Tuesday, June 07, 2005

11 Steps to a Better Brain

Recently, I came across this really interesting article - 11 Steps to a better brain - on boosting your mental faculties. In a nutshell, this is what it advocated to boost one's brain power.
  1. Taking neuro drugs in a controlled manner might help in improving one's mental faculties. Eg: Taking Ampakines are said to make an elderly person perform like a much younger person (Sic). And with the help of modafinil, sleep-deprived people can perform even better than their well-rested, unmedicated selves.
  2. Eat the right foods. What you eat can affect how you think. Stay away from fizzy drinks , sweets & pastries and fast foods like burgers. And eat more foods containing lots of fibre like green leafy vegetables, foods containing curds (which keep you alert), foods rich in carbohydrates . And make sure you round it off with a good helping of fresh seasonal fruits .
  3. Music boosts brain power simply because it makes listeners feel better - relaxed and stimulated at the same time. But listening to just any music will not do. It should be soothing and familiar. Also research have found that taking music lessons is said to improve the alpha waves of the brain.
  4. Be gainfully employed. Putting your mind to work in the right way could repay you with an impressive bonus.
  5. Learn some easy to pick up memory retention techniques. These help your brain to train itself to tap a greater share of its full potential.
  6. Get a good nights sleep. Never underestimate the power of a good night's rest. A well rested person is able to be more attentive in what he is doing.
  7. Physical exercise can boost brain as well as brawn. Simply walking sedately for half an hour three times a week can improve abilities such as learning, concentration and abstract reasoning by 15 per cent. Exercise is said to promote the growth of new brain cells. The effect works both ways. Just as physical exercise can boost the brain, mental exercise can boost the body.
  8. Do not drink or smoke, try to live quietly and communally, eat healthily and in moderation.
  9. Generating positive thoughts and attitude can help a lot in keeping ones brain healthy - in short , Think no evil, do no evil and hear no evil. For example, spiritual people like saints and nuns are said to have developed better brain power. This may be because their devotion to god has helped develop the positive attitude towards people and life in general.
  10. Pay attention to what you do. You can be smart, well-read, creative and knowledgeable, but none of it is any use if your mind isn't on the job. If you feel distracted, take steps to remove this. Music can help as long as you listen to something familiar and soothing that serves primarily to drown out background noise. Avoid working near potential diversions, such as the fridge. Train your mind to ignore distractions.
  11. There is a mysterious method of thought control you can learn that seems to boost brain power. It is called neurofeedback.

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