Brain Power is vitally important , a knowledgeable brain
is a powerful brain.
Did you know that once our brain blueprint is complete ( which occurs sometime
in our mid 20's), it begins to slow down?
From 'senior moments' to Alzheimer's disease, these are all cumulative symptoms of
this slowing process.
But luckily there is something we can do about it!
Aside from memory pills and drugs, we can do something else to slow down the natural
slowing down of our brain.
Just like a fine-tuned athlete at the top of his profession, we must stay in shape mentally.
Well how do we do that? How does an athlete do it?
Well it is through practice, exercise and strength conditioning that top athletes stay
ahead of their competitiors.
Good news we can do the same for our mental condition!
Targeted exercise is as important for our brains as it is for our cardiovascular system.
Brain Power Secrets Revealed:
1. Try an exercise a day.
That is expand your brain, try to solve a problem a day. When you do this you might
be surprised to learn something about how your brain performs, how it does it's mental work.
Puzzles and problem-solving techniques can increase your brain power by increasing your
awareness and allow you to gain better control over your brain.
By learning puzzle strategy and applying it to your everyday world.
This in turn will allow you to power-up your brain cells, (YES, you can actually
work your brain cells and they in turn will make new connections, called
dendrites and axons ), just like a finely-tuned athlete builds up his physical muscles.
Stop and think for a minute to the time when we were children. What did we do best?
Play. Between the ages of 2 and 6 we learned the vocabulary and grammar of a language
we had never heard.
Think of those childhood games, weren't they really exercise and practice?
All that play was actually observance and reaction ; think about it play is how we built our
early thoughts , all those neurons scampering to and fro, eager to encompass all about us.
Therefore we can see that PLAY, is actually a vital resource to advance further learning.
Increasing Brain Power
There are six areas of development we can work on to increase our brain power :
Executive, memory, computation, spatial, language, and social-emotional.
While discussing these in more detail below, at the end of each section will be some
links which you can use to try some brain training exercises.
This area of the brain is in the frontal lobe, right between the eyes, just above the eyebrows,
and is acknowledged as the last part of a maturing brain to form .
It's primary function, or purpose is to respond to new data and adapt our responses.
It is the first mental capacity to deteriorate as we age.
To improve your executive skills set click here for our Executive- Brain Training page
This should actually be entitled Memories plural, because the brain is a
rather efficient device, it uses several strategies for data storage and retrieval.
By understanding the brain's strategies , we can mimic those ourselves and thus
improve our memory in this way.
Really this is a two-fold strategy here .
We have explicit memory( the kind where you are consciously trying to recall or
remember something, and Implicit, (or non-declarative) , which is what our brain uses
to store memories, without us even knowing it is happening.(This is how we learned our
So, we can improve memory by converting new data into long term explicit memory :
1. Write it down, say it out loud, try to explain it to others. Let it rest. Then go over it
again. Nothing new here, right?
2. The second method will be to steal a trick from your brain and use implicit memory.
This is also called (episodic memory), briefly it is how we attach emotional value
to a memory, like a cherished childhood pet, or the name of our first love.
In this method attempt to attach a artificial emotional 'tag' to otherwise dull facts
that you would would normally have no affinity for.
That is , relate all new data to existing memories, that way it gets a hook, or more
familiar feel and you are likely to retain it better
For example a specific smell might trigger that memory, the brain then starts to collect
the other pieces, the snowball starts to roll downhill, picking up momentum, until it reconstructs
the entire vivid memory, as if it is happening all over again.
When you are trying to commit an otherwise dull fact to memory (say a historic date,
or a list of criteria for a diagnosis), create as many emotional "triggers" as possible,by
(a)visualizing the event ;
(b) use association with many different senses and familiar places or events.
(c)Have a strategy.
Strategies are more important to improve memory skills, than mere rote, or mechanical routine.
The best advice: build up your focus, stay on the task,
so don't put away that puzzle the first time you hit the wall, pause, think a minute,
look at the page upside down, re-focus.
Each time you don't quit you are stretching your abilities further, exercising the old
noggin, building your capacity to stick with it longer, that kind of effort is cumulative
and worthy. (Remember if you can't concentrate you can't develop explicit memory
strategies you need to enter new data into memory.)
Most researchers divide the brain's control into two hemisphere's
Left - analytic, linear, serial- processing, it sees every tree in the forest,
analyzing each in due turn.
Right - synthetic, simultaneous, parallel-processing, it sees the whole forest,
not necessarily each tree.
Simple language and math are both linear processes(using sound and sight),
and thus left - brain skills.
More complex problems, for example , Einstein's theory of relativity , would use both hemispheres.
Right to visualize the theory, and left to work out the complicated math involved.
Spatial Of, relating to, involving, or having the nature of space.
Most spatial problems involve visualization skills, using working memory.
Some everyday examples: packing the car trunk, finding your car in a mall parking lot, finding
your way back to the entrance of an unfamiliar building.
To solve spatial problems you must be able to utilize your visual skills, men are more suited to this
task than woman.
Don't believe me? Ask a woman for directions.
Good news you can improve your visuo-spatial skills through practice.
Your brain loves to feel good!
When working out a complex word problem, or puzzle, your brain will release a chemical
called dopa-mine.The more challenging the game, the more dopa-mine released.
The dopa-mine gives us a sense of satisfaction, a feeling of accomplishment, especially
when completing a puzzle, or word game.
Infants and children learn language by sight and sound, think about it for a moment,
even before they reach school-age (which is five in the US), they have already learned most
of the grammar, structure and subtle nuances of our language, independent of formal training.
Therefore most language is linear and left-brained.
English language is a lot more difficult language than most (does that "gh" sound like
dough or rough?).
The 40 + sounds in our language can be spelled in over a thousand different
ways ( is that ghastly or tough? ) .
Consciousness is awareness of emotion.
Emotions begin as the primitive brains responses to changes in its surroundings,
hunger for food, opportunities for reproduction, survival.
The body's automatic reactions to such stimuli, which is the unconscious, is that
which we must be more aware of.
Having this conscious awareness is how we can control our social-emotional reactions.
This awareness allows us to control our primitive emotions, for long term benefit
As an example if the brain detects some passing data as immediate danger,
certain emotional responses are triggered :
increased heart rate, pupil dilation, goose bumps, trembling---
it is these responses we must attempt to control or master through awareness.
It is with this self-awareness then that we can try to restrict those emotions, and also
learn to cooperate better in social situations.
It is crucial to understand your emotions,
to set limitations on your reactions, to increase your self-awareness.