Close Eyes Count To Ten Before Eating To Lose Weight Boost Your Brainpower – Easy Ways to Improve Mental Performance

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Boost Your Brainpower – Easy Ways to Improve Mental Performance

Struggling in school? Need your brain boost? No more despair; We’ve rounded up some great ways to support your mental performance that you can start doing today! Each method is very simple, so you can try them with little preparation.

Take catnap

A short break during the day can really help your memory and productivity. This is true for naps of less than 10 minutes and even if you are tired! It’s very common for entire East Asian offices to take a 20-minute power-nup during lunch, then raring to go. Keep in mind that you should sleep less than 30 minutes because you can create sleep inertia that is detrimental to your cognitive performance.

Regardless of any other strategies or methods you use to aid cognition, almost anyone’s mental performance can benefit from a little sleep. And it’s easy to try: find a comfortable position, put your head down and close your eyes (use a sleep mask and earplugs for extra comfort). You’ll hopefully nod off quickly – but if you don’t, fear not! Sensory deprivation still works to rejuvenate your brain.

And, if you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, try some mindfulness techniques. Focus on your breathing and take long, quick breaths. More on mindfulness later in the article!

Eat right

Excessive consumption of sugary foods impairs cognitive function. Because high levels of fat and sugar in your blood have been found to be associated with cognitive impairment. Additionally, an Australian study[2] The impact of fat and sugar on cognition led to the conclusion that unhealthy foods can also harm your mental performance. So, if you want a brain boost, stay away from sugary foods! However, it can be a bit tricky. It’s so much easier to grab a chocolate bar instead of taking the time to prepare a healthy meal. The key is to find convenient foods that are low in sugar that you still enjoy eating. Fruits like apples and bananas are good choices. If you want to eat any vegetables raw (such as celery) then that’s even better. Go away!

Do some exercise

Another healthy, easy way of cognitive support is frequent exercise, according to a UCLA metastudy[2]. A brief workout can help your mood, cognition and your overall physical health, as well as stimulate your brain and help generate new brain cells. Something as simple as a few sit-ups, push-ups or even jogging on the spot can help. In fact, any exercise that gets your heart rate up for 8-10 minutes, done daily, works to help both the body and mind.

Meditation and Mindfulness

There are some super quick and easy mindfulness techniques you can try that will help you relax and energize your mind. Our favorite is the following: Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly, and count to 10. As you inhale and as you exhale, count to ‘1’. Then leave. Inhale, count to 2, then exhale. Repeat this and focus on your breathing. Make sure it’s slow and measured for best effect. When you reach breath 5 or 6 your breaths should be nice and slow, giving you something really concrete to focus on. It helps clear your mind. Focusing on your breath while counting (and not thinking about other things!) will help banish distracting thoughts and refresh your brain. There are plenty more techniques out there – but even short periods of meditation have been suggested to help cognition significantly.

Apps or games to train your brain

In recent years, there has been an explosion in the number of brain training apps, games, and programs that you can carry with you. Since smartphones are ubiquitous, it’s easy to spend an hour a day playing with your phone. Why not replace your normal game with a brain training app that helps you strengthen your mind while playing? Besides, if you are a fan of puzzles, why not try Sudoku or Crossword? You can time yourself to see how much you improve from week to week!

Conclusion

We really hope this article helped! There are lots of ways to improve your mental performance, these are some of the quickest and easiest we could find. If you follow these techniques consistently, you will definitely see improvement in your awareness and performance.

References:

1 = Gomez-Pinilla & Hillman, 2013. ‘Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Abilities.’ Integral Physiology, January 2013. 3(1), pp. 403-428. Accessed online: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4555146/

2 = Beilharz et al, 2015. ‘Diet-induced cognitive deficits: the role of fat and sugar, potential mechanisms and nutritional interventions.’ nutrients, August 2015. 7(8), pp. 6719-6738. Accessed online: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951958/

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