Scientists are still discovering the extent of the mind’s capacity and capabilities. Its neuroplastic nature was only recently discovered, and despite popular belief, the human mind can be developed and strengthened to function optimally. Here are five natural ways to enhance your mind’s performance.
Meditation can physically change the human brain. Studies show that people who meditate regularly develop higher folds in the outer region of the brain through the process of gyration. These outer folds are associated with the brain’s ability to process and save information. More recently, a study conducted by Yale University revealed that long-term meditation hampers the “default” mode network of the brain. This network is responsible for purposeless wanderings of the human mind. Similarly, meditation has also been linked with increased cortical thickness in the hippocampus region of the brain which influences the mind’s ability to learn and remember things.
Regular exercise is linked with increased production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that plays a pivotal role in the creation of new neurons. Exercising also increases blood supply to the brain, which naturally strengthens the human mind by enhancing its speech and cognitive function. Exercise can produce heightened mental clarity, improved reaction time, and an anti-depressant effect on the mind.
3. Play Boardgames
Boardgame lovers are in luck as these games are an excellent way of strengthening the human mind. Studies have revealed that boardgames that require using the mind’s neurocognitive capabilities positively affect the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex regions of the brain. These regions are associated with various cognitive skills and complex memory functions. Similarly, board games also hamper the development of cognitive impairments, such as those related to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
4. Eat Right
Foods rich in omega-3 fats, such as oysters, sardines, salmon, etc., naturally strengthen the brain. The docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) present in these food items activates the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex region, which governs the working memory. Similarly, consuming healthy foods, such as nuts, green vegetables, fruits, etc., leads to increased mental alertness. Of late, intermittent fasting has become popular. Several studies have proved that following intermittent fasting as a lifestyle choice can enhance mental power.
To boost your mental performance, switch to a clean diet. Cut down on sugary and processed foods. If you are a non-vegetarian, include fish in your diet. If you have a sweet tooth, satiate yourself with berries or dark chocolate.
Studies have revealed that sleep deprivation could lead to increased neuron-specific enolase and S100 calcium-binding protein. In simpler terms, this means that lack of sleep can lead to loss of brain tissue. Since the brain performs the function of repair and maintenance during sleep, getting proper sleep is vital to ensure brain health. Researchers have also conducted several studies to study the impact of sleep on memory. These studies have proven that people who get at least eight hours of sleep a day have enhanced memory.
Besides these five activities, scientists have evidence to believe that socializing and learning a new musical instrument or a language, as well as reducing stress, can enhance the mind’s performance. The important factor is to keep challenging and nurturing the mind to grow. The mind needs good fuel, sufficient rest, and proper stimulation to function optimally.
Erika Long loves corgis, curry, and comedy. Always searching for the next great snuggle, flavor, or laugh, she inspires people to live their best life now. When not writing, Erika can be found at her local brewery dominating Harry Potter trivia night.