5 “Brain Hacks” To Boost Your Cognitive Strength Today
Ever walk into a room and have trouble remembering why you did it? Have you ever blanked on the name of a friend you definitely should know? Or do you ever find yourself starting a sentence and then struggling to remember what you wanted to say?
These are all signs of an annoying yet very real issue with millions of Americans called “brain fog.” And as we get older, that fog tends to creep into our heads more and more… sometimes without us even realizing it. And that’s when you tend to hear people say that occasional forgetfulness or trouble concentrating is just “something that happens with age.”
Well, we say that does NOT have to be the case! Full cognitive strength in later years is not only possible -- there are simple things you can do each day to help make it a reality. We’ve found simple “brain hacks” you can implement today that will keep you sharp so that no matter your age, you can stay mentally sharp, make fast, sound decisions, and even amaze friends with your steel-trap memory.
Take a look at these 5 “brain hacks” below.
Most people consider themselves right-handed or left-handed, meaning you feel overwhelmingly more comfortable using one hand for everyday tasks like writing, using utensils, brushing your teeth or even throwing a ball.
When you use your non-dominant hand, that forces the brain to pay extra-close attention to the task at hand, whereas with your dominant hand, things like washing the dishes is an almost unconscious activity. Ultimately, you’re basically confusing your brain and giving it a new problem to solve!
Dr. Lynda Shaw, a cognitive neuroscientist, says using your non-dominant hand “stimulates interaction between the two hemispheres of the brain, meaning new neural pathways develop.”
Try writing a letter to a friend or completing daily household chores with your off hand. You may find it’s more challenging than you think!
We know, we know -- nobody likes a bedtime. Yet staying up late watching TV or scrolling through your phone can have serious consequences on your brain health. The blue light that emanates from smartphones, for example, can disrupt the sleep/wake cycle and the brain’s ability to adapt to changing situations.
A consistent bedtime is key to maintaining a strong, healthy brain. This keeps your circadian rhythm on track so that you can wake up refreshed, with a fully restored brain ready to take on the day. In fact, research has found that people who go to bed at the same time each night are healthier and more successful than those who hit the hay at varying times.
Find a bedtime you can stick to every day and make a commitment to start powering down (no phones, TV or electronics) at least an hour beforehand.
Did you use to keep a journal or diary as a kid? The one you kept hidden from nosy siblings containing all your precious secrets? Well, that was actually boosting your mental health, and you should be doing it as an adult!
Journaling helps boost your mood, because you can prioritize problems, fears and concerns. When you express these emotions, especially in a way you can revisit later, you’re able to track your progress and consider the most effective ways of addressing them.
If it’s been a while since you’ve kept a journal, pick a convenient time to write every day and write whatever comes to mind for 20 minutes. Don’t worry if it’s a little disconnected, and don’t worry about spelling or grammar errors. Just keep writing -- it doesn’t have to be Shakespeare. You can keep a paper journal or digital, though experts say physically writing helps you process your thoughts better.
If you’ve ever had to clean out or organize a room that was in complete disarray, like a garage or messy office, you probably know how overwhelming it can be just looking at the task at hand. You feel like there’s so much to do, and so many things pulling you in different directions, that it can be difficult to start!
Well, science has an explanation for that. Research shows that clutter and disorganization can have a negative affect on our cognitive strength. That’s because our brains like order, and visual cues, and simplicity. And a big mess around your desk is the opposite of that. The visual distraction of clutter can send your brain into cognitive overload, which can sabotage productivity and even reduce your working memory. Clutter has also been shown to increase stress: one study found women who perceived their homes to be cluttered experienced more stress than those who viewed their homes as organized and clean.
Decluttering can feel like a huge task -- and it can be -- so it’s best to “eat the elephant one bite at a time,” as they say. Experts recommend you start small, with a counter or desk, and work your way out from there. It’s also good to set a timer, so you don’t spend your entire day on a clutter zone. It may also help to sort things in three piles: keep, trash and maybe. Make designated areas for things that don’t have them, such as that duffel bag that just floats around the house or that stack of papers that have been on the desk for months.
Bet you didn’t consider this one!
Physical activity in general is good for the brain. You should move every day and keep the blood in the body flowing, as a general rule of health. With regards to your brain, learning to juggle can be immensely beneficial.
That’s because research has found it accelerates the growth of neural connections related to memory, focus, movement and vision. And what’s amazing is the beneficial changes are prevalent even after weeks without practice.
What’s great about juggling is it’s not physically rigorous, costs almost nothing and just about everyone can do it. While it may take a while to get the hang of it, stick with it -- the activity helps you rely on left-brain processes as you focus and analyze the steps needed to keep the balls (or whatever you’re juggling) in the air. And as you get better and better at it, you activate right-brain processes which relaxes you into a more fluid, intuitive motion.
And finally, juggling provides a “growth mindset,” where you learn from mistakes, constantly work on improvement, and strategize for success.
All of these are proven methods to keep your brain active, young and healthy, no matter your age! So please, make time to try at least one of these… Your brain will thank you!
And to truly maximize your cognitive strength, our best-selling solution has helped thousands of people eliminate pesky brain fog, boost memory, improve focus and concentration, and give them the best brain of their lives.
You can learn more about Youthful Brain, Dr. Sam’s “Clear Mind Formula,” right here.
From our journal
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