. How can you consume all this high-quality brain food? Speed reading is the way to go. This technique is easy enough to learn and allows you to retain information being gleaned at high speeds. The more you practice the better the smallest details will adhere to your memory for application when needed. For the average person, speed reading is the best first step to better brain function.
- Rewire your emotions
Some of the smartest people I know can’t help but get in their own way. If it weren’t for this enormous amount of emotional baggage they insist on carrying around with them they’d have mental power to spare. Gaining control over where the mind goes when it is left in neutral for even a second is a good way to gain a grasp on the present moment and increase your mental effectiveness.
What better way to begin interfacing with the mind then the practice that has yielded some of the greatest scientific and philosophical concepts known to humanity. I’m speaking, friends, of meditation. This useful form of mind control — personal mind control, that is — can help to disconnect the negative associations with the past or future worries. Dumping excess baggage is like removing the training weights that held back a champion swimmer — you can fly!
- Better a short pencil…
The cure for cancer, the solutions to faster-than-light travel and even world peace has all been lost for lack of a pencil, presumably. The problem is some of the best ideas are lost under the assumption “I’ll remember this when I get back.” But Star Wars, Microsoft and some of the greatest revolutions in the art world were perfected because George Lucas, Bill Gates and Pablo Picasso were so intent on catching every brainchild they birthed.And you should too.
- Never stop being young...
What was the biggest difference between our mind as a bright and eager child and the dusty old muck we have now? Perspective! When we were children we looked at everything as if it were new. With time and monotony we tend to settle into comfortable ruts and they run deep sapping our creativity and killing our zest for life.
But they can’t call you an old dog if you’re still learning new tricks. So take up a hobby, study Russian,play or sing in a jazz or learn to appreciate classical music or foreign cuisines. Anything you can do to treat your brain to new sensations and experiences will exercise the brain and revitalize your cognitive functions over time.
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