Four Essential Tips for Rewiring Your Brain

Posted in Agency Life
Rewire Your Brain

The most complex thing in the world might be the human brain

It’s hard to compare brains to computers, but when you think about how creative, innovative, and insightful our brains can be, it’s quite spectacular. Yet as extraordinary as our brains our, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be improved. Indeed, with a bit of conscious effort you can rewire your brain to make it even more productive. And in the modern knowledge economy, nothing beats brain power.

Figuring out how to “rewire” your brain can lead to increased personal and professional performance. Now obviously, your brain isn’t made of literal wires. However, it is made up of synaptic networks, cells, and organic processes. The science here is immensely complex. Yet it does appear that with targeted effort it’s possible to improve the functioning of the human brain.

Indeed, even without conscious effort our brains will change over time. It’s part of growing up and aging. In many cases, this growth is beneficial. We’re all smarter now than when we were kids. On the other hand, as we approach the twilight of our lives, many people experience decreased brain function.

Regardless, throughout the entire cycle, there are opportunities for us to influence the growth and productivity of our brains. So let’s look into some methods for increasing brain function.

1. Stress is the bane of our brain

Stress has certain useful functions and in small doses can actually be helpful. It can help us focus effort and stay committed to the task at hand. However, stress is something that’s always best in small doses. Unfortunately, many people are overburdened with stress.

In order to maintain or increase productivity, it’s vital to manage stress. There are a lot of ways to do this. You can start by taking a deep breath. The extra dose of oxygen and slow, rhythmic motion can help you relax.

However, that’s just the first step. There’s no one size fits all approach to reducing stress, but a safe next step is to look at what’s stressing you and to see if there is a way to alleviate it. Workload too much? Can you reduce the workload or get help? Personal issues? Is there a way to resolve them?

Reducing stress is no easy task. Regardless, doing so is perhaps the best way to increase productivity.

2. Meditate Frequently and Truly

Some people think of meditation as a buzz word. Perhaps for some “gurus”, it is. Still, research has found that meditation can actually change your brain structure. Moreover, meditation can improve your brain structure and productivity.

First, it appears that meditation actually increases gray matter in the brain stem. In other words, you’re packing more neurons into the same space. Neurons, in turn, are important for a wide range of brain processes. Indeed, our thinking is directly correlated to the firing of individual neurons. So the more neurons you have at your disposal, the better.

Increased neurons aren’t the only brain benefit meditation has been linked to. Mediation also seems to increase cerebral blood flow. Our brains require a lot of oxygen and nutrients. This means your brain needs a lot of blood. Meditation can help ensure that your brain gets just that.

Further, meditation can also help reduce stress levels. By meditating, you can help clear your mind and regain focus. This can reduce stress. Meditation won’t immediately remove most sources of stress, such as a tough workload. However, in the long run, increased productivity could help you get over a lot of these stress-related hurdles.

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3. Lifelong Learning Can Train the Brain

When people think of education, they often think of formal education, such as high school and college. Such formal education is certainly important. However, these systems are far from the only opportunities you have to educate yourself. Education is a life-long process and one that can be pursued formally and informally.

With the rise of the World Wide Web, it’s now easy to find online learning programs. Some are offered through formal institutions, such as universities. Others are offered through companies, non-profits, and other non-educational organizations. All of them offer chances to continue your education. Try to find educational topics that are stimulating, will further your career, and will improve your skills.

Moreover, don’t focus only on formal opportunities. Informal education can be very effective. Buy a book, subscribe to a trade magazine, listen to Podcasts, whatever. There are many different opportunities, so look for the ones that will fit best with your life and that will also stimulate your brain. By doing so, you can use education to improve your brain function, focus, and other mental attributes.

4. Chose Stimulating and Healthy Hobbies

You’ll need to take a break at some point. If not, stress levels are going to build up and you’re going to find yourself overwhelmed once again. Rest and respite are a natural and important part of life and maintaining a healthy brain. However, not all R&R is created equal. When choosing hobbies and what to do for fun, you should choose activities that will improve your brain.

How about a nice long jog, or a long hike up into the hills? Exercise can improve blood flow, increase muscle mass, and otherwise contribute to a healthier body, brain, and life. As a result you’ll see your workflow improving as well. Healthy hobbies aren’t limited to just physical exercise either. Like video games? Are there games you can play that are intellectually stimulating? Say puzzle games? Such games are both fun and also stimulating.

When it comes to choosing hobbies, you have to pursue your interests. Indeed, pursuing interests can help you rewire your brain. Still, not all choices will be equal. Passive hobbies, like watching TV, are generally not as stimulating as interactive hobbies, like solving puzzle video games.

Try to find hobbies that will get the gears in your brain turning. You can’t lose sight of your goals, work, and other ambitions, but intellectually stimulating R&R can be a useful method for rewiring your brain.