Walking off the field with a limp rouses a round of sympathy from a crowd at a sporting event. They see the pain and sympathize with the athlete and their efforts to just leave the arena.
Watching a person stare at a wall because they can’t think straight garners much less audible sympathy. When it comes to brain optimization, nobody is waiting on the sidelines with a towel and a recharging beverage.
Part of this is because thinking is an invisible activity and the other part is because people react differently and need to dial in on their own mental performance.
Getting the most out of your brain is as much about conditioning before as it is utilizing techniques during use. The following way to improve brain function work from before to after and work best when cycled.
Everything in the brain starts with sleep. You need to sleep deeply and restfully for everything to settle down and stop firing.
Stress, alcohol, and caffeine all interfere with obtaining proper sleep. If you only have the energy to practice one of these tips, focus on making sleep time sacred to enhance brain performance.
Your brain is an organ like any other. It needs to be in motion but it works best when other things are also in motion.
You don’t want to be tired before a test, studying, or a big meeting but you do want to be alert and loose.
Stretches, such as yoga and qigong, and some general warmups get the blood flowing and put the brain on notice that it will need to be ready to go.
Even a high-performing machine gets nowhere without fuel. Your brain runs on a different string of nutrients than other parts of the body. A long-distance runner eats differently than a bodybuilder, so a brain doing heavy lifting also needs a specific diet.
Look for lean proteins, fatty oils, and folates. Yogurt, fish, nuts, and dark greens are the ways to go. Also, learn more about nootropic supplements to shore-up brain chemistry.
- Safe, Maintained Thinking
At times, you feel pent up and nervous. You don’t know what you want to do, you only know that you want to do.
Exercise is often a byproduct of your need to get out of the house, take a walk, feel the blood flowing.
In the same way, you need to let your brain explore random options and thoughts but within a safe environment. Conversational tangents, late-night rabbit holes of Wikipedia searches, and remembering trivial facts are all ways for the brain to feel safe and nurtured.
You don’t want to heed every whim but giving your brain space to think a step beyond produces a type of cognitive flexibility that produces more clarity.
Finally, you can’t act with focus when your thoughts are clouded and bogged down by mood. It’s like trying to walk through mud or thick snow.
Keep your mood in check by prioritizing lingering tasks and offloading small things quickly. The less you have on your to-do list, the more your brain can wander and consider new ideas.
A Step Beyond
It’s easy enough to read about brain optimization, now you need to put it into practice. Write out a list of things to try and then do them. Put in some observations about each and dial-in your best performance.
For more tips and thoughts about your world, keep checking back here.