What is brain power? It’s defined as your intelligence, or the ability to think and understand. New studies have shown that as we get older our brain doesn’t automatically regress – and there are a number of things that you can do in your everyday life to keep mentally sharp.
We may actually become more intelligent with age as we continue to process and retain more knowledge. Although this information may be dealt with at a slower rate, research has shown that prevention strategies can slow down or guard against the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia. See more on how to increase your brain power here…
Understanding Brain Function
The brain has limited capacity and is often subject to information overload. This is simply data passed through the brain without solid retention – where we can’t tell whether the material is useful or not. Mental energy is distributed between many things at the same time, and there are ways to aid your brain to sort through all this information effortlessly.
The higher orders of brain capacity are categorised under the terms of cognition – intellectual function, memory, speech and language, perception, and decision-making. And behaviour – the way in which you act and conduct yourself depending on your personality type of being optimistic, pessimistic, trusting, fearful, realistic, skeptic…
Memory involves three key functions – storing information, archiving it in a logical way, and retrieving it when you need it. How to improve brain power is detailed below:
How to Train Your Brain
Increasing brain power can be achieved by improving memory and strategic vision. This can be long or short term, depending on where you want to be at a specific time in the future. The importance of strategic vision is the attraction of commitment and energy – methods quickly learned by playing the ancient game of chess.
Memory function is trained by exploring chess openings, variations, and moves. And learning how to surpass an opponent who makes the wrong move. Analysing and evaluating future moves, alongside predicting move advantages and disadvantages, train the brain in strategic vision.
Increasing brain power and concentration can be done by reading. Information on any subject is accessible for your brain to feed on. Challenges such as memorising words, counting numbers, and solving simple math problems can all be useful tools.
Learning a foreign language can actually help you make better decisions as speaking more than one language heightens appreciation of complexities – with decisions not being based purely on emotions. Adding to your language repertoire can also enhance your thinking capabilities and make your brain more innovative.
Other brain benefits from being bilingual include:
- Improved memory – a working memory deals with the storage and processing of information and increases with learning
- Increased attention span – as switching between languages helps you focus and gives the brain time to filter information
- Abilities to multitask – improves as your brain learns to alter between tasks more quickly
- Better cognitive skills – reading, verbal fluency, and intelligence are all heightened as another language is learned
Easy Ways to Boost Brain Power
Boosting brain power can also be accomplished with the following:
Cognitive functions of selective attention, task switching, and working memory are all shown to dramatically improve with regular aerobic exercise. In older people, physical activity increases implicit memory – skills that we do without thinking – and activities such as driving in later life are also enhanced.
Practising mental skills can have long-term effects – strategies can be learned for remembering lists, sequences of events, and details of stories. Patterns can be followed to solve problems which helps with everyday things like completing forms, or reading a bus timetable.
Computer-based training programmes can focus on finding and identifying visual information at greater speeds which helps the brain when reacting to changes in other daily routines such as traffic when driving.
People who are socially active are generally more mobile and this reduces depression, and boosts memory power. Social activity is thought to contribute to brain reserve as interacting with others involves a lot of brain functions and is good brain exercise. This results in a build-up of healthy brain cells and connections.
Supporting Brain Health
How much brain power do we use? According to scientists we actually only use around 10% of our brain. In reality, the majority of our brain is almost always active. Having greater control over your brain can be perfected by:
Getting enough sunlight
Higher levels of vitamin D in your system allow you to work better – and can even slow down brain ageing. Brain functions can suffer if you don’t get enough daylight, so taking time to exercise outdoors gives you multiple benefits.
Having a strong support system
Loneliness can result in a cognitive decline which affects your overall well-being. You may become depressed, suffer from high blood pressure, and have difficulty sleeping. Having people around you that you love and trust can help keep you healthy both mentally and psychologically.
Receiving good quality sleep
Stress and anxiety can cause sleep deprivation. And without a good night’s sleep, the grey matter in the frontal lobe of your brain can start to decrease. This area of the brain supports and controls your working memory, and needs to rest to perform properly.
Sticking to a sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and nicotine, preparing a dark, cool bedroom without gadgets, and taking a warm bath before bed will all help towards the relaxation needed before achieving your desired sleep time.
Meditation, Yoga, and Ayahuasca
The benefits of meditation are many – including reducing stress levels, preventing age-related disorders such as dementia, and extending your cognition.
Meditation training can help to create a mental space for new insights and visions until the brain has had time to incorporate entirely all of the information received. Understanding that in the unconscious mind time doesn’t exist and everything is happening right now will aid with the brain sitting comfortably.
Yoga helps to develop discipline by focusing on breathing exercises, poses, and meditation. The state of presence achieved brings relaxation, calm, and confidence. Yoga is an effective way of boosting brain power as poses and inversions increase blood circulation and oxygen flow. Regular practice of yoga expands grey matter and the size of the memory centres. It enhances focus and memory, as well as intensifying overall brain activity and improving cognition.
The Spirit Vine center in Brazil offers retreats every month. These include yoga classes and workshops for spiritual development that help you to reconnect with your power. One of the main components of the retreat are ayahuasca ceremonies – an ancient ritual with sacred plants that help you to explore your consciousness and develop a deeper connection with yourself. Research on ayahuasca suggests that it has properties that help develop neural connections and increase brain power, while also helping to find new innovative solutions to obstacles and blockages that limit our potential.
Take a look at the testimonials on our website, as well as other places such as YouTube and AyaAdvisors where participants talk about their experience and how ayahuasca has helped them to reach deeper levels of consciousness and enhance their brainpower.