How to make your brain work faster? Habits of mind curriculum
How to make the brain fast and sharp? How to use your brain more effectively? Due to the discoveries in the field of neurobiology, the most powerful factors influencing the human brain activity have become well known. The impact of these factors in childhood has been studied in details. The researchers argue that the effectiveness of the brain of an adult person is predetermined, in particular:
- its genetic program,
- diseases suffered in childhood
- diet in childhood.
However, despite the fact that an adult is no longer able to influence these factors, it is in his power, however, to make his brain work faster and more efficiently. At least, the research group led by Dr. M. Merzenich came to this optimistic conclusion.
If we unite the efforts of all scientists who have studied the question of how to make the brain work, how to make it stronger, then as a result we will get a list of 24 factors affecting the change in brain activity of an adult.
What is included in this list, compiled of scientific experiments and observations?
1) Scientists urge to prefer food that has undergone minimal processing. It is necessary to take an example from hunters and pioneers who cooked their food quickly and simply. At the same time they were distinguished by keen observation, intuition, and the ability to find a way out in the most difficult life circumstances.
2) Observing 4,000 adolescents, Swedish scientists found out that eating fish twice a week improves teenagers' verbal ability, visual-spatial orientation, and general intelligence. All of these indicators increased by more than 10%.
So a full plate of fish products or seafood twice a week is an important condition for feeding the brain. Scientists urge, if it is possible to follow this recommendation, not to neglect fish oil. Although the exact mechanism of the effect of fish oil on mental performance has not yet been identified, it, at least, like other omega fats, helps to improve blood flow in the brain.
3) Make sure your food contains enough vitamins B, C, D and E. If not, take them separately. This should be done regularly.
4) Avoid eating too much sweet. Excess glucose in the body reduces the activity of synaptic connections between the neurons of the brain, which leads to a gradual deterioration in mental activity. Replacing sweets, ice cream, sweet buns and soda to fruit and yogurt will help the brain work faster.
5) Two cups of coffee a day is a great help for brain activity. Scientists have recorded an increase in the electrical activity of the brain and, as a result, an increase in the volume of attention and opportunities to absorb new knowledge more easily and quickly.
6) Some good wine, scientists say, not only does not harm the adult body, but also stimulates brain processes. Italian scientists found out that 29% of people over the age of 65, who rarely drank during their lives, showed in their old age a tendency to mental retardation. In the same age group of “drinkers of alcohol in moderate quantities,” such old people with the possibility of mental retardation turned out to be only 19%.
7) A recent study at the University of Tel Aviv confirms the conclusion that smoking is harmful to brain activity. Researchers measured the IQ of 20,000 males between the ages of 18 and 21 who entered the Israeli army. For those who smoked more than 1 pack of cigarettes, the average figure was on the lower limit of the norm (90 points), and the average score among non-smokers was -101 (with the maximum possible 116 points).
8) Do not cut down on sleep. Getting enough sleep is to give the brain a rest. People who get enough sleep process the visual signals that enter their brain better and faster.
9) A bit of meditation and other stress-reducing techniques are very good for the brain.
10) Scientists compared sexually active rats with rats, which were allowed to have sexual contact only 2 times a month. In more active rats, they revealed not only an increased number of neurons in the brain, especially in the areas responsible for memory management, but also more connections between these cells than in rats from the second group. Although the discovery was made in rats, scientists found it fair to transfer these findings to humans, explaining that regular sexual contact lowers the level of stress and anxiety hormones.
11) Any inflammation inevitably leads to a decrease in brain activity. Therefore, the habit of ignoring the recommendations of the doctors, plays in this case against you. Swedish scientists have proven that the inflammatory process in the body adversely affects mental activity. Therefore, prevention and timely treatment of inflammatory processes is another important way to help the brain cope better with its functions.
Another answer to the question of how to make the brain work faster lies in the field of hormonal health. Good brain performance provides normal, and most importantly - stable, insulin levels in the body.
Fluctuations of insulin significantly reduce the performance of brain processes.
Lack of insulin negatively affects the work of the pancreas, which leads to the weakening of memory. A high insulin level with time can trigger Alzheimer's disease. So, a person is caught in a tight framework not just the norms of insulin, but also the stability of indicators.
12) Two ways to keep your brain healthy are:
• not to forget about meals to not decrease insulin indicators,
• do not overeat, so as not to provoke a surge of insulin.
13) The rule “What we do not train, ceases to develop” fully reflects the laws of development of both muscle and brain tissue. In mice that lived in cages, where there was a rotating wheel and all sorts of labyrinths lay, there was an increase in brain tissue and an increase in intelligence.
It is not necessary to become a “squirrel in a wheel,” but regular exercise and an overall active lifestyle are a proven answer to the question of how to make the brain work better.
14) When swimming in a pool, make it a rule to hold your breath for as long as you have enough strength. This exercise provides a one-time powerful blood flow to the brain, which gives it a strong additional impetus to development.
15) Just 40 minutes of walking 2 times a week leads to a significant activity of the connections between the nerve cells and, as a result, an improvement in the work of memory and intelligence. Scientists have proven this by proposing such a method of walking to a group of people who led predominantly sedentary lifestyle. A year later, the test results showed significant improvements.
16) When psychologists from London College analyzed the results of brain scans of 125 students, and then counted their contacts on Facebook, they found that the students with the greatest amount of friends also had significantly more neural connections, especially in areas related to memory and emotional reactions. Therefore, they advise to expand the number of their contacts and develop their ability to communicate with various people.
17) Students who, according to the conditions of the experiment, watched TV for more than 2 hours a day, then demonstrated various forms of disturbed attention. The more you watch TV, the worse you cope with tests of intelligence - such a conclusion was made by scientists on the results of testing 4,000 people. The lowest scores were among those who sit at the TV for more than 4 hours. So, the less attention you pay to television viewing, the more effective your mental activity is and the safer the functions of attention are.
18) A well-executed computer game or a developing computer program (for example, Wikium and others), as it turned out, is a good solution for how to make the brain work faster and more efficiently. Belgian scientists analyzed the MRI of the brain in 150 adolescents. It turned out that those who regularly played video games had more brain cells in the area responsible for control, as well as the interaction of emotions and behavior, and, consequently, higher potential for learning new things.
19) If you are faced with a solution to a problem, and you have to make a choice - to assemble a group for “brainstorming” or to find a solution alone, give preference to the second strategy. Accepting responsibility for finding a solution, self-reliance, a high level of claims - all this stimulates and maintains the tone of your intellectual activity.
20) If you work like a maniac, you should always have water for drinking near you. After an hour and a half of hard work (especially heavy physical), the brain is dehydrated so that it can start or speed up the aging process. The teenagers who, according to the experimental conditions, first performed physical exercises, and then sat down to play a video game, made annoying mistakes and missed points if the experimenters asked them to refrain from drinking water.
21) Confidence in your own abilities has a strong positive effect on intellectual abilities, as scientists have found out. When taking a task, make sure that you do not just want to solve it, but you really believe that you can solve it. A certain intellectual courage develops the mind and improves brain function.
22) Make it a rule to learn new things. Canadian scientists measured the level of memorizing in 30 couples who learned to dance tango. It turned out that after training the memory of the dancers has undergone significant improvements. It does not matter what your lessons will be devoted to - a foreign language, singing or building skills. By loading the brain with new tasks for it, you pull it out of its usual comfort zone and make it grow.
23) In science, there is the so-called “Mozart effect” - the influence of classical music on human brain activity. Classical music, due to its structural complexity, requires a certain effort from the brain to keep track of the musical pattern, and thus performs the function of a good simulator.
24) Do not let your gadgets replace your memory. Memorize and reproduce in memory:
- phrases and quotes,
- phone numbers.
For the brain, such exercises are like vitamins for your body. Do you want to think faster? Try the tips!