I know at a first glance it probably sounds kind of weird to think about ways to increase brain power and improve your brains health, but trust me friends. It’s a thing and it’s super important!
Why Even Give AF About My Brains Health?
Ah, I’m so glad you asked! We never really put much thought into our brains because they are always just kind of there. ya know? Always working. Always thinking. It’s kind of like breathing. You don’t think much about it. It kind of just happens.
BUT… just like with breathing and how we actively do things like not smoke (hopefully!) to support our lungs so we can do neat things like breathe and live, we need to actively do things to support our brains. Supporting our brain’s health will help maintain memory, increase focus, stabilize a good mood, promote mental clarity, and keep energy levels high throughout the day. The healthier your brain is, the more powerful it will be.
If you have a pretty decent diet and exercise routine, you’re already on the right road to improving your brain power. If you don’t have a decent diet or exercise routine, I’d say to get on that sooner rather than later. And if you hate exercising like me… it doesn’t have to be anything vigorous. Light yoga stretching or walking on a treadmill while watching your favorite TV show will totally do the trick! But… just diet and exercise are not enough to support your brains health and to increase brain power.
6 Ways To Increase Brain Power + Health
1. Think Positive
Without getting super science-y on you guys, positive thinking has a lot more to it than the fluff we see on the surface. I’m sure at some point in your life, someone has told you to think positive, amright?
You just got dumped?
Oh hon, just look on the bright side… there are plenty of other fish in the sea!
Your dog ran away?
Well at least you get to save money on dog food and vet bills!
You can’t afford your home?
Being homeless is great! You never have to clean! Give it a whirl!
What a lot of people don’t realize is, positive thinking has a lot more potential than just helping us get through bad situations. When we think negatively, we narrow our brains. Negative thoughts slow down brain function and makes processing thoughts and determining solutions really difficult. On the contrary, positive thinking produces serotonin which helps our brains function at peak capacity. This broadens our range of thinking and gives us a greater ability to focus.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is pretty much soul food for the brain. When you are sleep deprived, your cognitive functioning (the part of your brain responsible for reasoning, memory, attention, and the attainment of information and knowledge) goes right out the window – which will basically render you useless until you have a chance to catch some zzz’s. In addition to your cognitive functioning, sleep will help clear your mind and keep your mood up.Sleep is pretty much soul food for the brain. Click To Tweet
3. Eat Brain Food
As I said above, eating healthy and exercising is only half the battle. On top of eating healthy, you want to make sure to be eating nourishing foods for your brain. ‘Brain Food’ is a term we’ve all heard for years but like, what the heck does it even mean? Don’t worry, I’ll tell ya!
So, brain foods are foods that have the ability to interact with your brain in a positive manner. Also worth noting, brain foods don’t magically make you smart. What they do is interact with your brain in a way to increase your energy, mental clarity, and memory. Get a list of brain foods here.
4. Do Yoga and Meditate
As someone who is super new to yoga and meditating, I think they are both really misunderstood. You hear people saying they can’t meditate because their mind doesn’t ever stop and they can’t do yoga because they aren’t flexible enough but that’s not really what either of them are about.
Meditation is actually a limb of yoga. Asanas are the exercises and poses you do at a yoga class. The postures done in an asana practice are designed to prepare the body and the mind for meditation. Through working to connect your breath to your movement throughout the different poses, you are actually clearing away any restless energy just hanging out in your body so can reach the point of stillness needed to meditate. So doing yoga isn’t actually about wrapping your legs around your head to become a human pretzel. It’s about connecting your breath to your movement which will calm you down, slow you down, bring your attention to the present moment, and whip you into shape to mediate.
Meditating positively affects the brain by reducing stress and improving memory. Meditation also has an emotional affect on the brain by boosting our mindfulness, compassion, empathy, and resilience.
5. Exercise Your Brain
Reading is a great way to exercise your mind. If exercising in the gym makes your body strong then it only stands to reason that exercising your brain with reading helps make your brain strong. Not to mention, successful entrepreneurs like Oprah, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet all put reading high up on their list of things to do every day.
Another way to exercise your brain is by playing brain games. Brain games are a great way to challenge your mind and help keep it sharp.
6. Quit Multi-Tasking
I know you probably think you NEED to multitask to get everything checked off your to-do list each day but the fact of the matter is multitasking is harmful to your brain and more often than not, makes you way less productive than if you were to just do each task one at a time.
Switching back and forth between the multiple tasks your are trying to do at once eventually becomes exhausting to your brain and it’s functionality will slowly start to decrease. Your focus will drop, your clarity will go out the window, and next thing you know you’ll be left with a half a sandwich, some cleaning supplies, a coloring book, a laptop, a bunch of glitter, and your neighbors cat wondering WTF you’re doing with your life. Or is that just me? Oh, okay…
Since I work from home, I like to use yoga as a nice little transition between tasks. Usually at night I write out my schedule for the next day. If I don’t complete a task in the allotted time on my schedule that’s a-okay… I just add it to the top of my schedule the next day or try to complete it if I finish something else early. Once my time is up for a specific task, I hop over to my yoga mat and do a few sun salutations to reset my mind. Then I sit back down with a clear and fresh brain – ready to get started on the next thing on my list.
If you work in an office it might be a little awkward and/or frowned upon to get your yoga on in the middle of the office but you can do other things like take a coffee/tea break or walk a few flights of stairs.