Some days, for whatever reason, we just don’t function. To get you back on track and firing on all cylinders, we have suggested 10 easy peasy quick fixes for brain fatigue.
1. Be a Book Worm
Any type of reading is beneficial as it trains your brain to absorb vast amounts of information in a short period of time. Additionally you will be expanding your vocabulary. Fiction can also help develop your emotional intelligence, meaning you’ll be more understanding of others.
2. Blind Tasks
“Break your routine and challenge your senses” is the advice from two time US memory champion Ron White. Complete easy tasks with your eyes closed to encourage your other senses to heighten and get different areas of your brain to engage.
3. Breath Through It
Deep breathing for just 10 minutes a day can give your brain a calming boost. Inhaling provides your body with a surge of oxygen; a deep breath will ensure lots of oxygen rich blood reaches and nourishes your brain.
4. Clown Around
‘Nature’ journal published a 2013 study that revealed juggling resulted in brain growth. After 3 months of juggling practice participants showed an increase in grey matter in their mid temporal posterior intrapartial sulcus, an area responsible for visual and motor activities.
5. Dance Like No-one’s Watching
Dancing activates the cerebellum which is responsible for forethought and judgement. It also stimulates the production of brain deprived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that helps neurons communicate more efficiently. Plus, “dancing is social, and social interactions will help neural circuits” says Gary Small, MD, director at UCLA Longevity Centre and co-author of The Alzheimer’s Prevention Programme. So grab a partner and boogie on down.
6. Get Artistic
Whether your artistic skills are on a par with Michelangelo’s, Van Gogh’s or Picasso’s, or you struggle to draw stick men, a simply doodle can boost your creativity. Being arty stimulates the right hemisphere of your brain, which will get your creative juices flowing.
7. Laugh It Off
Laughing causes your brain to release endorphins; this chemical reduces pain and increases overall wellbeing. Perhaps that’s why laughter yoga has become increasingly popular.
8. Listen to Music
Regularly listening to music can make you smarter. Most genres strengthen the right hemisphere of your brain and improve your emotional intelligence. Classical music, however, activates the left hemisphere; in fact studies have shown that listening to Mozart is related to an 80% increase in spatial intelligence scores. This explains why musicians are often good at Maths.
9. Practice Yoga
A recent study involving 30 participants found that yoga results in better brain functioning compared to aerobic exercise. The participants who practiced yoga were “better able to focus their mental resources, process information quickly and more accurately, and also learn, hold and update pieces of information more effectively” reported study leader Neha Gothe.
Our brain can very easily become comfortable in a routine; sometimes it’s good to challenge the norm. Try completing simple tasks, like brushing your teeth, with your non dominant hand. “When you use your non dominant hand you have to activate and engage many different brain regions, it lays down new memories and new wiring” says Allen Sills, MD, associate professor of neurology surgery at Vanderbilt Medical Centre.
Next time you feel your brain needs an instant boost you know what to do!