100 Ways to Make Your Brain Better, Faster, and Stronger
In today’s fast-paced, competitive world, building your brain power gives you an edge in the job market as well as other aspects of life. These tips will teach you how to boost your brain and memory to increase productivity and make you a superstar at trivia.
Nutritional Brain Boosters
1. Eat foods with lots of omega-3 fatty acids to boost your brain.
2. Avoid sugary snacks and other junk.
3. On a related note, healthier eating promotes a stronger brain.
4. Get just the right amount of caffeine. Not so much that you’re stressed or unable to sleep, but just enough to focus.
5. Ditch the alcohol and drugs. Those old afterschool PSAs were right—these are one of the quickest ways to keep yourself from thinking clearly.
6. Embrace multivitamins and fish oil, as they’re a great chemical brain booster.
7. Embrace red wine in small amounts. Believe it or not, 3 glasses or less for men and 2 glasses or less for women can actually protect your brain cells.
8. Eat blueberries. Besides being delicious, they help your brain focus.
9. Be sure to eat breakfast. A hungry body is a hungry mind.
10. Eat lots of fiber for a more balanced body. It balances your mind, too.
11. Eat lots of foods high in antioxidants, as it helps shield your brain cells from decay.
12. Get lots of folic acid to prevent memory loss. Consult your doctor first though.
13. Eat lots of strawberries to boost your antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
14. Drink lots of water. It’s good for you, and avoids brain-killing dehydration.
15. Avoid too many food additives, as they can slow your thought processes to a crawl.
16. Beware diet sodas. Certain studies think the aspartame within may harm your brain cells.
17. Brew some tea and drink it. The creation of it is relaxing, and drinking it sharpens your mind.
18. Try to eat at different restaurants in town—engaging new tastes engages the brain.
19. Avoid standing too close to the microwave, or your brain cells will be over easy.
20. Use an organizer, whether paper or electronic, to keep yourself focused.
21. Keep a journal of major questions you have, and check them off as you research answers.
22. Get enough sleep. While everyone remembers those late night study sessions in college, avoiding the solid 8 hours is a good way to drain your brain.
23. Try to do things with your non-dominant hand—it’s tied to parts of the brain that normally don’t get to come out and play.
24. Whenever you are learning something new, take copious notes. Afterwards, make annotations of the questions you still have.
25. Map out your upcoming day visually; this is a great way to maximize your productivity.
26. Beside all of the items on your to-do list, scribble what the importance of that item is. That helps bring meaning to your day-to-day actions.
Big Brain Tips
27. Find the best way you learn—auditory, visually, or kinesthetic.
28. Read as much as you can, about as many subjects as possible.
29. Try relocating yourself. You may think much clearer at the park or the gym than in your home or office.
30. Volunteer. You never know what or whom you’ll learn from while you are serving your community.
31. Walk away from a problem after you’ve pondered it, and come back to it later.
32. Exercise to clear your head.
33. Turn the boob tube off. Ever see a kid study hard when their favorite show is on? No? Why do you think you’ll fare better?
34. Go back to school. While not the option for everybody, there’s few better ways to learn something new.
35. Take a freelance job if you can. You’ll explore new materials and tasks outside of your everyday experiences.
36. Tackle philosophical questions. Ponder the great questions—what is truth? What is beauty? How can we define these, or should we define them?
37. Tackle ethical questions. Try to ponder both sides of tough issues like abortion—you’ll learn a lot, and stimulate your brain.
38. Read an encyclopedia…for fun, even. This is a great way to stay in touch with the history lessons you may have forgotten.
39. Take on your worst school subject. If math or science vexed you in your youth, go back and tackle them now. You’ll learn a lot, and build confidence in your own capacity to learn.
40. Rearrange your home and office. While you don’t have to go fully Feng Shui, a change of view at home can serve just as well as stepping out of the house for your brain cells.
41. Keep track of the news. While you don’t have to be your dad slumped over the evening paper, the sheer proliferation or TV and Internet news sites makes it easy to watch current events unfold.
42. Read scientific journals whenever possible.
43. Take a different route to work or school, and try to really focus on all of the new sights and sounds.
44. Even when you’re stuck doing the same old boring tasks, try to research (or create) new ways of doing them to keep your mind fresh.
45. Take a break from your deep thoughts for your favorite video game or trashy TV show. This helps you come at old problems from a new direction once you’re done.
46. Listen to political talk radio in your car, particularly for views you disagree with. Think of cogent disagreements to their rhetoric to get your mind grapes going.
47. Search the Internet for answers to your questions. While LOL cats aren’t exactly a brain booster, searching for answers helps fire all of the cylinders in your brain.
48. Sit up straight. Good blood flow follows good posture, and good thoughts follow that.
49. Keep the temperature cool, but not freezing; this helps focus your thoughts.
50. Model a person you wish to emulate; this is a great way to learn new things and become a better person in the bargain.
51. Make use of dead/spare time with audio books. All of a sudden your boring commute has become your morning and evening class sessions.
52. Develop 5 and 10-year plans, and adjust your learning and organization to meet them.
53. Channel the power of positive thinking. Negativity just shuts your neurons down.
54. Visualize your goals—both long-term and short-term.
55. Avoid sensory deprivation—when your brain has only you to keep it company, bad things (visions, voices, etc.) happen.
56. Clear your head by spending a day without any technology. Yes, that means your cell phone, too.
57. Try to recognize things in your peripheral vision—this keeps your mind and your eyes sharp.
58. Try to eat blindfolded, or watch TV with your ears covered. The lack of one sense will force your others to overcompensate.
59. Take a little time to be alone and relax each and every day.
60. Try to experience something new each and every day.
Creative Brain Boosters
61. Try to avoid stress, and never try to solve major problems while you’re stressed out.
62. Try new things—go where you’ve never gone and taste what you’ve never tasted.
63. Read literature, as well. It combines empathy, philosophical and ethical questions, and other matters that keep your brain racing.
64. Explore your creative side—writing, art, and the like—to boost your cognitive side.
65. Take MIT’s free online courses and school your brain into shape.
66. Explore local culture. Forgo another football game for a trip to your local art museum or library.
67. Play an instrument. This stimulates your brain by asking you to think of things in an entirely new way.
68. Having sex is a great way to de-stress and begin concentrating.
69. Take up a new hobby. Learning new rules and meeting new people really stimulates the noggin.
70. Relax. Whether you’re deep in meditation or just feeling mellow, this is a great way to surf your brain waves.
71. Become a teacher, coach, leader, etc. Teaching knowledge to others really helps it stick with you.
72. On a similar note, write as much as you can. Blog, write e-mails, articles, papers, whatever it takes to help knowledge stick with you.
73. Talk to others. There’s no easier way to get a new perspective on an issue than to simply ask for it.
74. Listen to lots of music. This helps stimulate your mind, and serves as a rockin’ de-stressor.
75. Learn a new language. While learning anything is good for your brain, this literally provides an entirely new way of thinking for you.
76. Deliberately read books that normally aren’t to your taste—if you love romance, try a thriller or historical fiction to stimulate the brain.
77. Watch or read something that makes you laugh very hard. You’ll de-stress, release dopamine, and actually be a better thinker for it.
78. Dust off old yearbooks and scrapbooks and embrace the nostalgia of all those old neurons firing.
79. Hang out with people who love to dish about topics you’re unfamiliar with. You’ll learn a lot from them, and be prompted to learn more about the topics on your own.
80. Developing your intuition is one of the best ways to boost your brain.
81. Listening to classical music—particularly Mozart—can help stimulate your brain.
82. Have a copy of famous quotes, and read it regularly. It’s a great way to get a lot of different perspectives.
83. Keep a dream journal, and try to figure out what your mind is showing you.
84. Study ancient rhetoric—you’d be surprised how much it applies to the 21st century.
85. Write summaries of books after you read them—this helps reinforce what you’ve read.
86. Buy art that you don’t like. Analyze it every day, and articulate your issue with it.
87. Work on your vocabulary—the more you can articulate thoughts, the more you’re thinking.
88. Use social networking tools like Facebook to take thought-provoking challenges and engage friends in debates.
89. Try to look at things through your child’s (or at least, a child’s) perspective; this is a great way to re-discover the world.
Fun and Games – All work and no play is, well, no fun
90. Play competitive brain games such as Trivial Pursuit—you’ll have fun and learn at the same time.
91. Play puzzle or logic games such as crosswords on your lunch break or on the way to work to keep your brain in shape.
92. On a related note, play video games to boost your brain; Nintendo has several DS and Wii titles designed for this very purpose.
93. Play a sport. Despite the dumb-jock stereotype, this mixes learning new rules and strategies with an exercise-fueled endorphin release.
94. Sudoku is a fun and easy way to boost your concentration powers.
95. Try to solve anagrams.
96. Though downright stereotypical for braininess, playing chess is a great way to get you thinking several steps ahead.
97. Play with your pet or child. It makes you happy, which—surprise, surprise—makes you a better thinker.
98. Build a model—it requires intimate concentration, which boosts your brain immeasurably.
99. Try yoga—as cheesy as it sounds, it really does relax your body and your mind.
100. Learn how to juggle —eventually, your brain will be as fast and non-stop as what you’re juggling.
Don’t just stop at these 100 tips on making your brain bigger. Try other methods you find to help you remember where you put your keys and return those over due movies.
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