1. A “Smart” Diet
Your mind is a body part, and like any other body part, it’s directly affected by the type of diet you’re on. If you eat a lot of foods which are high in cholesterol, sodium and saturated fats, your diet will negatively affect the blood circulation to your brain and your weaken body’s ability to manage stress.
On the other hand, foods like cruciferous vegetables, berries, barley, green tea, nuts, steel cut oatmeal and quinoa will promote healthy hormone levels and blood circulation. The healthier your body is and the easier time you have managing stress, the easier it will be for you to concentrate and to think clearly.
2. Daily Meditation
Your mind gets cluttered with thoughts during the day and meditation is the only way to clear out those thoughts and restore sound thinking. 15 minutes a day is sufficient and if during this time you practice proper breathing, relaxing your body and clearing your mind of all thoughts, positive or negative, you’ll have an easier time focusing, absorbing information and retaining it.
Positive affirmations spoken aloud every morning and every evening can have a significant impact on your capacity for creative thinking, critical thinking and your ability to remember important information like names and dates.
A positive affirmation should state, in the first person, a specific character trait which you want to develop or a goal which you want to achieve. The following are three examples of positive affirmations for increasing your brain power:
“I am a clear thinker, with a sharp and accurate memory.”
“I think well under pressure and always recall critical details quickly.”
“I am creative, insightful and I think well on my feet.”
4. A Daily to Do List
Most of us aren’t able to remember important things or to think creatively because our mind is too occupied with details about what we have to get done that day, that week or that month. Take 15 minutes every morning or every evening, and write down everything you have to do for the day ahead of you.
Take also an hour on a Saturday or a Sunday to write down your weekly plan. Keeping a written to do list will free your mind of the everyday clutter which keeps most people stuck; a written plan will also cut back on negative, self-sabotaging behaviors like worry and procrastination.
People who exercise on a regular basis (5 days a week for 30 minutes to an hour a day) get better blood circulation to their brain and to their muscles and organs. This means better concentration, more rested sleep, greater ability to manage stress and thus a higher capacity for creative, focused thought.
A good balance of cardio vascular exercise and resistance training is best, but you can also choose to combine some of your exercise time with your meditation time by practicing Yoga.
Self-hypnosis combines the principles of meditation and autosuggestion and can be used to fill you mind with positive thoughts and beliefs. These beliefs will cause different behaviors and help you tap into your full potential for learning, thinking critically, being focused, memorizing data and solving problems while under pressure.
People who use self-hypnosis to increase their brain power also consistently report improvements in their mental, emotional and physical well-being. If you’re short on time and want to combine autosuggestion and meditation, try doing 15 to 20 minutes a day of self-hypnosis techniques.
7. Having a “Brain Breakfast”
The way you start out your day has a strong impact on your mental and emotional state throughout the rest of the day. Instead of getting right out of bed and checking your email or thinking about what you have to get done that day, give yourself a “brain breakfast” by doing something which stimulates your mind .
Some people like stimulating their mind with puzzles; others enjoy reading, writing or playing music and some simply use meditation. Find something which stimulates your brain and which helps you sharpen your creativity, your memory and your critical thinking skills and make it the first thing you do for 15 to 30 minutes every morning.
Nothing stimulates the mind like interactions with people who are like-minded and who enjoy synergistic thinking such as problem solving, discussion of critical issues or creative brainstorming. If you want to wake up your mind and reach your full capacity for creative thinking, memorization and critical thinking, start a mastermind group…even if it’s just you and one other person in the beginning.
Think tanks and mastermind groups give you a place to bounce ideas off of other people and this will help you to challenge and to refine your ideas. Discussing things with others will also sharpen your communication skills and thus help you develop clearer and more persuasive language for your ideas.
If you want to increase your brain power, you have to give your brain something to feed on. Reading is one of the best ways to increase your brain power by feeding your mind. Most of us watch too much TV and spend little to no time reading. While a great deal of information can also be absorbed by watching TV or listening to audios, neither of these can challenge the mind like reading can.
Unlike listening or watching where the information is simply fed to you, reading requires your mind to process each word and interpret it. By reading positive, inspiring and thought provoking material every day, you’ll awaken your mind and tap into your natural creative and intellectual potential.
Writing is one of the best ways to increase brain power and to develop greater self-awareness and sharper, more persuasive communication skills. In his book “The 8th Habit” Dr. Steven Covey, claims that writing is like focused exercise for the mind.
Writing forces you to develop clear and organized language for your thoughts so they can be received and digested by someone else’s mind. If you practice daily writing, such as journaling about the books you’re reading, you’ll discover that writing is one of the quickest and most powerful ways to increase your brain power and to refine your communication skills.