Wanting to be smarter than we already are is one thing a lot of us crave but shy away from simply because we believe it will be time and energy consuming.
There are however simple things we can do which can help to make our brains sharper. If you’re interested in becoming smarter and expanding your mind, follow the 7 simple actions below.
Research has shown that people who exercise frequently tend to perform higher on Intelligence Quotient tests than people who do not.
More so, by exercising regularly, you not only maintain a strong body, but you also stimulate the growth of your brain cells.
Furthermore, performing rigorous exercises can increase the production of neurotransmitters through a process known as neurogenesis.
The overall effect of this is an improvement in concentration and more energy for daily activities.
Learn To Play a Musical Instrument
Learning how to play a musical instrument can also make you smarter in more ways than one.
Skills such as concentration, mathematics, memory and coordination all tend to be well developed in people that play musical instruments.
Learning to play an instrument also has outstanding benefits for the brain. Irrespective of how complicated or simple the learning process of a musical instrument can be, knowing how to play anyone can help to improve cognitive function.
When we learn to play a musical instrument, there’s an improvement in our hearing, audio, memory and motor skills which helps us to better coordinate our memory hearing and hand coordination.
A lot of studies have outlined the effects of video games on the brain. Video games actually have almost the same training effect on the brain as riding a bike or reading a book.
This is because the brain tends to form thousands of new connections while it learns new things. Moreover, the fact that there is a reward system in games tend to improve the players cognitive and motor skills.
As a matter of fact, lots of brain scans have shown that video games tend to affect three parts of the brain. The parts include the frontal lobe which helps to maintain attention, the parietal lobe, which orients attentionand the anterior cingulate, which helps to regulate and control attention.
As such, if you want to reason smartly, you may want to consider playing video games since they help to demonstrate exemplary skills in abstract thinking, deductive/inductive thinking, symbolic thinking sequential reasoning.
Write, Don’t Type
Researchers at UCLA and Princeton University say that students who took notes by hand during classes tend to perform better than students who typed their notes with the use of computers.
Writing by hand tends to work better than typing because it tends to engage and stimulate our brains more. This is because our brains tend to work more when we write than when we type out letters from a keyboard.
The extra work we give our brain by writing helps to keep our minds sharper by clarifying our thoughts. It also helps us remember things better and achieve our goals in a more subtle and friendly manner.
According to a recent study at Emory University, reading fiction novels can have marked benefits on our brains.
The study found out that when we are engrossed with a work of fiction, there is an enhanced improvement in brain function and connectivity. It also improves our ability to put ourselves in the shoes of other people by flexing our imagination in a way that is similar to direct visualizations.
More so, another study found that people who read fiction had a higher probability of empathising with others and tend to have a better understanding of others.
This means that reading more of fictional stories will make us smarter and nicer since we’d be able to see the world from the perspective of others.
According to a study published in Popular Science magazine, coffee containing caffeine can help to make the mind clearer through brain stimulation.
Caffeine primarily acts by blocking the effects of adenosine which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. By blocking the inhibitory effects of Adenosine, caffeine helps to increase neuronal firing in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine.
A lot of controlled medical trials have demonstrated the effects of caffeine on the human brain and most have come to the conclusion that it helps to improve general cognitive functions including reaction time, memory and vigilance.
More so, Coffee also has an amazing effect on our brain, skin and body in general. It is however important to remember that all caffeinated beverages should be consumed with measure to avoid their negative effects.
Being mindful entails being aware of your thoughts and feelings without passing judgement by focusing on the present. Mindfulness helps us to be self-aware, thoughtful, and mentally present when we make decisions.
A research conducted at The Wharton School and published in the journal of Psychological Science, says that “one 15-minute focused-breathing meditation may help people make smarter choices.”
By being mindful for a short period, we can make make more rational decisions since we’d be able to consider all the information available at a particular point in time.