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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 December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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