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Sep 10

How to Boost Brain Power

Coffee is a Memory Booster

Numerous studies and debates have been carried out in order to analyse the performance of the brain when it is subjected to the influence of caffeine. The results found in the various studies show that students who took tests right after studying and drinking coffee performed better on average than those without caffeine intake. It is yet to be determined what the long term consequences are in terms of increased brain power with coffee.

The only proven advantages through coffee intake have been for two aspects. Firstly, speed is increased when carrying out tasks that require little creative thinking, ie. monotone activities. This benefit does not however apply for when you have to think on your feet.

The other shown advantage, is seen in declarative memory, which is thought to be due to the release of adrenaline which is the trigger that triggers our fight or flight instincts, which helps us remember high intensity experiences better.

So to recap, in the short term it helps improve brain speed when performing simple tasks and memorizing, long term, we don’t know yet. This means it will work for memorizing dates for the history test, but having to solve a maths problem will not become easier with coffee.

 

Play the spy game to increase awareness

An exercise which I recommend is to become more aware of your surroundings Try to take in details such as in a restaurant for example. How many waiters are there? How many people are sitting at each table? Describe them. What is the couple at the next table eating? Where are the picture. Over time, this habit will develop your attention skills and spatial memory. The best way to practice this is with a partner with which you keep testing each other on details of the surroundings. As you get better you can check on more subtle or less relevant details.

 

Learn to become fluent in another language.

There is hardly any exercise that works at as many aspects of brain power as learning a new language. Here are the basic features that are addressed:

Memory. Vocabulary changes from language to language and memorizing the terms will work our short term memory.. As we us it over time, concepts will become ingrained which works long term memory.

Associative Reasoning. Some words, phrases and terms will be similar to a language you already know and that click moment is the result of your brain having worked its ass off to make the connection of something new to a concept you are already familiar with.

Flexibility. When you only have a limited array of phrases and structures at your disposal, your brain will make an effort to find combinations that work. And with each new string to your bow, the amount of combinations increases exponentially.

This exercise takes time, but it is time well spent and at the end of it you have learnt a new way to communicate. This in turn it will open you many new doors during the process and down the line.

 

Become the Devils Advocate.

In essence it is defending an argument that you are against. Being able to switch sides in an argument is no easy feat and to do so requires many skills. Flexibility is one of them as your perspective must constantly be shifted from your point of view to the other. Having an open mind is primordial for this exercise as without it we will not be able to put ourselves in a position where we can accept potential alternatives. Empathy is a side result of this method as you with practice you will find that it is easier to understand where other people are coming from. Trust me, this is a great skill to learn, not only for improving your brain power.

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