10 Scientific ways to train your brain
When I was writing the kaizen blog last week I really enjoyed myself, learning about the philosophy, how to practice it and so forth, but my mind started to tick and I was thinking this is a great strategy for continuous improvement, but what can I implement in my life now, how can i create a growth mindset and what tips and tricks can I use to improve my cognition. So after sitting down after a full stomach (if you would like to see what kind of food eat click here and then press the”yams” story icon) I started to research how we can change our brain by doing certain activities. Our brain is what makes us who we are yet we know so little about it, one thing that majority of neurologist’s, psychologist’s and psychiatrist have all agreed on is that our brain is very adaptive, this is known as brain plasticity, which is used to refer to the brain's unique ability to constantly change, grow, and remap itself over the course of a lifetime. I have heard many great stories where this has changed people’s lives, from people having seizures everyday and being wheelchair bound to walking and living a fulfilling life. So in this blog you will learn how to train your brain.
Why should I train my brain
Well why shouldn’t you? Training your brain can lead to an endless amount of opportunities from meeting new people to learning new skills or even just getting a better paid job. Since my journey of self improvement I have pushed myself to the limits from cold showers to learning how to be more productive, in order to become the best version of myself and help others on their own journey! I believe if there is anyway of improving ourselves we should do so, including, ways you can train your brain!
How to train your brain
Training your brain can not only help increase our reasoning and problem solving skills but help combat ailments such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. So let’s get in to it!
- Social interactions: We are naturally social beings who desire to connect with others. Those with many friends are less likely to suffer from depression and dementia then those who live more lonely lives. I DON’T mean friends on social media, don’t get me wrong social media is great for networking and meeting new people but you can’t grow a true relationship that way, you need to connect on all of your senses, so go for walk with your friends or find people with the same interests as you on meetup, if you’re a bit nervous read our blog on confidence and if you struggle with starting conversations you can also learn the F.O.R.D technique!
- Ambidextrous: Well you don’t need to be able to use both hands effectively, but challenging your brain by using your less dominate hand for daily activities is a really good thing to do, if you didn’t know already the left hand side of your body is controlled by your right hemisphere and vice versa, so by using your less dominant hand you are training the opposite side of your brain and helping your neurons to make better connection’s, I first learnt about this technique from a man called Jim Kwik who is an expert in memory, every morning he brushes his teeth with his non-dominant hand. you could use this method or maybe try writing or opening doors with your less dominant hand. Remember “You can’t climb the ladder to success with your hands in your pockets” so get busy!
- Listen to music: Listening to music can have so many different benefits from gaining emotional intelligence to putting you in the right frame of mind and even helping with memory. One of the most well known studies on the correlation between music and improvement was the Mozart effect which was the idea that listening to Mozart (classical music) helped with improving the amount of correct answers on a test, even though when this study has been repeated there has still been improvement seen, there isn’t a lot of difference between calming music etc. Music can be used in many different ways. When listening to music all different types of neurotransmitters are released causing all different emotions and feelings, one way I like to use music is when I’ve been working and start to feel a bit sluggish and lose motivation I like put uplifting music on to get me hyped up and back into the swing of things by releasing all that juicy dopamine! Sounds have also been seen to help with depression anxiety and other mental illnesses. So kick back, put some jams on and just feel the vibe.
- Meditation: I’m not going to write to much on this one as I’ve already wrote a blog on all the benefits of meditation which you can read by clicking here. So how can this train your brain, in life we have so many different distractions, so by meditating we can learn to focus. Meditating has also been seen to lower the stress hormone cortisol. It also puts up a resistance to diseases such as Alzheimer’s. You don’t need to go all gung-ho with the lotus position, just find a simple breathing technique and hope that no one rubs your belly for good luck!
- Sleep: I’ve also wrote a blog on this but not in as much depth if you would like to read it click here. Sleep is so important as when we get quality sleep our brain regenerate’s our cells and removes toxins, also when we sleep we help the process of turning our short term memories in to long term memories. According to the American Sleep association The amount of sleep each person needs depends on many factors, including age. Infants generally require about 16 hours a day, while teenagers need about 9 hours on average. For most adults, 7 to 8 hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep. If you would like to hear more tips on sleeping make sure to read my blog on sleeping by clicking the link at the top of this tip.
- Puzzles and brain games: Just like the body our brain needs to be worked out and kept active, the brain loves challenges, as long as they are not to stressful your brain is able to improve it’s self upon completion. You can do this by playing Sudoku, Cross words and chess, these are all great ways of improving your cognitive Thinking. Doing these Activities daily helps keep the mind effective and delays The onset of memory related diseases. Some of my favorite brain games are the app peak and our very own #brainteasers which you can find every Tuesday on our Instagram by clicking here.
- Exercise: Leading on from the last tip you’ve got to work out that body of yours, it’s commonly agreed that there is a mind and body connection, partaking in exercise allows greater blood flow into the brain and causes nerve cells to release Several neurotransmitters that promote a healthy mind, for example, serotonin known as the happy Chemical. Exercise also enhances neurogenesis (the formation of new brain cells) and Increases our cognitive function Allowing us to concentrate better. so get pumping that iron. if you would like to learn more about fitness go check out my friends instagram by clicking here.
- Good eating habits: Ever heard “you are what you eat”? well there’s a lot of truth behind it. I'm not going to go into what’s best diet because we all require different foods but I think it’s an agreed statement to cut down on the junk food and takeaways. So try and get good quality nutrients down ya! There is some well known foods that are good for the brain like salmon as it is full of omega 3, turmeric as it reduces inflammation in the brain and Broccoli which can improve brain power. I’m experimenting myself with the bulletproof diet and I’m sure I’ll let you know how its gone in the short future, I think this is one of the best ways to learn about your body and brain so I challenge you to experiment yourself!
- Play a musical instrument: When we play an instrument our brain has lots of activity in many different areas, all these different parts of the brain such as the occipital lobe, motor cortices and the auditory part of the brain have to work together to play music. By disciplining ourselves to learning this we can improve these areas of our brain and transfer this to other parts of our lives. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of learning how to play an instrument click here. So whip out your trombone and start playing!
- Learn a new language: Not only does this help you connect with more people it also has many health benefits. It is well known that our left hemisphere Is more dominant in analytical and logical thinking and the right hemisphere is more active in emotional and social processes, Although this is not an absolute split, these systems are both used when learning a new language, it can also help build the connection between neurons and even delay the onset of dementia! I really enjoyed learning French with dualingo
So as I’m sat around with my family, typing this blog and making next weeks brain teaser with my left hand, listening to music, whilst concentrating on my breathing feeling very sleepy but also getting a sweat on and my right hand im playing the piano whilst munching on a carrot…. I would like to say Hasta pronto, nos vemos la semana proxima!