18 Amazing Brain Hacks That Will Change Your Life Forever
The saying goes that there’s more than one way to skin a cat (don’t sweat it if you are cat lover we won’t ever skin your cat – cross my heart!). In the same way there’re a dozen different ways to unlock our brains tremendous repository of pent-up potentials. While our earlier article on the 25 ways science says we should train our brain to become smarter might seem like a real epiphany for aspiring brainiacs, today however, we’d be talking about something yet more thrilling on maximizing our brain power. Guess what it is? Good try! It’s about the 18 amazing brain hacks that will change your life forever. So let’s get to it.
(1) Remember Long Lists With “Memory Place”
Have you ever tried recollecting a long list of 30 items you had written at any time? So how did it go? I bet you could only remember the first 5 to 10 items but you forgot the rest. That happens to nearly every one of us but did you know you could remember every item on your lengthy lists of items if you could only learn to make the most of your spatial memory? Here is how it works.
First pick a familiar place that you know well and can imagine easily. This could be the inside of your house, the layout of your neighborhood or anything else. Next thing, imagine yourself walking along a specific route in that place and associate an item on your list with each location. Using the layout or your house or neighborhood to mentally visualize each item on your long lists will work wonders and make it incredibly easy to recite a list of items. In one 1968 study, college students were asked to memorize a list of 40 items by associating each item on the list with a specific location around campus. And did it work? You bet! The students were able to remember 38 of the 40 original items on the list.
(2) Go On A Little Fast
Fasting has been proven to be one of the most effective brain hacks. Fasting is willing abstinence or reduction from food or drink intake. The most effective fast with long term benefits is fasts that lasts 24 hours twice a week without food intake. It doesn’t have to be a dry fast where you can’t take any water. During your fast, ensure you take lots of water to remove toxins in your body. Usually during the first hours of fasting, the body burns all carbohydrates and then switches to other energy forms. While the brain weighs only 2% of body weight, it however consumes 20% of its energy. Thus, in a typical 24 hour fast, the brain consumes its main energy source which is glucose and stored glycogen. Once this energy source is depleted, your brain starts using ketone bodies to fuel itself which is called ketosis. Ketone bodies are produced from burning fats stored in the body. After 24 hours of fasting, using ketone bodies as main energy source the brain becomes very efficient and starts doing the following;
1 On starvation response, your brain speeds up neurogenesis (which can speed up synapse formation)
2 It makes you very focused and you can get much done as result
3 Your sense become alert and sensitive
4 You can think clearly and a little differently
5 You’ll feel very good
6 It will decrease the risk of having stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and others
7 It can help you also cope with depression
(3) Chew A Gum When Stressed
Haven’t you already noticed that certain notable celebrities chew gum sometimes? I’ve noticed Ronaldo of Real Madrid do this on the pitch a lot. So what are the benefits? Studies have shown that the chewing of gum improves alertness, reduces sleepiness and counters the effects of stress and anxiety.
(4) Get Rid Of An Irritating Song Stuck In Your Head
There will be situations when some irritating song will get stuck in your head and your brain will know just how to annoy you by constantly replaying its annoying tone. So what can you do? Just try to concentrate at the end part of the song and continue to end it, all in your head. And ta-da, It’s gone!
(5) When In Pain, Think Of Something Delicious
This is an improvised technique for dealing with pain, like one of those toe-dashing-stone kind of pain. To reduce the biting pain, try to deviate your concentration to anything delicious like burger, ice-cream or whatever excites you and the pain will peter out.
(6) Try The Duchenne Smile
Finding it difficult to muster a smile? Don’t sweat it anymore. Have you tried the Duchenne smile? Here it is. Just try to smile with all your cheek muscles stretched wide and keep your face excited. It’s a sure banker for instant happiness and the one time when you realize that “faking it” actually works.
(7) Exercise Your Brain As You Would Your Body
Your brain needs exercise too to stay fit and sharp the same way your body does. Take advantage of apps that provide mental exercises for your brain like Elevate, Neuronation, Lumosity and others.
(8) Having Trouble Sleeping? Here Is One Brain Hack For Sleeping
There will be times in life when sleep will run farther away from you the closer you get to it. Imagine the irritation of rolling from side to side on your bed at 3.am. in the morning hoping to find sleep. It sucks right? Tell me about it! Have you tried the 2 minutes hack to trick your brain into sleeping? Breathe in slowly for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and then exhale slowly for 8 seconds. Repeat this 2 to 3 times for a sound sleep.
(9) Your Brain Is Obedient Enough To Do Whatever You Tell it.
Have you watched one of those genie movies and just wished you had one who could make your wishes a reality just by the wave of a magic wand (like that genie in Aladdin). Has it ever crossed your mind that you’ve had your own conjurer or genie all by yourself while you were off daydreaming? Still don’t know where it is? Let me help you. It’s your brain. It turns out your brain can’t tell the difference between completely imagining something and actually experiencing it. What this means is that if you can only picture doing something you actually hate doing, then your dislike for it will just vaporize as though you did it for real. When you allow your fear or dislike for a task you ought to do occupy your mind, then chances are your mind will see the task as something to really avoid. But if you imagine doing the task over and over in your mind, by the time you approach the task, you’ll feel the urge to really do it. That means your genie believes and does whatever you tell it.
So if you want to be wealthy all you have to do is imagine yourself getting wealthy, visualize the steps involved like investing, saving and in time you’ll have the experience – which is actual wealth. But note, you must visualize the processes involved in actually getting your task done and not just the final outcome. This genie doesn’t do things that way. Do this for everything else you want to see happen. Trust me it works.
(10) “Smell” Yourself More Attractive To The Opposite Sex
You can make yourself attractive to the opposite sex just by thinking over and over that you smell terrific research has shown. By believing you smell great to the opposite sex (without actually wearing any real cologne) the opposite sex will find you more attractive.
(11) Say “15 Minutes More” To Do More
There will come times when you’ll be swamped up by work and you will feel like you’ve had it. When you are in those moments just look at your watch and tell yourself “15 minutes more”. Trust me, this trick works and all of sudden you’ll find the motivation to even work beyond those fifteen minutes. Go try it!
(12) Raise Your Eyebrows To Summon Creativity
Whenever you are feeling low or running out of ideas for anything, just raise your eyebrows. It has been scientifically proven that raising your eyebrows in your down moments can activate the creative part of your brain and energize you as well. Next time you are down that road, raise your eyebrows and widen your eyes and just watch!
(13) Listen To Music To Enhance Your Performance
Listening to music when you have something to do but feel drowsy or fatigued keeps you very active and alert. Research has also shown that listening to pop music (or classical music) before performing any task produces the Mozart effect which enhances one’s performance as it improves attention, memory and even lessens depression and anxiety. I enjoyed reading more, lasted longer and even retained more whenever I read back in school listening to music (it also happens that time flies faster whenever we listen to music). Don’t footballers listen to music on their headsets and only to score screamers for goals?
(15) Rewire Your Emotions With Meditation
Spend a few minutes of time each morning meditating. Sit still, close your eyes and inhale and exhale. Got it? Meditation rewires your brain, dispels negative experiences and unloads years of mental and emotional baggage. In the end, it makes you even smarter.
(16) Feed Your Brain If You Want To Be Smarter
Your body burns food for fuel to keep you healthy and fresh. So too the brain needs brain food for maximum efficiency. Eating lots of brain food has the benefit of making you super smart, protects your brain from oxidative stress, and the effects of age-related conditions like Alzheimers. Eat lots of blueberries, avocados, take coconut oils, egg yolks and other foods rich in antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and minerals.
(17) Looking At Sick People Boosts Your Immune System
I know it’s a ridiculous proposition to even suggest gawking at sick people has any benefit. But it does. The rule is “look and live!” and research has proven that looking at sick people primes your immune system against the onslaught of the particular sickness you had seen. Thus, you are better equipped to fight a cold after merely looking at anyone suffering from common cold. Works for a range of other sicknesses. But ensure you don’t hang round sick buddies for too long – it’s counter-productive.
(18) Writing Things Down On Paper Improves Retention
Physically writing down things you’d like to remember increases the likelihood that you’d remember them. This is a hack that taps into the power of the brain-hand coordination. The next time you want remember something you’ve read, just pick a pen and paper and write. Is that it? Yep! But I didn’t say “type down”