You can’t make yourself cleverer – but you can make yourself smarter. Here’s a sideways look at how you can perk up your metal performance and your problem solving potential with some simple and practical examples that will eventually boost your brain power.
Wake Up: You Need Quality Sleep
Training your brain works the same way as training any other part of your body. It’s got to be in the right state of readiness before you begin. Concentrating for longer and thinking better start with sleeping well! There really is no substitute for a good night’s kip.
Sudoku and crosswords are handy for sharpening up your math and your wordplay, but there are more practical ways to develop the same skills. Give yourself memory tests or make yourself come up with a new joke once in a while- it’s hard when you start but everyone loves a good one liner!
Cards might remind you of your granny but they’re great for exercising your grey matter. And poker is really trending right now – especially online. It’s a game of real mathematical skill. Weighing up the odds and reading the body language of your opponents means you’ll be working on two key areas at once – your calculating qualities and your emotional intelligence. And you don’t have to play for your paycheck – there are plenty of free poker games available.
Challenge Yourself With Something New
This may sound old-school, but studying a new language for a half hour on your way to work can open up a whole new world. Psycholinguists point to the way that your brain is reshaped as you learn. Language classes can be a really sociable way to becoming smarter, more connected (and a much more impressive!) person.
Dance classes may not first strike you as brain training, but you’d be amazed how much you have to take in to master the Salsa. The brain training aspect comes with the combination of physical effort and the marriage of movement with a memorized pattern. It’s great for mind, body and your social life – what could possibly be better?
Learn to Relax
Meditation is a marvel for clearing the mind. It might not count as brain training, but if can learn to meditate properly it can open up your full metal potential. Don’t be put off by what you may have heard, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye!
Control the coffee! Caffeine is great for a short term boost, but it’s only ever a one-off short term wake-up. Too much over too long a period and it can really start to bring you down again. The secret is to time your shots for maximum effect – conquering that post lunch dip for example – but don’t overdo it.
Recent research has shown that so-called brain training games don’t deliver what they promise. We can’t grow new brains, but we can learn to use the one we have better, more efficiently and more effectively. You don’t need to spend money to do that, you just need to learn to think smarter.