The mind is a muscle that requires much exercise, though unfortunately, we live in a world with so many distractions (and not the good kind). Thus, it’s not uncommon to feel as though your mind is slowing down or stagnating. We must always be looking for new and exciting ways to stimulate the brain and subsequently exercise this magnificent muscle of ours.
In this article, we’re going to take you through a few mental hacks that will help to improve your overall cognitive function and mental performance. You might find some of these to be somewhat bizarre at first glance, however, upon reading further you will understand the nature of many of these hacks; to test and catch yourself off guard.
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Switch Up Your Routine
We’ll start with an easy one. Most people are creatures of habit and can easily find themselves locked in a routine. And whilst we as human beings need a routine to be happy, if we do not mix things up now and again, we start moving on autopilot, which is a nightmare for the mind. Simple everyday tasks are stimulating for the cortex, but brain activity declines over time without sufficient stimulation.
Thus, it is important that you endeavor to start your day differently. You could take the dog for a walk first thing in the morning instead, or practice some meditation, or perhaps do some brain teaser puzzles whilst enjoying a spot of breakfast. Come up with a list of healthy and productive habits, and then carry out these tasks of a morning depending on your mood.
Take a Blind Shower
Now that you’re off to a healthy start for the day, why don’t you take a blind shower? Again, this might sound rather peculiar, however, it can have some great benefits for your cognitive function. Shut off your primary sense of sight (upon which we rely so heavily) and focus on your other senses in the shower. Use your tactile sense to wash your body, figure out which bottle is which and operate the faucets. You could listen to some music or a podcast whilst you’re at it and really focus on the external.
Little things like this where you put your body on the spot and have to rely on other senses to get by, put your brain in a unique situation where it has to work harder than usual—and hey, you might even have fun.
Use Your Non-Dominant Hand for Simple Tasks
The purpose of these hacks is to give your brain new experiences. Now, when you’re busy with a working routine and trying to survive the hustle and bustle of life, it’s not always possible to experience something different. Unless you have the money to go away and explore another country every couple of months, you’re going to have to think outside the box for new ways to stimulate the mind. For example: have you ever tried brushing your teeth with your opposite hand? What about writing down notes or painting a picture? It sounds silly, but it works.
Teach yourself to become ambidextrous and you’ll notice a huge boost in your mental focus and performance. Keep your mind ticking away by challenging it with alien feelings and experiences.
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Avoid Pointless Distractions
Whatever you are doing, whether it be at work, or focusing on a hobby at home, such as writing a book, if you wish to perform and optimal levels, you must eliminate all pointless and unnecessary distractions. Switch off your phone (or notifications at the very least, in case someone needs to call you in an emergency), and let people know that you do not wish to be disturbed. In order to maintain peak cognitive focus, you need to rid yourself of any unnecessary mental distractions.
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This is not so much a brain hack, but a life goal. Center your life around sleep and ensure that you do everything that you can to get the appropriate amount of rest. We cannot overstate just how important sleep is in order to maintain a healthy mind. If you’re struggling to sleep properly, then you need to find a way to switch off. Again, no phones in bed. For at least an hour or so before your designated bedtime, you should be switching off with a good book in bed. Provided you’ve had enough exercise during the day, you shouldn’t have any trouble sleeping at all.
Exercise Regularly in the Morning
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This is the ultimate brain power hack of all, as there are so many other great benefits that come with it. Exercise is good for your physical health, mental health, and general well-being. If you work out properly, you will sleep like a baby, and it also helps to improve cognitive function as well.
Some people are put off by this because they imagine having to run 5miles of a morning or spend 3 hours smashing the gym. No. All you need is an easy 20 minutes of exercise of a morning and you’ll have the most incredible day. Try yoga if you don’t want to do anything too strenuous. The simple act of stretching and breathing is a great way to start your day.