These seven easy steps can help you boost your brain power…and have fun in the process. We’ve done the legwork, all you have to do is read and apply!
Just like the rest of our body, our brain changes as we age. Fortunately, there are ways to boost brain power easily that are both fun and empowering. Simple, everyday activities like meditation, listening to music and laughing can give our brain a jumpstart and send us down the path towards young living.
With that in mind (Pun Intended) here are seven excellent — and simple — ways to boost your brain power.
Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply start by closing your eyes and paying attention to your breathing. Let your mind wander for a little bit, and then after a few minutes focus on your breath once again. Doing this for five to ten minutes can help you relax and clear your mind. And by doing this, you’ll be more prepared for any upcoming mental activity.
Being prepared like this can really be helpful if you’re having a terrible day at work. Or, if you’re finding relaxing on your day off has become a challenge.
2. Boost Your Brain Power by Awakening Your Intellect
For some of us, a stimulating game of chess is just what we need to invigorate our thought processes. For others, it might be a class that piques our imagination. Whatever it is, engaging your brain in something that tickles your intellect is an excellent way to keep yourself on top of your game.
We can boost our brain power by studying daily. Tony Dottino knows just how important it is to keep your intellectual passion alive. And for him, science is his “on” button. “Mine is cognitive science, but it could be literature or bicycle design — anything that brightens your brain,” he says. Boosting brain power is something on which he’s an expert. His company advises major businesses and governmental organizations on the newest applications in brain research.
“I’m always looking for new studies and articles about cognitive science,” he says. “The more we learn about a subject that excites us, the easier it becomes for us to learn in general.”
There are also companies like Lumosity, which provide fun games to amp our brain power.
3. Boost Your Brain Power by Cranking the Tunes or Grabbing a Guitar
Did you know that music activates every single part of your brain? Studies show that it indeed does, according to BeBrainFit.
Researchers have recently discovered ways to measure, quantitatively, how music affects the brain. Music, they found, can make you smarter, happier, and more productive during every stage of your life. Most interestingly, the researchers found that office workers who were allowed to listen to their favorite music worked more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who weren’t allowed to pick the music of their choice.
And it’s worth noting that brain scans show that musicians have large brains. That’s especially true for the parts that regulate motor control, auditory processing, and spatial coordination.Their brains are also more symmetrical and have a larger corpus callosum — the part of the brain that’s responsible for some pretty significant functions. Like, communications between both sides of your brain; eye movement and vision; and crucial areas associated with touch.
So how does music boost your brain power?
In a way, it almost seems magical. It turns out that cranking the tunes enhances brain function by stimulating the production of certain chemicals — including the neurotransmitter dopamine. And dopamine is part of the brain’s pleasure-reward system. It’s the very same chemical that makes us feel content when we eat a bit of chocolate, have good sex — or listen to a beloved melody. It adds a young living and loving touch to your brain.
But Wait, There’s More:
When you’re writing, your brain gets the message that you’re doing something important (even if it’s just a shopping list). And that strengthens your memory. Which means you’ll have an easier time remembering things in the future, Boitnott notes. It’s also a really cool way to exercise your analytical abilities and creative juices. If you want to boost brain power, why not try your hand at writing idea-journals, diaries, poetry, or stories?
For starters, you can write about things you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal (which can also make you happier). Or you can keep a dream journal by jotting down what you remember from your dreams each morning. You don’t have to write award-winning prose, the act of writing in itself expands your mental horizons, even if you’re the only reader of your book.
5. Do You Want to Maximize Your Brain Power Even More? Get Off The Couch.
Exercising regularly is a definite brain booster which fosters neurogenesis (that’s the function devoted to the development of nervous system tissue). So every time you exercise you’re creating new brain cells and focusing your mind and body on something that’s well, kind of grueling, but good for you. All at the same time! Remember, a young living brain is a happy brain.
And, while you are at it…
6. Remember to Laugh.
Laughing is a sure-fire way to release endorphins — and goes a long way in preserving your brain’s health. But laughter also opens you up to new thoughts and ideas. That might seem like a big job for something that most of us spend a few minutes doing every day. But, laughter appears to improve the short-term memory of older people. At least that’s what researchers conducting a small study at Loma Linda University found.
As part of the study, 20 older adults watched a funny video and were not interrupted or distracted. A control group, on the other hand, sat calmly and didn’t watch a video. Afterwards, everyone performed memory tests and had their saliva tested for stress hormones.
Guess who scored best on the memory tests? Yes, those who watched the funny video scored better. And, the researchers noted that levels of the stress hormone cortisol (gleaned from the salivary tests) were markedly lower as well.
Study author Gurinder S Bains, who is a Ph.D. candidate in Rehabilitation Sciences, had this to say:
“Learning ability and delayed recall become more challenging as we age. Laughing with friends or even watching 20 minutes of humor on TV, as I do daily, helps me cope with my daily stressors.”
Humor, the researchers say, lowers your blood pressure, reduces stress hormones and elevates your mood. So maybe it’s time to dropkick that cortisol and have a laugh with your favorite funny movie.
7. Boost Brain Power With A Healthy Diet.
The human brain is a rather expensive piece of equipment when it comes to consuming things like oxygen and nutrients. It actually consumes 20 percent of all the oxygen and nutrients that we take in. And that means a good diet can be a real brain booster. So indulge your brain with all the good stuff (fresh fruits and veggies, and a goodly supply of Omega-3 fatty oils (which are found in oily fish.)
6 Simple Steps to Boost Your Brain
Slow down, really let your mind be still, every day. Dig in and think about what interests you, then learn as much as you can. Play games and listen to music that moves you. Laugh, every chance you get, and eat well. You can easily boost your brain power by following these steps to a thriving mind after 50.
Featured image: CC-By-ND Charly W. Karl via Flickr.