It’s hard to make up your bed while you’re still sleeping in it. Hard to make up your mind for the same reason.
~ Robert Brault
~ Robert Brault
Indeed! The fact that most of us use only about a seventh of our total mental faculties is because we never bother to awaken or activate the remaining six parts! The chief bane of the staggering majority of humanity is complacency – we never bother to make extra efforts to better our lot unless absolutely necessary. For the same reason, we allow a good part of our minds to stay asleep during the course of our mundane lives and it is a humiliatingly insignificant minority that recognizes the true potential of the human mind and values it, making efforts to polish the surface regularly so that the shiny metal underneath gets to surface in all its creative brilliance and intellectual grandeur! I suppose all good things in the world have a scarce supply but huge demand be it flawless diamonds or great minds. While you can’t get Earth to manufacture more diamonds in its deepest recesses, you can definitely amplify your mental faculties manifold by adopting a few changes to your mental attitude, thought process and lifestyle. Wondering how to increase mind power? Well, the following segment tells you all about it!
Ways to Increase Mind Power
A well-rounded mind is that which uses at least 70% of its total capacity. In case you’re thinking what happens to the remaining 30%, well, let me tell you that if your mind is so activated that it utilizes 100% of its capacity, you could very well become the real-life Dr. Jean Gray from X-Men! No kidding! With mental powers like hers, imagine the amount of creation or destruction humanity would be capable of! Anyway, coming back to reality, an optimally activated brain is one that has the following qualities:-
- Excellent concentration and detail grasping powers
- Quick information processing and swift understanding of intricate details
- Excellent memorizing, retentive and reckoning skills
- Ability to generate original ideas
- Creative problem solving abilities
- Ability to articulately express thoughts and feelings
- Ability of vivid visualization and clarity of description
- An open-minded approach towards new ideas and receptivity to positive changes
- Emotional intelligence and empathy
Now, here are some tips and tricks that are helpful in achieving a combination of the above mentioned qualities that, together, form the recipe of a sharp brain and a powerful mind.
☻ Nourish and Cherish Your Brain
Since the brain is the seat of intellect, emotions and creativity (contrary to ancient wisdom about the heart being the emotional seat, studies have shown areas of the brain that regulate emotions, creativity and all other softer aspects of a personality), it is absolutely necessary to keep this organ well oiled and running in order to sharpen your mental faculties. To begin with, a healthy diet and lifestyle is the first stepping stone towards getting a healthy mind. Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins (A, C, E), zinc, B vitamins, etc. are considered brain foods that sharpen the mind by making the brain healthier. Also, eating frequent small meals instead of a few huge ones is considered to be a great way of keeping the mind alert. You see, digestion of a huge meal eats up a lot of oxygen, leaving very little oxygen to be carried by the blood to the brain. That’s the reason why you feel drowsy or incapable of concentration after a heavy meal. Drink plenty of water as they keep toxins out, making way for a healthy body which automatically impacts the health of the brain.
Oxygen is a crucial determinant of cerebral functions and the brain keeps getting healthy doses of oxygen when the body has healthy blood circulation. That is why, exercising on a regular basis keeps the mind sharper and helps improve overall concentration capabilities of the brain. Don’t you feel more awake on mornings when you work out than on mornings when you don’t? That extra alertness is nothing but all that blood circulation and healthy doses of oxygen reaching your brain due to those 30 minutes of exercise!
☻ Take Your Brain Off Stand-By Mode
As your body and physical brain needs dietary nutrition and exercise to stay healthy, the mind also needs fodder to stay sharp and alert. Undertake tasks and participate in activities that challenge the mind and make it work off the routine-rut track regularly. You see, mentally challenging tasks, especially those that involve critical thinking, problem solving or learning a new skill, stir up the mental faculties and exercise those areas of the brain that are responsible for analysis, learning, information processing, retaining and creativity. For example, activities like working out complex numerical puzzles, solving mathematical problems, taking up music lessons, participating in creative writing or free expression sketching activities, etc. nudge the mind out of its comfort zone by making it undertake off-routine tasks and succeed at challenging activities. This type of creative agitation eventually allows the mind to fall back upon its unused resources. This way, you unlock a lot of dormant recesses of your psyche.
☻ Get All the Attention You Want!
Learn to be attentive to details. Develop your powers of observation and mnemonic retention capabilities. This would require a conscious effort. For instance, take note of all things that are there in your surroundings everyday, right from the time you leave home in the morning till the time you get back. Just before calling it a day, jot down everything that you remember seeing around you on a piece of paper. Write down as many details as possible about everything you remember seeing that day. For instance, write down how many people boarded the metro after you and also jot down what each one looked like and what he/ she was wearing (including the color, patterns and cut of their outfits if possible). It may seem frustrating in the beginning but after a couple of weeks of doing this activity, you’ll notice that your ability to pay attention to minute details as well as remember them vividly has increased manifold! Practicing yoga and meditation on a daily basis would further help in sharpening your focus besides increasing your attentiveness and concentration by leaps and bounds!
☻ Unleash the Creative You!
Open the windows of your mind and let imagination soar high! Creativity is all about being open-minded and imaginative! Imagination is all about originality! A mind that begets original ideas, no matter how outrageous or extravagant those ideas seem to be in the first instance, is the one that is not shackled down by fetters of convention or fear of rejection. Such an uninhibited, fearless mind is one where the seeds of creativity are sown. While some are born with it, creativity and original thinking can also be developed. Creativity exercises and creative thinking games such as those that agonize the mind to look for extraordinary solutions to ordinary problems help develop the faculties of the right side – the creative side – of the brain.
Believe it or not, getting 8 undisturbed hours of sleep each day is of extreme importance for keeping the brain healthy and the mind sharp (sue your boss if he/she penalizes all those employees who fall asleep at their workstations!). Limiting the intake of depressants (alcohol, sedatives) and psychoactive drugs and medications goes a long way in keeping the mind alert and attentive. Last but not the least, a positive attitude and a flexible approach towards change and all things unconventional is the best way to make the mind more powerful. After all this prep talk, if you’re still wondering how to increase mind power in keeping with your busy work schedule, here’s what you can do – bribe the IT guy at your office and get those crossword and Sudoku websites unblocked; you know as well as I do that all of those eight hours at office are not spent doing what you’re getting paid for (as per your terms of employment!)! Might as well get a few winks of sleep or play some gray-matter flexing games rather than spend those useless hours indulging in office gossip around the coffee machine!