Advertising
Advertising

Twelve Natural Ways to Enhance Brain Power

Twelve Natural Ways to Enhance Brain Power

Are you trying hard to boost your chances for a job interview, a test at school or just a desire to see your brain function at optimum capacity? There are natural ways to enhance your brain to ensure brilliance and increase in your productivity. In this article, we bring twelve natural ways to enhance your brain power:

Sleep

Getting enough sleep is important for your brain to work optimally. When you are deprived of sleep, your brain lags; this may affect your creativity, thinking, cognitive functioning, problem solving capacity and memory. At least eight hours of sleep is recommended every day for adults to boost brain power. Turn off any electronics at least thirty minutes before settling in bed to avoid stimulation of your brain before bed time. You can also take short power naps during the day if you feel like you did not get enough sleep.

Regular Physical Exercise

Physical exercise can help with the flow of oxygen to your brain, which will then help it function better. Physical exercises also help to improve your overall mood as well as protect your brain cells. Dance, martial arts, brisk walking, weight lifting, simple aerobic exercises will increase your heart rate, which gets blood flowing to your brain, thus keeping your memory sharp.

Advertising

Eat

Not just any food, but nutritious food to enhance your brain power. Leafy green vegetables, fish, whole grain, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, eggs, antioxidant rich berries, avocado and tomatoes are some of the brain boosting food you can indulge in. Also ensure you drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and complex carbohydrates help boost brain power.

Meditation

One of the many benefits of meditation  is its impact on brain function. Meditation can help to retrain the brain to work better. It increases mindfulness and concentration. You can find a place to sit quietly in the mornings. And even if it’s just for fifteen minutes, focus on breathing in and breathing out, making sure your thoughts are gently being directed by you. Meditation reduces stress and anxiety levels. Mindful meditation can delay cognitive decline and prevent diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Reduce Stress

Remember to relax. Stress contributes to memory loss and the destruction of brain cells. To relax, have a time out with friends, declutter your mind, visit relatives, read a book. Just generally find a way to let down your hair and keep out distractions.

Advertising

Learn a New Craft / Hobby

You could take an interest in photography, sewing or coding. Taking out time to learn a new interest or hobby can be a powerful way to enhance your brain power. Learning to play a musical instrument, a second or third language might be the boost your brain needs to enhance motor control, hearing and critical thinking skills.

Listen

Any time you find yourself involved in activities that require communication, practice your deep listening skills by focusing your mind and thoughts on what is being said. Take a pause, deep breaths, allow the words you hear settle into your mind, listen with your heart; notice how the words make you feel before you give a response.

Take Deep Breaths Regularly

Deep breathing helps to increase blood flow and oxygen levels, which in turn help your brain to function better. Take deep breaths into the bottom of your lungs, feel the air expanding your belly, then your chest and your lungs before breathing out.

Advertising

Herbs and Aromatherapy

Consider applying the oils directly onto your skin or use diffusers to aerate the oil. You can try rosemary oils for mental clarity and alertness, peppermint and basil oil to increase focus. Periwinkle and ginseng herbs may also improve cognitive functions. Gotu kola herb as well is considered to be an adaptogen, which means it can lower stress and boost brain power

Quit Multi-Tasking

Focus and concentrate on a single task at a time. Some people feel multi-tasking can make them get more work done in a short time. While this maybe true, multi-tasking also has the negative effect of confusing your brain. The brain needs about eight seconds to process a piece of information to your memory. So if you are talking on the phone, trying to take the trash out while also trying to cook dinner, chances are you may forget to complete one or more of these tasks. Make it a point of duty to concentrate on one task at a time.

Organize Your Space

If your living area is a mess, you are more likely to forget where you keep some of your things. It might be a good idea to declutter. Have a yard sale if you need to do so. All that mess sends the wrong signal to your brain and may make your brain lag.

Advertising

Think and Speak Positively

Speak positive ideas about yourself. It may look and sound strange at first but continuous practice will make it part of your lifestyle. Believe in your brain, believe in yourself, affirm yourself in positive ways frequently. Engage in some or all of these exercises and your brain will thank you for it.

Featured photo credit: Anete Lusina via unsplash.com

More by this author

Zuhair Sharif

Digital Marketer

5 Effective Pest Control Methods 7 Little-known Hacks for Bigger Arms 6 of the Best Dog Breeds for Emotional Support 5 Mind-blowing Health Benefits Of Playing Mobile Games 10 Essential Items To Check Off Your List When Going on A Business Trip

Trending in Brain

1 What Is Unconscious Bias (And How to Reduce It for Good) 2 What is Cognitive Dissonance (And How to Dodge it) 3 How Do Memory Vitamins Work? (And the Best Brain Supplements) 4 How Not to Let Cognitive Bias Control Us When Dealing with COVID-19 5 7 Most Effective Problem Solving Techniques That Smart People Use

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on June 30, 2020

What Is Unconscious Bias (And How to Reduce It for Good)

What Is Unconscious Bias (And How to Reduce It for Good)

Many conversations are being held nowadays regarding unconscious bias, but what does it really mean and how can it affect your life and the people around you? With many types of biases, it can get quite confusing. In this article, we’ll touch on cognitive bias, and then zero in on unconscious bias. Both types of biases have an immediate impact on your life because they relate to how you and others think about yourself and other people.

If you want to protect your relationships and make good decisions about other people, you need to know what these biases mean[1]. Once we have clarity about that, we can explore in more depth unconscious bias and how to address it[2].

Cognitive Bias

Let’s start with cognitive bias[3], a predictable pattern of mental errors that result in us misperceiving reality and, as a result, deviating away from the most likely way of reaching our goals[4].

These mental blind spots impact all areas of our life, from health to relationships and even shopping, as a study recently revealed[5]. In other words, from the perspective of what is best for us as individuals, falling for a cognitive bias always harms us by lowering our probability of getting what we want.

Cognitive biases have to do with judgment, not mood. Ironically, cognitive biases — such as the optimism bias and overconfidence effect — more often lead to positive moods. Of course, the consequence of falling into cognitive biases, once discovered, usually leaves us in a bad mood due to the disastrous results of these dangerous judgment errors.

Advertising

Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is different from cognitive bias. Also known as implicit bias, it refers to unconscious forms of discrimination and stereotyping based on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, age, and so on[6]. Despite cognitive biases sometimes leading to discriminatory thinking and feeling patterns, these are two separate and distinct concepts.

Cognitive biases are common across humankind and relate to the particular wiring of our brains, while unconscious bias relates to perceptions between different groups and are specific for the society in which we live. For example, I bet you don’t care or even think about whether someone is a noble or a commoner, yet that distinction was fundamentally important a few centuries ago across Europe. To take another example, most people in the US don’t have strong feelings about Sunni vs. Shiite Muslims, yet this distinction is incredibly meaningful in many parts of the world.

Unconscious Bias and Discriminatory Behavior

Organizations often bring me in as a speaker on diversity and inclusion to address potential unconscious discriminatory behavior. When I share in speeches that black Americans suffer from police harassment and violence at a much higher rate than white people, some participants (usually white) occasionally try to defend the police by claiming that black people are more violent and likely to break the law than whites. They thus attribute police harassment to the internal characteristics of black people (implying that it is deserved), and not to the external context of police behavior.

In reality – as I point out in my response to these folks – research shows that black people are harassed and harmed by police at a much higher rate for the same kind of activity. A white person walking by a cop, for example, is statistically much less likely to be stopped and frisked than a black one[7].

At the other end of things, a white person resisting arrest is much less likely to be violently beaten than a black one. In other words, statistics show that the higher rate of harassment and violence against black Americans by police is due to the prejudice of the police officers, at least to a large extent[8].

Advertising

However, I am careful to clarify that this discrimination is not necessarily intentional. Sometimes, it indeed is deliberate, with white police officers consciously believing that black Americans deserve much more scrutiny than whites. At other times, the discriminatory behavior results from unconscious, implicit thought processes that the police officer would not consciously endorse[9].

After becoming aware that unconscious bias does exist, the next step would be learning how to recognize it in order to reduce it. I’ve outlined three crucial points to keep in mind below while further exploring the unconscious prejudice discussed above.

How to Reduce Unconscious Bias

Remember these three important points if you want to work on reducing your unconscious bias.

1. Unconscious Bias is a Systemic Issue

When we understand that unconscious bias is ultimately a systemic issue, we understand that internal cultures need to be checked and addressed first.

Interestingly, research shows that many black police officers have an unconscious prejudice against other black people, perceiving them in a more negative light than white people when evaluating potential suspects. This unconscious bias carried by many — not all — black police officers helps show that such prejudices come – at least to a significant extent – from internal cultures within police departments, rather than pre-existing racist attitudes present before someone joins a police department.

Advertising

Such cultures are perpetuated by internal norms, policies, and training procedures, and any police department wishing to address unconscious bias needs to address internal culture first and foremost, rather than attributing racism to individual officers.

In other words, instead of saying it’s a few bad apples in a barrel of overall good ones, the key is recognizing that unconscious bias is a systemic issue, and the structure and joints of the barrel needs to be fixed[10].

2. There Is No Shame in Unconscious Bias

Another crucial thing that needs to be highlighted is that there is no shame or blame in unconscious bias as it’s not stemming from any fault in the individual. This no-shame approach decreases the fight, freeze, or flight defensive response among reluctant audiences, helping them hear and accept the issue.

Unconscious bias is prevalent and often doesn’t match our conscious values. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs and prejudices stemming from our tendency to categorize people into social groups. This developed naturally as a way for our ancestors to quickly size up a possible threat. Unfortunately, it doesn’t translate well in modern life.

3. It Takes a Sustained Effort to Prevent and Protect Against Unconscious Bias

After being presented with additional statistics and discussion of unconscious bias, the issue is generally settled. Still, from their subsequent behavior it’s clear that some of these audience members don’t immediately internalize this evidence. It’s much more comforting for their gut reactions to believe that police officers are right and anyone targeted by police deserves it; in turn, they are highly reluctant to accept the need to focus more efforts and energy on protecting black Americans from police violence due to the structural challenges facing these groups.

Advertising

The issue of unconscious bias doesn’t match their intuitions, so they reject this concept, despite extensive and strong evidence for its pervasive role in policing. It takes a series of subsequent follow-up conversations and interventions to move the needle. A single training is almost never sufficient, both in my experience and according to research[11].

Conclusion

The examples and points raised illustrate broader patterns you need to follow to recognize unconscious bias. Only by doing so will you be able to determine if, and what type of, intervention is needed to address it.

Unfortunately, our gut reactions lead us to make poor judgment choices when we simply follow our intuitions. Unconscious biases are systemic and need to be addressed in order to make the best decisions[12].

We need to learn about the kind of problems that result from unconscious bias. Then, you need to develop the right mental habits to help you make the best choices[13]. A one-time training is insufficient for doing so. It takes a long-term commitment and constant discipline and efforts to overcome unconscious bias, so get started now.

More Tips on Overcoming Unconscious Bias

Featured photo credit: M.T ElGassier via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next