If you're not living your fullest potential, then it's time to start questioning the way you think and what you do. One of the best ways to get more out of life is by hacking your brain. We'll show you how with this blog post. Let's dive in!
What Are Brain Hacks?
Brain hacks help your prefrontal cortex work at best, thus improving your cognitive function, memory recall, and overall mood. They can be simple things like drinking water or doing push-ups before a big meeting or work project, or they can be as complicated as biofeedback therapy sessions.
Read on to learn 12 easily practical neuroscience-backed advice that you can apply every day to optimize your cognitive skills.
How can I hack my brain for maximum performance?
A common question that people ask is how to hack their brains. We all want to know the best way or product that can give us an advantage in life and business, so we have put together a list of things you should try for yourself:
Drinking lots of water throughout the day will flush out your toxins and keep your brain hydrated. Our brain is composed of 80% water. Dehydration forces your cognitive functions to decrease due to the shrinking volume in the blood vessels that bring oxygen and glucose to our brains.
Dehydration can negatively affect your cognitive performance, memory, and mood. It also causes brain fog, irritability, and fatigue. Drinking two glasses of water early in the morning has been shown to improve memory and mood during tasks! Hydrate your brain as much as you can, but no more than a liter per hour.
Oxygen is what allows you to read this article right now. Your brain needs a lot of oxygen to thrive. It's proven that when you exercise, your brain develops a protein, BDNF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which supports the maintenance and development of neurons. The more you move, the better it is. Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity three times a week, and if you want to maximize its benefits, get busy with a HIT training, where you alternate faster pace intervals to slower ones.
Take breaks to improve focus and productivity
Forcing yourself to work for long periods of time can lead to burnout, so it's important that you take regular short pauses that will give your brain a chance to relax.
Use the Pomodoro technique and take a five-minute break every 25 minutes. The Pomodoro technique helps you get in the “zone” or into what is known as a flow state.
When you're working with maximum focus on one task at hand for an extended period without distractions or interruptions, you reach peak performance and feel more productive.
Get enough sleep
Sleep deprivation has been linked with increased stress levels which inhibit your ability to think clearly. For maximum brain health, you should take from 7 to 9 hours of sleep according to your circadian rhythm to help your glymphatic system flush out toxins from your brain.
Getting the right amount of sleep each night improves mental clarity, creativity, memory retention, decision-making skills. You increase productivity levels during the day for optimal performance. You also improve weight management goals/success rate and physical health outcomes like blood pressure levels and cholesterol readings, leading to better mental and physical performance overall.
If you're not getting enough sleep, try to avoid blue light a couple of hours before sleep time and build habits that improve your sleep quality, such as no technology in the bedroom, create a pitch-black environment, stretch lightly, or take a bath.
When your brain gets enough sleep, it will do wonders, provided that you feed it with the right food. Your brain is a powerful system that consumes about 20 to 25% of your calories, while it's only 2% of your total volume.
Your diet directly impacts the efficiency of your brain—the healthier the diet, the easier it is to focus on one task. Accessing the infinite data bank of your brain will be easier as well.
Nutrient-dense foods, like dark foods, blueberries, dark chocolate, avocados, broccoli, nuts, arugula, olive oil, salmon, and sardines, are key nutrients for your brain. Avoid processed and sugary food.
Find time at least once a day, whether in the morning, afternoon, or evening to meditate.
Neuroscience has shown that mindful meditation can help your prefrontal cortex stay fresh so that your mental performance doesn't deteriorate. So if you feel like your mind is wandering, try taking a break for some mindfulness!
Brain health is all about balance. It's essential to work out the mind for it to function optimally, just like any other muscle in your body. Likewise, you should give yourself rest days so that the brain can repair itself and rejuvenate after a hard workout session.
Declutter your environment
Your brain needs to be focused on the task at hand. Noise, chaos, and general clutter consume brainpower that otherwise could have been used for higher value-added jobs.
Clean your desk, clean your home, make sure to build a habit of order and cleanliness.
Get rid of distractions, such as things unrelated to your task, switch off notifications on the computer or phone, plan the day in advance.
Take Care of Your Prefrontal Cortex (PFC)
The PFC is the part of your brain responsible for higher cognitive functions such as planning, abstract thinking, and moderating social behavior. It is also linked to decision-making process. It plays an important role in our brain performance.
The brain is composed of two hemispheres, left and right one. PFC is located in the middle part between them - it's called the corpus callosum. It allows both sides to communicate with each other via neurons that link up across this structure, which makes it possible for us to use both parts simultaneously during a task.
It is also known as the brain's command and control center, which means that it takes decisions for you - it tells your body what to do next instead of making those decisions on its own or simply following instincts like other parts of our brains such as the amygdala.
When you get home from a tough workday, it's very likely that your PFC has exhausted the battery. In such cases, if you don't practice any form of mindful meditation, the amygdala will take over.
When that happens, you will be exposed to ill decisions. You'll tend to exaggerate whatever happens to you, especially those things that you don't like, and will enter into a negative emotional loop.
You should never forget that your PFC is not only responsible for rational thinking, but it's a part of the brain that also helps you to behave in social situations.
PFC is responsible for processing information about other people - it tells our bodies how we should react when someone else experiences different emotions. So, if you want to improve your ability to connect with others and have good relationships, you need to take care of this area of your brain!
It's important to take care of your brain. If you feel like it needs a break, try getting outside for some fresh air or spending time in nature. You should also make sure that you are eating nutrient-dense foods and making time every day to meditate.
Decluttering your environment will help clear out distractions so that the PFC has more energy available for tasks at hand. Remembering these things will ensure that you're maximizing your potential with each passing day.
There are many different ways to hack your brain and get the most out of life. We hope this blog post has given you some ideas on how to do just that!
If you want more information, check out our new book "From Agony to Bliss: Turn Your Limiting Beliefs Into Limitless Success" which is filled with tons of advice for performing at your best in all areas of life. Click here if you'd like a copy today :)
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