Ever since our childhood, we have been advised to give our best shot at everything we do, but the question arises whether we are actually doing enough about it. As adults, being caught up in the groove of our work and family life our mental prowess to perform at the raised bar we set for ourselves, as neuroscience tells us.
However, thanks to the new research that sheds light on the plasticity of our brains, you can actually raise your performance bar higher than ever and attain our target by stretching our physical and mental capabilities.
Latest scientific research indicates that physical exercise has the life-changing power of rebuilding, strengthening and fortifying our brain and muscles and sharpens our memory, focus, motivation, and creativity: the cumulative effect of all these changes can help us attain goals we couldn’t have imagined earlier. It hardly needs to be reiterated, therefore, that regular exercise is well worth the effort.
Exercise leads to the activation of the growth of new brain cells, as found by neuroscientists, and also stimulates the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a crucial protein. This protein, also abbreviated as the BDNF, facilitates the formation of new connections between brain cells, protecting the neurons from degenerating. This helps reduce the anxiety levels, uplifts mood, reduces depression, and also tones up overall brain health, which in turn improves your performance bar with a better memory, motivation, and creativity.
“Brain Sweat” Work Up
Just like working out the body, one should also think about working out the brain. The real challenge is that during our middle age, it’s tough to work out a “brain sweat”. At this juncture of our life, we are accustomed to doing things that are routine, like doing similar jobs, indulging in similar leisure activities, and reading similar kinds of books. Such routine acts, while sounding stimulating, have not been stimulating enough. To really stimulate your intellect, you should try out new activities like learning new languages, returning to school, learning to play a new instrument and a new hobby that requires a lot of learning, like calligraphy, coding, doing woodwork or learning to surf. Any method to challenge your brain will result in improved memory, both in the short-term and the long-term.
Building a “Palace of Memories”
This involves the attachment of visual images to what you are trying to remember, the logic being that images stick to our memories longer than words. To make it easy trying to remember many items at once, such visual images need to be grouped together in a single location or scene.
Once You Learn Something New, Take a Break
As shown by the latest neuroscience research, spaced learning patterns maximize our memory. Try taking break periods between learning or study sessions. This is the time that the brain does information processing and cements it into long-term memory.
Pairing Up Movement With Memory
Doing a physical activity while trying to remember facts helps them stick better. Such activities could include pacing back and forth while quizzing ourselves before taking a tough exam or toss around a ball with a friend alongside while discussing an upcoming presentation.
Sleeping Well Every Night
While doing so is important everyday, it’s particularly so after you have learned something new and before we need to recall our new learning.
Merely Thinking Positive Is Not “Enough”
To gain confidence in a certain area, positive thinking and imagination can help immensely. However, when it comes to the accomplishment of a goal, mere positive thinking is actually detrimental. It’s important in such a situation to let the reality sink in and develop realistic plans to overcome the obstacles in the path, rather than be caught off-guard when you actually hit the roadblocks.
Perfecting the Art of Observation
This is a skill that is often underestimated and therefore overlooked. However, keen observation helps us spot inconsistencies in a budget, predict interpersonal conflicts before they erupt, and also, for example, in detecting the typos in a document. Therefore, sharpening our ability of scrutiny is well worth the effort.
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