Dr. Matthew Edlund makes a list of eight ways to get your brain to work better and therefore function better. I think I was intrigued by the article because a good, functioning brain is what I and many others want. And if other things aside from stuff given by doctors could work to improve my brain function, I’ll take it.
Anyway, Below are the eight tips:
- Walk it. Even a 20- to 30-minute walk can grow you new brain cells, in sleep, in memory areas.
- Sleep it. You need REM sleep and deep sleep to learn, and perhaps around seven to eight hours total to prevent heart disease, stroke, depression, and infections, all of which can really mess up brain function. Like food, rest is required for your survival. Every sleep-deprived animal eventually dies. If you know what you’re doing, like adding predreaming to your presleep rest time, you can improve brain function and make sleep fun.
- Get it out in nature. Getting out in nature improves mood, resets immunity and increases vitamin D. And natural settings provide huge amounts of unconscious information the brain can then use to make better decisions.
- Make it more creative. New ideas often arrive by adding different experiences to the old ideas in our storehouse of memories. So stroll out of your comfort zone: writers can read children’s books; teachers and parents can watch a group of playground kids handed a new toy; any cook can visit an Asian or Latin grocery and try new vegetables and sauces.
- Use quick, active rest techniques. Very few know that spiritual rest techniques can, in under a minute, provoke senses of awe and transcendence. Then again, most people don’t know that there are four different kinds of active rest — physical, mental, social, and spiritual — and that they can be played together through the day like music, really cutting back on stress.
- Use your body clocks. Your computer doesn’t care if it’s 4 p.m. or 4 a.m., but your brain does. Short-term memory is best in the morning, long-term memory in the evening. Lots of people feel most creative in the morning, though overall alertness often peaks in the evening, a great time to visit with family and friends, asking them all kinds of sometimes far-out questions, which can boost your creativity.
- Pay attention to attention. All your brain really has is attention, your ability to focus, concentrate, and think. The brain only does one thing at a time. Distract it, overload it, do too many things at once, and your productivity, mood, and creativity will suffer. Take breaks or you’ll make mistakes.
- Enjoy sex. Walks can grow brain cells, but in rats, so does sex. What better way to grow new memory cells than to be with someone you love, who cares about you, who you feel understands you? (Sex is also a great way to obtain social rest, with its many benefits for heart, brain arteries, and mood.)
As I read this list, I realize I’m not doing something on the list that’s supposed to help cognitive function. That is, I haven’t been able to go to sleep yet, and it’s 7am! Well, I guess I can try to start following the list tomorrow….