Our brain is a big mystery. No other living creature known and studied by scientists has such a developed “gray matter”. That’s why we are able to think and have high self-consciousness. But no human being has yet been able to reach the top of his abilities, because our brain is constantly developing and is not used 100% in everyday life. But the most interesting fact is that we ourselves can influence the state of our brain. It’s what determines our life outcomes, performance, successes, abilities, and skills.
But how can you pump up your brain skill? Thanks to the rapid development of neuroscience, people have learned how to control their brain state through meditation, training, exercises, and various techniques.
The experts from StudyEssay have selected some interesting techniques that will teach you how to pump your brain to new levels.
How Much Can You Pump Up Your “Gray Matter”?
Anyone can do it if he really wants to. But how hard? Our answer: such training has no limit, it all depends on what you want to achieve. There is no limit to your perfection!
Here’s an example. Nelson Dellis is a four-time winner of U.S. championships in memorization. He told me afterward that his memory was terrible when he decided to train it. He began training his brain activity by taking 20 minutes to memorize the order of the cards in a deck. Today, the speed at which he can memorize 52 cards is only 30 seconds.
How To Prepare Your Brain For Training
There are a few rules that will help you achieve more effective results and make your brain more malleable, elastic, and capable of absorbing new information and then applying it intelligently. There aren’t many of them:
The benefits of water. Clean water cleanses you of toxins and impurities and keeps your brain connected. The optimal amount of water can be calculated using a simple formula: 30 ml of water per 1 kg of your own weight;
Adequate amounts of phosphates and carbohydrates. The richest foods with phosphates are pumpkin, wheat germ, poppy, soybeans, sesame, melted cheese, nuts, oats, beans, and others, as well as foods high in healthy carbohydrates (rice, cornflakes, bran, pasta, kefir, milk, shrimp, fish, and others). You will also have to give up alcohol or at least minimize its amount because it has a negative effect on neurons. It’s not even the alcohol itself, but its duet with carbon dioxide, which is also in the composition. It is this that has a destructive effect.
A sufficient amount of physical activity. If a person leads a passive lifestyle, spends the day in a sedentary position, for example, hours playing games, sitting at a desk, then such people are characterized by hypodynamia or impairment of body functions (musculoskeletal system, blood circulation, breathing, digestion). This impairs blood circulation, which supplies the brain with the necessary amount of oxygen, and its insufficient amount leads to a decrease in the efficiency of its work.
If you follow all the recommendations, you will create a reliable basis for training. You can also refer to books by authors such as Roger Sipe, Mark Williams, and Danny Penman, Alex Lickerman, and so on for useful information.
When you exercise, you pump your muscles, your body becomes tighter, you feel better and more energetic. It’s about the same thing to exercise your brain, which, when done regularly, makes new neural connections. The most important thing is systematic, this is the condition for good and sustainable health.
Conducting exercises can be done in different ways, such as solving puzzles, brain simulators, and speed reading. Meditation and neurofeedback training techniques are excellent options for improving memory and relieving stress. Let’s deal with each one more specifically.
Exercises and games
Our grandparents solved paper crossword puzzles and Sudoku to develop their brains. But modern technology has brought online simulators and educational games into our lives that can adjust to your decisions by analyzing your play behavior. Here are a few popular ones: Wikium, Uplift, and Bitreinica.
Why do it at all: First, it is very interesting, and second, you can distract yourself from your daily routine with health benefits. This way you can improve your cognitive abilities, which are needed to correctly perceive the world around you and make the right decisions. If you practice systematically, you’ll be able to make decisions faster, remember the names of new acquaintances better, and remember important dates.
This is a fairly popular practice these days with many variations. But the easiest one is to be alone with yourself or to sit in silence with your eyes closed and concentrate on your breathing. Believe me, it’s not as easy as it seems at first glance. Without experience, it’s hard to sit for even a couple of minutes without intrusive thoughts. But with consistent practice, you can reset your mind, control your thoughts and attention, and reduce the effects of stress.
Studies show that meditation helps relieve stress and reduces depression and can improve many aspects of your life. In 2011, there was an experiment that showed that meditation had a positive effect on changes in the gray matter of the brain. Participants in the experiment said that after 8 weeks of meditation practice, attention improved: conscious action and non-judgmental perception became frequent in their lives.
This is a promising technique that has appeared relatively recently. It is based on the principle of biofeedback. That is, during the procedure, brain signals are measured with electrodes attached to the head, and then they are transferred to sound and image with the help of software. The result is a visualization of your brain activity.
The process itself goes like this: the specialist gives instructions, and if the brain goes to the right state, the broadcast picture and sound change. Also, for a faster and better transition, the doctor can connect additional techniques. That is, you can affect the state of your brain interactively and record your sensations. After training, you will be able to go to the desired state on your own without various sensors.
Exercise for developing both hemispheres of the brain
Each hemisphere is responsible for a different function. The left hemisphere is responsible for processing speech and numerical information, logic, inference, analysis, linearity, etc. Right – spatial orientation, color perception, perception of shapes, sounds, colors, rhythms, dreams, etc. That is, each prevails in its area.
In order to develop both hemispheres from school years, we are taught not only major but also completely unrelated subjects. And in order to engage in the development of both hemispheres yourself, you can do a simple exercise:
You can learn the synchronous work of both hemispheres of your brain. It’s easy to do:
Stand up straight and extend both arms forward or upward;
Draw a circle in the air with your left hand and a square with your right;
Do the exercise until you succeed, and then switch hands.
You can also complicate this exercise by drawing more complex shapes in the air with your hands. And there is even a special system for developing both hemispheres based on the same exercise. The point is to do familiar things in non-standard ways. One can, for example, wash dishes, brush teeth or eat with the other hand, hold the phone to the other ear, carry a bag or backpack on the other shoulder (the word “other” means the left side for right-handers and the right side for left-handers).
Exercise for the development of the left hemisphere
It’s very simple. All actions you will have to do with your left hand, i.e. to take things, open doors, and so on. This will be good practice for left-handed people, but it is unusual for right-handed people.
You can also allocate about 30-40 minutes every day for solving puzzles and crossword puzzles.
Exercise for the development of the right hemisphere
Since the right hemisphere is more inclined to synthesize than to analyze data, takes time to draw because it is while drawing that abstract thinking develops. Allocate 30 minutes a day for this. In addition, you can replace drawing or combine it with interior or clothing design. An additional advantage of this exercise can be called the development of intuition.
Another great option is to listen to music, which relaxes and promotes imagination.
A Few More Tips
Read every day. During this time, your brain does a tremendous amount of work similar to a symphony orchestra playing. According to an ongoing study in the Haskins labs, reading, unlike watching videos or listening to the audio, gives the brain more time to slow down, think and imagine the story being told. It’s a more active process than when we just watch movies.
But that’s not all. Studies have shown that just 6 minutes of reading a day can reduce stress by 68 percent. It’s also an activity that can increase empathy, and therefore your emotional intelligence. In addition, reading is also a great way to get new information or a unique experience and give your brain the novelty it needs.
Train your attention. The meditation described above will also work for this.
Keep a personal journal. This will help you develop creativity, help you plan and remember dates, and prioritize things.
Watch your sleep schedule. Sleep also affects the development of cognitive abilities, so it is important to sleep for 7-8 hours a night and even better to allow yourself 20 minutes of daytime sleep.