7 Things That Physically Change Your Brain
Have you ever dreamed of becoming a super being: healthier, more positive, smarter? Now here is the good news. Bright Side found a few tips you can use to literally upgrade your brain to a new level. And they’re as simple as it gets!
1. Stop nagging.
Once you make grumbling your habit, your brain triggers multiple changes throughout that create a negativity bias and might even end in depression. Instead of complaining about how hard life is, you might want to get out in the sun, take a walk, and meditate. Psychologists at the University of North Carolina conducted an experiment and found out that people who engage daily in 20 minutes of positive contemplation demonstrate greater mindfulness as well as decreased symptoms of illness.
2. Be grateful for what you have.
Find at least 3 things by the end of the day that you feel thankful for. The Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience states that such an exercise will boost the serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonin is essential for the proper functioning of your prefrontal cortex, which governs self-reflection and the emotional balance, thus helping it to overrule previous panic patterns. Think about positive daily activities in detail. You can even write them down.
3. Verbalize negative feelings.
You might want to write down your negative feelings. Don’t be shy! Go ahead and nail them to paper. Scientists say that linguistic processing of emotions reduces amygdala activity, the fear center in your brain, and thus lessens the level of stress. A calmer amygdala means a happier you.
4. Be around people.
A study in 2010 at the University of Michigan found out that chilling with friends or merely being in the same physical space as other people benefits your brain greatly. On a larger scale, your brain can undergo positive changes if you surround yourself with intelligent and emotionally stable individuals. Did you know that human beings are contagious? You can "get infected" with emotions and behavioral attitudes. This phenomenon is also known as social or emotional contagion.
5. Hug someone.
Hugs are magical. A warm cuddle makes our brains release dopamine — the pleasure hormone. That is exactly why you immediately feel safe and relaxed. Researchers note that hugging lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and improves your mood.
6. Stop multitasking.
Turn multitasking into monotasking. When you are talking on your phone, surfing the internet, and writing a message, you might think that you are multitasking. But studies show that trying to focus on more than one thing at a time reduces your productivity by almost 40%. So cut out the distractions, and focus on a single task for a limited amount of time. Once you are done, reward yourself with a short break of physical exercise, a cup of tea, or a quick phone call.
7. Tune in to the right music.
Luckily, here is the good news. You don’t have to turn off the music to work productively. In fact, the right music tunes you in to alpha brainwave relaxation. The music service focus@will together with the leading neuroscientists worked out different kinds of playlists to help you get focused at work.
These are, of course, not all the activities you can do to make your brain work better. Smiling, taking a nap, petting your cat, breathing fresh air, exposing yourself to more light, and anything healthy that makes your mood better works best for your brain as well. Bright Side would like to know about your favorite way to boost your brain’s performance!