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11 Ways to Make Your Brain More Efficient

11 Ways to Make Your Brain More Efficient

Your brain is a muscle, and it should be exercised daily. Obviously the exercise will be a bit different than you’re used to. These are a few ways that you can work to make your brain more efficient.

1. Get Exercise Regularly

Time and time again, it has been proven that exercise will help to increase brain function, and enhance neurogenesis. Each time you exercise, you are creating new brain cells.

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2. Indulge in your Curiosity

Stop taking everything at face value and begin questioning. Things that you see on a daily basis can be improved, and you should be thinking more about how to do this. It will force your brain to be innovative.

3. Try New Things

Your brain becomes stimulated when you experience new things. Though it can be easy to get stuck in the rut of doing the same things, new experiences create neural pathways in the brain, increasing intelligence. This could mean taking a new route somewhere, cooking a new recipe, or a new exercise routine.

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4. Start Eating Right

A person’s diet has a massive impact on how their brain functions. The brain consumes more than 20% of all oxygen and nutrients that you consume. Taking this into consideration, feed your brain the good stuff that it needs to function more efficiently. This includes fresh fruits and vegetables as well as Omega-3s that are found in oily fish.

5. Turn on Some Music

Both playing music and listening to it will expand your potential for learning. Learning how to play instruments will rewire the brain, allowing you to think faster and more accurately. This will still happen when you listen to music, but it will be less pronounced.

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6. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep helps to detox your brain in a way. When you are sleeping, the body uses the time to regenerate the cells and remove the toxins that have collected throughout the day. It is recommended to hit the hay before midnight in order to gain the positive effects from the most beneficial hours of sleep.

7. Positive Thinking

Existing brain neurons are killed off from stress and anxiety, but this also stops any new ones from being created. Research shows that a positive outlook (especially regarding the future) will speed up the time that it takes to create new cells and will dramatically reduce your stress and anxiety. Aim to gain control of your negative thoughts, and take steps to replace them with positive ones.

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8. Read

Reading a book relieves tension and stress, which are factors that will kill your brain cells. Opening a book is a form of escapism, which allows for the reduction of strain. Reading will trigger your imagination and creativity, allowing for the escape. Using your imagination is an excellent way to teach the brain because you are forcing your mind to depict what you are reading in the book.

9. Brain Training Games

Activities that require memory and concentration are great ways to train your brain to become better at concentrating on difficult tasks. Users may also see an improvement in their problem solving, persistence, and spatial skills.

10. Scale Back Your TV Time

Those who watch television or broadcasts over the internet for over 4 hours per day generally have a lower mental acuity score — this means that their overall intelligence level is low. Television not only takes away from intelligence, but it may also lead to attention disorders such as ADHD. This is because of the number of the rapid-fire stimuli, the brain becomes overloaded during the times that it is viewing television.

11. Combat Inflammation

Toxins, chemicals, and infection are all things that can leave your body inflamed, thus negatively impacting your mental performance. Fight inflammation by increasing your intake of antioxidants and Omega-3s.  A Swedish study found that inflammation in the body has been consistently linked to lower intelligence in those aged 18 to 20.

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on September 15, 2020

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way

Life changes are constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains the same for long.

Regardless of the gravity of change, it can always be a little scary. So scary, in fact, that some people are downright crippled by the idea of it, causing them to remain stagnant through anxiety.

Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are riddled with anxious vibes? The quarter life crisis, the mid-life crisis, cold feet before getting married, retirement anxiety, and teenage angst are just a few examples of transitional periods when people tend to panic.

We can’t control every aspect of our lives, and we can’t stop change from happening. However, how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.

Here are 4 ways you can approach life changes in a positive way.

1. Don’t Fight It

I once heard one of my favorite yoga instructors say “Suffering is what occurs when we resist what is already happening.” The lesson has stuck with me ever since.

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Life changes are usually out of our control. Rather than trying to manipulate the situation and wishing things were different, try flowing with it instead.

Of course, some initial resistance is natural if we’re going into survival mode. Just make sure you are conscious of when this resistance is no longer serving you.

If you’re feeling anxious about impending life changes, it’s time to practice some techniques to address the anxiety directly. These can include meditation, exercise, talking with friends about how you’re feeling, or journaling.

If you’re worried about a big life change, such as starting a new job[1] or moving in with your partner, do your best to control your expectations. It may help you to talk with people you know about their experiences going through similar changes. This will help you form a realistic picture in your mind of what things will look like post-change.

2. Find Healthy Ways to Deal With Feelings

Whenever we’re in transitional periods, it can be easy to lose track of ourselves. Sometimes we feel like we’re being tossed about by life and like we’ve lost our footing, causing some very uncomfortable feelings to arise.

One way we can channel these feelings is by finding healthy ways to release them. For instance, whenever I find myself in a difficult transitional phase, I end up in a mixed martial arts studio.

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The physical activity helps me channel my emotions and release endorphins. It also helps me get in shape, which generally increases my mood and energy levels.

Exercise is important in cultivating positive emotions, but if you’re struggling with anxiety in particular, it’s important to cultivate a regular exercise routine as opposed to a one-off workout. One study found that “Aerobic exercise can promote increase in anxiety acutely and regular aerobic exercise promotes reduction in anxiety levels”[2].

If exercise isn’t your thing, there are other, less intense ways of cultivating positive emotions and reducing anxiety around life changes. You can try stretching, meditating, reading in nature, spending time with family and friends, or cooking a healthy meal.

Find what makes you feel good and helps you ground yourself in the present moment.

3. Reframe Your Perspective

Reframing perspectives is a very powerful tool used in life coaching. It helps clients take a situation they are struggling with, such as a major life change, and find some sort of empowerment in it.

Some examples of disempowered thinking during life changes include casting blame, focusing on negative details, or victimizing[3]. These perspectives can make awkward transitional phases much worse than they have to be.

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Meanwhile, if we utilize a more positive perspective, such as finding a lesson in the situation, realizing that there may be an opportunity for something, or that everything passes, we can come from a greater place of ease.

4. Find Time for Self-Reflection

Having time to reflect is important at any stage in your life, but it’s especially important during transitional periods. It’s quite simple really: we need our time to step back and get centered when things get a little crazy.

As a result, big life changes are perfect for doing some self-reflection. They are opportunities to check in with ourselves and practice getting grounded for a few minutes.

Take a look at this reflective cycle adapted from Glibb’s Self-reflection guide (1988):[4]

Use self-reflection when facing life changes.

    Self-reflective exercises include meditating, yoga or journaling,[5] all of which require some quiet time to get yourself together.

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    One study found that journal improves “self-efficacy, locus of control, and learning”[6]. A healthy sense of self-control can make the process of change easier to bear, so that in itself is a great reason to try self-reflection through journaling.

    To learn how to start journaling, you can check out this article.

    Final Thoughts

    Big life changes may rock us for a little while, but they don’t have to be as bad as we initially perceive them. If handled in a positive manner, transitional periods can pave the way for some serious self-growth, reflection, and awareness.

    Cultivate a sense of positivity and find ways to diminish the anxiety around life changes. Once you make it to the other side, you’ll be grateful that you made it through in the best way possible.

    More Tips on Facing Life Changes

    Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

    Reference

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