Thursday, February 27, 2014

Help Your Brain Out....Everyday

This was posted in the Huffington Post (see full article below) and had some really interesting ideas about helping your brain out and getting the most out of it everyday.  Below are my favorites and a summary of each.
Huffington Post: 10 Surprising Things That Benefit Our Brains That You Can Do Every Day

1. Your brain does creative work better when you're tired.
-The theory here is that when you're tired your brain actually does better at tuning out distractions and other things that might get in the way of the creative process.  It also struggles at this point to make old connections between things which is perfect for creativity as we struggle to create new ones.  Best time to be creative: night time or after a long day at work.

2.  Stress can change the size of your brain (and make is smaller)
-Stress is the most common cause of changes in brain function and can actually make the hippocampus smaller.

3. It is literally impossible for our brains to multitask.
-Research shows your error rate goes up 50% and it takes you twice as long to do things.  When the brain tries to do two things at once, it divides and conquers, dedicating one-half of our gray matter to each task (Image)

4. Naps improve your brain's day-to-day performance.
-"Research indicates that when a memory is first recorded in the brain--in the hippocampus, to be specific--it's still "fragile" and easily forgotten, especially if the brain is asked to memorize more things.  Napping, it seems, pushes memories to the the neocortex, the brain's "more permanent storage," preventing them from being "overwritten."

5. Your vision trumps all other senses.
-Hear a piece of information and three days later you'll remember 10 percent of it.  Add a picture and you'll remember 65%.

6. Intorversion and extroversion come from different wiring in the brain.

7. We tend to like people who make mistakes more.
-Making mistakes draw people closer to you, makes you more human.  Perfection creates distance and an unattractive air of invincibility.

8. Meditation can rewire your brain for the better.
-Benefits: Less Anxiety.  More creativity. Better memory. (image)

9. Exercise can reorganize the brain and boost your willpower.
-Exercisers outperform couch potatoes in tests that measure long-term memory, reasoning, attention, problem-solving, even so-called fluid intelligence tasks.

10. You can makes your brain think time is going slowly by doing new things.
-What we think is our sense of time is actually just a whole bunch of information presented to us in a particular way, as determined by our brains.  "When we have familiar information our brain organizes it quickly and it takes no time at all.  New information, however, is a bit slower and makes time feel elongated."

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