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How to train your brain

I was wondering how to train a brain. I found a lot of information and decided to share the most interesting pieces of advice here.


Brain training

Today, intelligence is associated with the brain. Yet, ancient Egyptians for example believed that the ability to think comes from the heart, and not from the head.

In his book "The Prehistory of the Mind", Steven Mithen describes the history of human brain development. In the book, the process of human brain development is divided in three phases.

Four and a half (4050 000) to six million (6,000,000) years ago, the brain of human ancestors was smaller than that of modern humans, about one third smaller than the average brain of present day humans. Human intelligence was very limited, too - used only to get food, shelter, to survive and reproduce.

The second phase, from about four and a half million years (4050 000) to one hundred thousand years (100 000) ago, is the period when human speech was developing.

The third period dates back to 100 to 10 thousand years ago, when more complex parts of the brain evolved, which made the appearance and development of culture, religion possible.

Some scholars argue that every part of human brain is responsible for a separate mental activity. For example, there is a part of the brain, which produces faith, hope, love, etc. In the 19th century a(pseudo) science of phrenology was created by German physiologist and anatomist Franz Joseph Gall. He was the author of the idea that different parts of the brain have their distinct functions and, which was later refuted, that by the form of scull, specifically by measuring the concavity of different areas on the scull one can identify to which extent certain functions of the brain of an individual are developed.

How to develop the brain

As many believe, it’s training that plays the leading role in the development of the brain rather than natural ability.

The more you learn, the more the possibilities of your brain expand. If you want to empower your brain you should constantly study and learn.

When a person learns, synapses, new connections form in a certain part of the brain, which help to store information in the brain. When we try to memorize something, our brain sends signals that bypass all the synapses of the brain in search of memories.

The more often we use the information, the faster the signals find it. That is why some things are easy to remember, and there are some that take time. For example, you surely remember your daily itinerary, yet it’s not always the case when you try to get to the place you haven’t been to for some years.

With age, the quality of signals sent by the brain deteriorates, and the road to the memories becomes thorny.

How to train the brain? Which is the best way to do it?

Here are the 7 steps to train the brain

Step 1: Do not hesitate

Scientists have tested the memory of a large group of healthy elderly people. It turned out, that every senior tested showed disappointing result after they were told that with age their memory works worse. So throw away any doubts from your mind. You should be confident to yourself and start to step by step improve your memory.

Remember that negative thoughts tend to materialize. Conversely, bright, happy thoughts attract bright, joyful events!

Step 2: Organize your workplace

Do you know that cluttered rooms, offices interfere with the process of thinking? If you feel fatigue, depression or stress after work or studies, it is very likely that the reason is a badly organized environment in which you work. Take it as a call to action and create a more comfortable and healthy workplace!

Step 3: Always start with the basics

Learn from the children: if you’re trying to learn something new, start from very basic ideas, then proceed to something more sophisticated. For example, speaking a foreign language always starts from learning how to say hello, then goes grammar, spelling and making simple everyday sentences.

If you try to hop on the difficult stuff without proper preparation it’s very likely that you won’t be able to understand important details and nuances. You might also drown in the whole lot of new terminology, fail to understand, get bored and end up not remembering a single thing from what you tried to learn. So step by step start from basics!

Step 4: Turn the boring into fun

The brain has one tricky feature: it tends to better keep things that are funny and enjoyable. So look for ways to turn something boring into cheerful and funny. For example, if you need to remember a long list, make up a story about the items of the list. This way it will be easier to remember! Use your imagination!

Step 5: Build connections

After you’ve learned something new, correlate new knowledge to the fact that you already know on the topic. This creates a single consistent system of information. New information is less likely to be forgotten when it’s firmly connected to previous knowledge. It’s not even possible to memorize for a long time the information which you don’t understand, no memory is capable to keep the information chaos.

Step 6: Take a deep breath - and think clearly

Smooth, deep breathing has many positive effects on the body. The more oxygen is in the blood, the more of it gets to the brain. Few deep breaths help to relax. And this, in turn, contributes to clearer thinking.

Step 7: Stop multitasking

Many people aspire to do several things at once. But do not try to imitate Julius Caesar.

Did you know that, say, watching a movie and a simultaneous conversation with someone reduces the quality of both? Multitasking disorients your brain, and it can’t distinguish the important information. So, focus only on what you want to remember and get rid of extraneous noise

How to develop the right brain

The right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for the visual thinking, perception of artistic images, music, imagination, etc.

To train the right brain listen to classical music, draw, in short any creative activity helps to develop your right brain.

There is a special method of training the right brain. For training you need privacy, quiet and calm environment. Take a comfortable and relaxed posture, close your eyes. Mentally draw pictures that reflect your understanding of the beauty of the world. The duration of such training is from 5 minutes to an hour. You might want to add some relaxing music to increase the effect.

How to develop the left brain

The left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for logical thinking and mathematical abilities, so to train it one should solve mathematical and logical problems.

To train your left brain you could also try solving crosswords, or (it’s also a good way to wake up your brain really quickly) try solving easy number puzzle, or just try adding or subtracting numbers

Now that you know how to develop the ability of the brain, you can see, there is nothing really complicated about it. But the trick is to do it systematically and very soon you will notice that the improvements in memory, better logical thinking, development of intuition!

Based on: http://habrahabr.ru/sandbox/62255/


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