Brains rely on a constant stream of nutrients, blood sugar and oxygen to produce energy that facilitates learning, thoughts and actions. Though the brain makes up about two percent total body weight, it requires about twenty percent of the body’s total oxygen intake.
The following techniques can improve mental ability:
1. Travel new routes to inspire different thoughts.
2. Avoid being stuck in a rut. Visit new restaurants and experience the flavors of various cultures. Vary the places you vacation.
3. Socialize with intelligent people. Have in-depth discussions.
4. Ask questions and get answers, even if you have to look them up yourself.
5. Sharpen your senses by noticing as many details as possible.
6. Absentmindedness means the mind was not present on the matters at hand. “Be Here Now,” truly is good advice.
7. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Learn experientially when possible.
9. Exercise increases the body’s intake of oxygen and speeds up nerve impulses between brain cells. Work up a sweat three times a week.
10. Read challenging things.
11. Use your nondominant hand for several minutes daily for simple tasks to stimulate different neural pathways.
It’s a perfect time to start something new as you know winter is coming.
12. Color therapists say yellow is cerebrally stimulating. Highlight important passages you read in yellow. Wear yellow. Use yellow decor in places where mental work is done.
13. Observe Nature.
14. Write down details – phone numbers, things to do and goals. Getting things out of your mind and onto paper helps free you for more creative endeavors. Keep an engagement calendar. Record flashes of brilliance and words of wisdom!
15. When taking classes, sit in different places to gain different perspectives.
16. When attending lectures, take notes on key words and phrases.
17. When wanting to remember something, repeat it aloud to yourself. Visualize it being imprinted upon your brain.
18. To remember names, associate the name with a picture. Visualize Bob turning into a bobcat. Right after being introduced to someone, use their name. “It’s nice to meet you, Denise.” If you don’t quite catch how to say their name, ask how to spell it.
19. When learning something important, with your mind’s eye, see yourself registering the information and filing it. Then practice retrieving it and refilling it.
20. Think positively. You’ll do better if you affirm “I can pass this exam” rather than “I’ll never make it.”
21. Do your best to avoid emotional stress.
22. Avoid damaging substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, pollutants and MSG. Some medications adversely affect the brain.
23. Studying before bed is said to be most effective.
24. Work in teams. Draw on the skills and ideas of your friends and co-workers. Brainstorming where you record wild thoughts and ideas often leads to fruitful concepts.
25. Break negative thoughts with diversion. Go for a walk. Call a friend. Go to a film.
26. Creative people usually retain a childlike quality. Play!
27. Visualization practices mental gymnastics. Einstein supposedly came upon the Theory of Relativity while visualizing flying along at the speed of light.
28. Play mentally challenging games like Chess or Scrabble.
29. Exercises to improve memory are called mnemonics where one makes up interesting information to help remember something. To remember the planets in their order of distance from the sun – M ary’s V iolet E yes M ake J ohn S tay U p N ights. P eriod!
30. Learn things of value for your entire life. Keep an open heart and mind. Be open to the possibilities!
From the Zen