Some people think that having a sharp mind must mean you have a genius-level IQ. While a high IQ is indeed a great gift, there are still plenty of ways you can improve your brain for quicker and better thinking.
A key factor is really reducing its stress. The calmer and less burdened your mind is, the more focused you can be. Here are five ways you can do just that!
- Regular meditation
This is really one of my favorite ways to improve my mind because it accomplishes so many things at once! And as I’ve said in previous posts, meditation doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need to do is take yourself inwards. Take a nice, deep breath and just stop dwelling on stressful thoughts. Find your calm.
You can do this in many places (even while standing). You would be surprised what you can accomplish just after a few minutes of closing your eyes and shutting off the worrying voices in your head. It gives you a point of focus and trains your mind to stop dwelling on anything else, thus refreshing it.
- Eating good food for your brain
If your brain power is low, start by eating more foods that are rich in antioxidants like flavonoids.
Antioxidants improve memory function. Dark chocolate is the bomb for this. Fresh blueberries, strawberries and elderberries are not only good for the brain but they’re also good for your overall health.
You can also start whipping up some excellent (and healthy) desserts. I have several recipes myself (both in my blog and in my recipe book The Happy Diet).
- Try a new, engaging past time
Speaking of cooking, having a new, fun pastime is a great way to really hone your skills and exercise the different function of your mind all at once! Learning something new always wires the brain to take different mental pathways and go outside its comfort zones.
Asides from cooking, you can also learn how to play music or start learning to paint. Classic board games like chess and checkers make for good brain activities too. All of these activities are good ways to de-stress while learning new ways of tackling challenges. Glen and I are scrabble mad. It is a great chill out from our full lives, keeps the competitive edge in our marriage, yup, we are one of those couples, and helps fire our brains to improve cognition and problem solving skills. FYI, I win 95% of the time 😉
- Get good amounts of sleep
Get your Zzzz’s in! Having the healthy dose of seven – eight hours is not only rest for your body but also your brain. There is a strong connection between high stress levels and low amounts of sleep. It is also very natural for the brain to have poorer memory and problem-solving ability when you are yawning all day from lack of sleep.
If you feel that your thinking has been slow, perhaps all you need to do is get to bed earlier. Avoid drinking too much coffee (if at all) and turn of all gadgets at least an hour before sleeping. Again, oftentimes the best way to improve your mind is to give it as much rest and relaxation as possible.
- A nice dose of comedy
Reading or watching a bit of comedy also helps! Laughter is the best medicine after all. It is medicine for the mind too. Clever jokes and gags have a soothing effect on the brain while also gently exercising it when we appreciate the wit.
This is when youtube comes in handy. If you haven’t got time for a comedy show or movie, flick on a funny clip and have a giggle to liven yourself up.
The best way to improve brain function is to give it some down time. Avoid pushing through when it has had enough fun. Give yourself five, get some fresh air, have a laugh and a cup of berries. Voila!