What is cognitive function really about, and how can you make yours better? Life moves pretty fast, and if you don’t pay close attention, you might miss it. Brain exercises can help you improve your focus and help you think more clearly.
If you want to get the best out of your brain, you need to take a holistic approach. For example, you need to get enough sleep, eat right, and exercise regularly. Take care of your total health, and you just might turn yourself into a superhero. Along the way, you can use some simple tips, tricks, and brain exercises to shift your brain into turbo mode.
Join me today as I explore the top ways I have found to unlock the powers of the human mind.
- Use Brain-Boosting Supplements and Foods
- Exercise Is a Great Brain Booster
- My Top Brain Exercises
- Practice Brain Exercises to Have a Happier Life
Use Brain-Boosting Supplements and Foods
You are what you eat, so why not eat things that will make you smarter? The first key to eating smart is moderation. I do this by eating large portions of vegetables and high-fiber foods. Not only are they delicious, but they fill me up and make me feel more satisfied. And the more vegetables you eat, the better they taste.
Eating brain-smart foods can be delicious. Fatty fish boost your brain because they have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. They also help your heart. Try to get at least two servings of your favorite fish per week to get the best benefits.
Coffee is also good for your brain. It makes you more alert and helps you focus; in addition, it boosts your mood and makes you happier. If you get three or four cups a day, you’ll also get some protection against neurological diseases. Be careful not to drink too much, though, and not too late in the day so it doesn’t impact your sleep.
If you want to go a step further, you could see how you like brain supplements. First, find a brand you can trust and supplements you like. For me, I like Tim Ferriss Brain Supplements; Tim has a long track record of promoting mental health and personal success. Or if you need the maximum boost you can get and can afford to spend a little extra, Alpha Brain by Onnit may be your answer. Alpha Brain is especially useful when you are learning new skills, taking a lot of tests, or going through a mentally taxing period of your life.
You don’t have to wait for National nutrition month to eat healthier. Berries, nuts, green tea, and dark chocolate round out the top brain-boosting foods, so get into the kitchen and make your taste buds happy!
Exercise Is a Great Brain Booster
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you want to make positive changes in your life. Health and wellness are a journey, however, not a destination. When you aim for progress rather than perfection you are more likely to get the best results. My grandma always said “perfect is the enemy of good.”
One of the best things you can do for your brain is lifting weights. Very few activities do more to protect your memory as you get older, and it’s a great focus-booster. Why this works isn’t completely known, but we do know that lifting weights increases your blood flow and oxygen perfusion. Both of these are essential to brain function, so it stands to reason that improving circulation will improve cognitive function.
Running, walking, and biking are also big helps. They don’t do as much as strength training, but they all help you think better. Quite often, when I have a difficult problem I can’t solve, I go for a walk or a run; by the time I get back, the answer is clear. Sometimes it’s so obvious I can’t understand why I didn’t see it before.
Exercise also makes it easier to fall asleep and experience the deep, recuperative rest that keeps us alert, healthy, and happy. Most people don’t get enough sleep, and very few things affect your ability to focus as much as being sleep-deprived. In today’s fast-paced world, you may be tempted to skimp on sleep. Don’t do it! Not only will it hurt your focus and clarity, tired driving and drunk driving are equally dangerous.
If you want to improve your mental clarity, get your sleep hygiene in order and make sure you get enough rest.
My Top Brain Exercises
Last, but not least, if you want to boost your brain, here is my list of fun activities to improve your brainpower:
- Solve jigsaw puzzles. Puzzles, especially big ones, help you work with your spatial skills, memory, and aesthetic sense and will help your brain work smoothly.
- Practice a musical instrument. If you don’t know how to play, take lessons. Music is one of the greatest sources of joy in the world. The fact that it makes you smarter is a nice bonus. Without music, life would be a mistake.
- Use one of the many brain exercise apps, like Lumosity.
- Learn a foreign language. You can use apps like Babbel or DuoLingo to give yourself an edge, or you can follow a YouTube channel about learning a specific language.
- Improve your vocabulary. Look up words you don’t know when you hear them, and try to use them in your daily routines. The ability to articulate yourself is one of the most powerful skills you have. Improving your word power can translate into promotions, more friends, and more respect. The pen truly is mightier than the sword.
- Set a goal or a series of goals. The bigger your goal, the better, as long as you have a good chance of meeting it.
- Take dance classes. Dancing combines music and physical activities and offers unique benefits. You’ll improve your focus as you pay attention to the music, your partner, and your body while also concentrating on moving through space. You’ll get exercise, which will increase your oxygen perfusion and circulation. You’ll also experience an elevated mood and better social awareness. All of these things will make you stronger, more capable, more focused, and clearer.
- Read a book. When you exercise your brain by reading, you have to pay attention and focus. Reading a book is very similar to reading someone else’s mind. By understanding the point of view held by others, it increases your empathy. Reading is also a skill that doesn’t come naturally to many people. As you exercise this skill, your focus will improve, as will your empathy, education, and understanding of the world around you.
Practice Brain Exercises to Have a Happier Life
Keeping your mind and body healthy and whole is a journey. As you go through life, the more effort you put into maintaining total wellness, the happier, healthier, and more successful you will be.
I recommend trying these suggestions right away. As you get familiar with one, move on to the next until you’ve tried them all. Then start over from the beginning. If you do, I guarantee you’ll get more fun out of life. I promise you won’t regret it.
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