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The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Brains

Brain5Let’s review some good lifestyle options we can fol­low to main­tain, and improve, our vibrant brains.

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  1. 1. Learn what is the “It” in “Use It or Lose It”. A basic under­stand­ing will serve you well to appre­ci­ate your brain’s beauty as a liv­ing and constantly-developing dense for­est with bil­lions of neu­rons and synapses.
  2. Take care of your nutri­tion. Did you know that the brain only weighs 2% of body mass but con­sumesgood brain food over 20% of the oxy­gen and nutri­ents we intake? As a gen­eral rule, you don’t need expen­sive ultra-sophisticated nutri­tional sup­ple­ments, just make sure you don’t stuff your­self with the “bad stuff”.
  3. Remem­ber that the brain is part of the body. Things that exer­cise your body can also help sharpen your brain: phys­i­cal exer­cise enhances neurogenesis.
  4. Prac­tice pos­i­tive, future-oriented thoughts until they become your default mind­set and you look for­ward to every new day in a con­struc­tive way. Stress and anx­i­ety, no mat­ter whether induced by exter­nal events or by your own thoughts, actu­ally kills neu­rons and pre­vent the cre­ation of new ones. physical exercise for brain healthYou can think of chronic stress as the oppo­site of exer­cise: it pre­vents the cre­ation of new neurons.
  5. Thrive on Learn­ing and Men­tal Chal­lenges. The point of hav­ing a brain is pre­cisely to learn and to adapt to chal­leng­ing new envi­ron­ments. Once new neu­rons appear in your brain, where they stay in your brain and how long they sur­vive depends on how you use them. “Use It or Lose It” does not mean “do cross­word puz­zle num­ber 1,234,567″. It means, “chal­lenge your brain often with fun­da­men­tally new activities”.
  6. We are (as far as we know) the only self-directed organ­isms in this planet. Aim high. Once you grad­u­ate from col­lege, keep learn­ing. Once you become too com­fort­able in one job, find a new one. The brain keeps devel­op­ing, reflect­ing what you do with it.
  7. Explore, travel. Adapt­ing to new loca­tions forces you to pay more atten­tion to your envi­ron­ment. Make new deci­sions, use your brain.
  8. Don’t Out­source Your Brain. Not to media per­son­al­i­ties, not to politi­cians, not to your smart neigh­bour… Make your own deci­sions, and mis­takes. And learn from them. That way, you are train­ing your brain, not your neighbour’s.
  9. Develop and main­tain stim­u­lat­ing friend­ships. We are “social ani­mals”, and need social inter­ac­tion. Which, by the way, is why ‘Baby Ein­stein’ has been shown not to be the panacea for chil­dren development.
  10. Laugh. Often. Espe­cially to cog­ni­tively com­plex humor, full of twists and sur­prises. Bet­ter, try to become the next Jon Stewart

Now, remem­ber that what counts is not read­ing this article-or any other-, but prac­tic­ing a bit every day until small steps snow­ball into unstop­pable, inter­nal­ized habits…so, pick your next bat­tle and try to start improv­ing at least one of these 10 habits today. Revisit the habit above that really grabbed your atten­tion, and make a deci­sion to try some­thing dif­fer­ent today!

SharpBrainsGuide_3DTo learn more about what you can do, check out The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness.

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75 Responses

  1. […] I think every­one should keep these in mind. Link. […]

  2. […] This is a great list of things you can do to keep your brain in peek con­di­tion. Most of them I’m sure you’ve read before how­ever one in par­tic­u­lar seemed to be unique from sim­i­lar lists. “Don’t Out­source Your Brain” mean­ing make your own deci­sions and opin­ions, don’t be swayed by politi­cians (good God don’t do that!), media per­son­al­i­ties or your “smart” neigh­bor. I know more than a few peo­ple that take every­thing Rush Lim­baugh or Fox News pukes out as the gospel truth. Same can be said for the left I sup­pose. Form your own opin­ions, then re-evaluate them every so often, because you might be wrong and if you dis­cover you are, you have just learned some­thing. The list o’ stuff is here. […]

  3. […] Alvaro Fer­nan­dez presents The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains posted at Sharp­Brains: Your Win­dow into the Brain Fit­ness Rev­o­lu­tion, say­ing, “Some tips to keep our brains sharp.” […]

  4. GMan says:

    Recent data pub­lished shows a mea­sur­able short term improvent (approx 6 hours worth after 1 hour) in cog­na­tive func­tion after a dose of flax seed or fish oil with Omega 3’s

  5. […] Lifehacker.org recently posed a link to Sharp­Brains, a men­tal health blog that I just might have to sub­scribe to, with a caveat: they’re a bit silly, verg­ing on new-age phi­los­o­phy about med­i­ta­tion and being in “The Zone”, but it’s coun­tered with a sig­nif­i­cant retail pres­ence that besmirches any spir­i­tual incli­na­tion to the point of absur­dity. Nev­er­the­less, they have some good junk too. The post in ques­tion, The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains, gives food for thought (ha, ha) on the care of what lies within your cra­nium. Two of them in par­tic­u­lar are key, in my opin­ion, but I believe they missed one. […]

  6. […] 10 Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains The LA Times just com­pleted a won­der­ful 4-part series on how learn­ing and mem­ory work. The NYT re-emphasized the impor­tance of phys­i­cal exer­cise for neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis (the cre­ation of new neu­rons). To put this news in bet­ter per­spec­tive, let’s review some good (tags: digg Health Science) […]

  7. […] Alvaro Fer­nan­dez presents The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains posted at Sharp­Brains: Your Win­dow into the Brain Fit­ness Rev­o­lu­tion, say­ing, “Some tips to keep our brains sharp.” […]

  8. […] Alvaro Fer­nan­dez presents The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains posted at Brain Fit­ness Blog. Some tips to keep our brains sharp. […]

  9. […] Alvaro Fer­nan­dez presents The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains posted at Brain Fit­ness Blog. […]

  10. […] Alvaro Fer­nan­dez presents The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains posted at Brain Fit­ness Blog. […]

  11. […] Alvaro Fer­nan­dez presents The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains posted at Brain Fit­ness Blog. […]

  12. […] Sharp Brains posted an awe­some arti­cle enti­tled, “The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains.” […]

  13. […] » The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains « Brain Fit­ness Rev­o­lu­tion at Sharp­Brains “…let’s review some good lifestyle options we can fol­low to main­tain, and improve, our vibrant brains.” (tags: edu­ca­tion gtd brain) […]

  14. […] Alvaro Fer­nan­dez presents The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains posted at Sharp­Brains: Your Win­dow into the Brain Fit­ness Rev­o­lu­tion, say­ing, “Some tips to keep our brains sharp.” […]

  15. […] –The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains The LA Times just com­pleted a won­der­ful 4-part series on how learn­ing and mem­ory work. The NYT re-emphasized the impor­tance of phys­i­cal exer­cise for neu­ro­ge­n­e­sis (the cre­ation of new neu­rons). To put this news in bet­ter per­spec­tive, let’s review some good lifestyle options we can fol­low to main­tain, and improve, our vibrant brains. […]

  16. […] Alvaro Fer­nan­dez presents The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains posted at Sharp­Brains: Your Win­dow into the Brain Fit­ness Rev­o­lu­tion, say­ing, “Some tips to keep our brains sharp.” […]

  17. Alvaro says:

    Hello GMan:

    As men­tioned in a pre­vi­ous com­ment, we rec­om­mend Omega-3s. I’d like to learn more: can you include a ref­er­ence to that study? Thanks

  18. […] Alvaro Fer­nan­dez presents The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains posted at Brain Fit­ness Blog. […]

  19. […] Alvaro Fer­nan­dez presents some tips to keep our brains sharp in The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains at Sharp­Brains: Your Win­dow into the Brain Fit­ness Revolution. […]

  20. […] A nice arti­cle I have read: The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains […]

  21. […] The Brain Fit­ness Blog offers up 10 Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains. I have a feel­ing we can all use these tips. […]

  22. […] Louise Man­ning presents Effec­tive lead­er­ship posted at The Human Imprint. MDB presents Secrets to Think­ing Like an Entre­pre­neur posted at mil­lion dol­lar blog.com, say­ing, “A look into the mind­set of an entre­pre­neur” GP presents Wag the Dog posted at Fish Creek House — INN­side Innkeep­ing, say­ing, “Life Lessons learned from our pets.” Matt presents 7 Traits of Suc­cess Super­stars posted at Realigned Liv­ing, say­ing, “By try­ing out the habits of overly suc­cess­ful peo­ple, we have an increased chance of being overly suc­cess­ful our­selves.” Alvaro Fer­nan­dez presents The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains posted at Sharp­Brains: Your Win­dow into the Brain Fit­ness Rev­o­lu­tion, say­ing, “Some tips to keep our brains sharp.” Michael Shane Wil­son presents Put Your­self Into Posi­tion To Win posted at Michael Shane Wil­son, say­ing, “Post to hope­fully inspire peo­ple take action to achieve their goals in life” […]

  23. […] Alvaro Fer­nan­dez sub­mits The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains on his Brain Fit­ness Blog. […]

  24. […] Alvaro Fer­nan­dez presents The Ten Habits of Highly Effec­tive Brains posted at Sharp­Brains, say­ing, “Some tips to keep our brains sharp.” […]

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