It is natural to hit a slump sometimes when we are constantly working, without pause. While we may want to keep pushing ourselves to be productive, sometimes taking a break from work may be better for our brain. These are 5 simple ways to boost your mental performance, and get your brain on track again.
1. Find new ways of using your brain
Any brainy activity is much better than none at all, and it can help stimulate nerve cells. This could potentially promote cell development and reduce future cell damage. But this does not mean endless nights of movies and poker games are enough. The trick is to constantly stimulate your mind in a variety of ways that require mental effort, such as learning new skills, languages or crafts each day.
2. Socialise with friends
Humans are naturally social beings. When you constantly communicate and interact with other people, it stimulates emotion, mood and keeps our brain active. Studies have linked socialisation with better brain health, lower risks of dementia and longer life expectancies. Activities such as exercising in a group, playing games with your friends or joining clubs and associations would bring potential health benefits to your brain.
Regular exercise has been found to boost your brain size, particularly the area responsible for memory and learning. The interesting thing to note is that it only applies to aerobic exercises like running and cycling, but not anaerobic ones like resistance training or muscle toning. To add, exercise also improves your sleep and mood, as well as reduces anxiety and stress, which may help slow down cognitive impairment.
Studies have shown the effect of dreaming on improving learning, memory and performance. In one such study by Harvard, participants who slept and dreamt for 90 minutes performed better at a task compared to those who didn’t. Having a good’s night rest is important, but napping can also help. While it will not directly make you smarter, it can potentially help with problem solving.
Meditation has been found to rewire our brain networks that improve our mind and body health. Meditating can boost our brain functions, increase attentivity, lower stress levels, improve blood pressure, and may even help us to make smarter decisions. Apart from our brains, meditating can also help improve our inflammatory response and DNA stability, which may potentially increase our longevity.