19 Easy Ways To Increase Your Brain Power

Your brain is a muscle, and just like any other muscle in your body it gets stronger with exercise.

As we age our brain power begins to diminish. Thus, memory retention and learning new things often start to become a challenge. Actually, after the age of 65, the risk of dementia doubles every 5 years. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to increase your brain power that will strengthen it for years to come!

Do you want to have a better memory? Improve your concentration skills? Become more creative or sharpen your critical thinking skills? If so, keep reading because this blog post will explore how to increase your brain power in 19 practical ways.

Expert tip: Ageing negatively affects the morphology and function of the brain. Scientifically, your best defense includes engaging in physical exercise, having a healthy diet, decreasing alcohol intake and continually increasing your cognitive effort (Peters, 2006).  

"Your mind is precious. It has the power to unlock infinite options and possibilities." - Unknown

Read also: 14 Easy ways to become smarter without studying

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1.Exercise regularly to boost your intellect

One of the best ways to improve your intellectual health is to exercise. Luckily, exercise does wonders for your physical and mental health so you really can’t go wrong by with increasing your physical activity.

In fact, any type of exercise is beneficial. But, some types such as yoga and tai chi seem to be especially good for the mind. 

Expert tip: It has been shown that regular use of exercises in addition to other cognitive training programs helps people who suffer from age-related issues like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Use this link to discover all the health benefits of maintaining a healthy physical condition.

2.A healthy diet is the best medicine for the brain

You are what you eat. Keep this in mind when it comes to your brain as well. If you want a healthy and functioning brain, eating the right foods is essential. Notedly, a healthy diet is much more beneficial than taking supplements. 

For instance, foods like blueberries, walnuts, spinach, salmon, beans and broccoli are full of antioxidants which help clean up the toxic byproducts of the brain’s activity and protect it against cellular damage. 

Also, be sure to get the right amount of proteins which help with neurotransmission, memory and alertness. Additionally, folates, is not only important for developing babies but also protects against memory loss later in life. 

Conversely, some types of fats (saturated/trans fats) can negatively affect your memory, concentration and focus.

Click here for the best advice on how to make your breakfast as healthy as possible.

Expert tip: According to research, for optimal brain health the consumption of natural foods and physical activity are essential. In fact, when combined, they stimulate cell production while increasing brain cell survival, plasticity and vascular function (Van Praag, 2008).

A health diet is one of the best ways to increase your brain power.
"The human brain is awesome. It functions 24 hours a day from the day we are born and only stops when we are taking an exam or fall in love." -  Unknown

3.Sleep well to increase your brain power

We all know that we need good sleep in order to function properly. But, did you know that your brain restoration happens during this time?

Thus, a solid 8 hours of undisturbed sleep will significantly help you increase your brain power over the long term. Also, opt for a book instead of the screen before turning out the lights. 

Expert tip: Experts agree that sleep deprivation adversely affects brain activity and stability. Actually, the cognitive impact of the lack of sleep are even more severe than it’s effect on the body’s physical functioning (Benington & Heller, 1995).

4.Protect your brain by taking time to relax and de-stress

Stress is one of the worst enemies when it comes to brain function. Unfortunately, when you are under stress, your body releases cortisol which can be toxic to the brain and cause problems such as memory loss, anxiety or depression. 

Expert tip: The hippocampus is the area of the brain that is responsible for memory and learning. In fact, research shows that stress causes damages to the hippocampus and often results in long-term adverse effects on the brain’s structure and function (Bremner, 1999).  

5.Reduce sugar intake to protect your cognition

There is a clear link between sugar intake and cognitive decline. As such, although there is often no need to cut out sugars completely, reducing the amount of sugar you eat will definitely help improve brain function. 

Expert tip: Not only does sugar affect neurotransmitters and can cause sugar addiction, but a diet high in sugar is linked to deficiencies in memory and cognition (Texas Institute for Neurological Disorders, 2020). 

6.Socialization is good for the brain

You’d be surprised at how much a lack of social interaction can affect your brain power, especially as you get older. Socializing releases ‘feel good’ chemicals into our system which make us happier and more productive.

As such, joining a club, signing up for some classes or just talking to your friends can do a world of good to improve your brain power. Also, be sure to exercise your brain with games and puzzles. 

Expert tip: Social activities and networks help increase mental agility, lower the risk dementia and improve cognitive function. It also decreases stress levels and the incidence of mental health disorders. 

Challenge your brain to improve your intellectual wellness.
"It is not enough to have a good mind; the important thing is to use it well." -Rene Descartes

7.Learn a new language or skill to challenge the brain 

Trying new activities or doing something differently is a great way to challenge the brain. For instance, learning a new language or playing a musical instrument will help improve brain power. However, remember to take breaks during intense sessions. 

Occasionally changing up your daily routine will also exercise those mental muscles. Notedly, the more senses you use to learn information, the stronger your connection to it will be.

So when learning something new, try explaining it out loud or with your hands, as well as reading or writing about it. 

Expert tip: According to research by Shaffer (2016), stimulation from the environment improves attention and cognitive function, particularly when it is both challenging and enjoyable. Additionally, the practice required will increase the white matter in the brain and make subsequent learning easier and faster.

8. Drink green tea to stimulate the brain

Green tea has been shown to stimulate the brain and improve mental acuity, making it easier to problem solve and focus on the task at hand.  Actually, it is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in your brain which may cause cell damage.

Expert tip: Research suggests that green tea helps prevent cognitive disorders by protecting the neurons in your brain against damage. One study showed that daily consumption of tea may decrease cognitive decline by as much as 50% in older persons (Junhua et al., 2019).

9.Eat fish to increase your brain power

Fish is high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to improve brain function. In fact, fish is also high in vitamin B12 which keeps your brain sharp by aiding the process of creating new neurons.

To get your daily dose, try salmon or mackerel for breakfast, have a tuna sandwich for lunch and some cod or sardines for dinner. Walnuts and almonds are also great sources of omega-3.

Expert tip: Research has found a link between fish intake and cognitive decline, especially when taken earlier in life. In fact, researchers have suggested that increasing the  intake of omega 3s in your diet could significantly help slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Although there is some controversy surrounding the extent of the beneficial effect that omega 3 has on cognition, particularly in the more severe stages of cognitive decline, there are numerous advantages associated with omega 3 consumption.

Fish is an excellent source of omega 3 which is a great way to increase your brain power.
"If you have a strong mind and plant in it a firm resolve, you can change your destiny." - Paramahansa Yogananda

10.Pick foods high in vitamin C

The antioxidant properties of vitamin C also helps protect your brain against the damaging effects of free radicals and harmful toxins, helping it to function at its optimal level.

As a matter of fact, vitamin C is great for memory and brain health so make sure you are getting enough in your diet.

Expert tip: Vitamin C helps with the differentiation, maturation and protection of brain cells. Additionally, it improves cognitive function by facilitating impulse transmission. 

11.Practice mindfulness to enhance brain activity

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. It can be cultivated by practicing meditation and deep breathing exercises.

Read more about the connection between spirituality and health.

Expert tip: Mindfulness can make the hippocampus thicker, thus facilitating learning and memory. 

Mindfulness can boost your brain power
"The human brain is by far the most complex physical object known to us in the entire cosmos." - Owen Gingerich.

12.Try to solve problems and engage in discussions

Challenging your brain can improve brain power. For instance, debate and discussion are good for your brain because you are stimulating the frontal cortex, which is responsible for reasoning.

Numerous research shows that debate and discussion can improve learning and memory. 

Expert tip: Trying to a solve problem triggers activity in the hippocampus (involved in memory) and the frontal lobe (involved in decision making). 

Discover how engaging in debate and discussion can boost your intellectual health.

13.Drink plenty of water to stimulate your brain

Keeping your brain hydrated will help you think more clearly. Actually, water has also been shown to trigger activity in certain parts of the brain, which can improve memory, concentration and cognitive function.

Expert tip: The brain is 80% water! I think that’s all the evidence you need to get hydrated. 

Click here to read about other physical self-care activities you should practice daily. 

14.Limit alcohol intake and avoid smoking

While alcohol use and smoking may be difficult habits to break, they are also two of the main things that will kill your brain cells.

Actually, it’s best if you avoid drinking at all costs. If not, at least try to limit how much they consume to one drink per day or less. 

Expert tip: According to research from the American Chemical Society (2019), smoking and alcohol use can cause neural damage, chemical changes and inflammation in the brain. 

Discover a proven model to achieve behavioral change. 

15.Add herbs like rosemary to your diet

Rosemary is an inexpensive way to enhance memory and alertness. Fortunately, it also has numerous other health benefits even if you decide to use the rosemary oil as aromatherapy.

Expert tip: Rosemary has been shown to help protect against brain damage caused by free radical molecules that may be linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

16.Coffee can boost brain power

Moderate coffee consumption has been shown to improve concentration, short term memory and reasoning skills. Unfortunately, coffee can be addictive and excessive consumption can adversely affect your health.

Expert tip: Since coffee is a brain stimulant, it can increase energy and cognitive performance. In addition, long term coffee use in moderation may also protect against neurocognitive disorders.

17.Use Mnemonic devices

A mnemonic device or memory aide is a learning technique to increase your brain power by helping you recall information in the future. Notedly, mnemonic devices can be songs, poems, acronyms, characters, smells or mental images.

They are easy to learn and help you commit information to your memory for longer periods of time.

Expert tip: Mnemonic reorganizes the brain’s network and function. Thus, enabling superior memory and cognitive performance (Dresler et al., 2017).

Reading is a proven method to boost your brain health
"Focused mind power is one of the strongest forces on earth." - Mark Victor Harsen

18.Read more to increase your brain power

Reading is a great way to improve your memory, concentration and alertness. A recent study found that reading can make you happier as well.

Also, it could help with fine motor skills and coordination in people with physical disabilities.

Expert tip: Reading helps with the connectivity within the brain and strengthens imagination, memory and comprehension.

19.Stay Positive to boost your intellectual wellness

Just like stress, negativity and pessimism can be toxic to your brain. When you are in a good mood and optimistic about things it’s easier to think clearly and stay focused. 

Expert tip: Positivity increases creativity, imagination, intellectual ability, happiness and focus. 

Final words on how to increase your brain power

The human brain is an amazing organ, and it can improve with the right guidance. I’ve shared some of my best tips for increasing your brain power in this blog post. 

However, the most important thing is to get started. But, remember it takes time! Give yourself a pat on the back every time you take an action step towards a better life with higher levels of intelligence. 

Will you be taking any steps in these areas? What will your first one be? Comment below or share with us on social media so we can cheer you along as well!

Find out why knowledge and action are vital for intellectual wellness. 

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Why is intellectual wellness important?

The need for intellectual wellness is not always considered as important as physical and emotional health. But the truth of the matter is that intellectual wellness is just as important to your overall health.

In fact, not only does our intellectual wellness directly and indirectly influence every other dimension of our professional life and personal wellness, it is the key to our self-esteem, which in turn affects all of the other factors of our overall happiness.

How can we progress towards a new era of social and individual wellness?

To begin to answer these questions, it is helpful first to review some fundamental differences between how knowledge is applied in the modern world and how it was used in less technologically advanced cultures.

Knowledge (in its broadest sense) refers to awareness and understanding that one acquires. It is a critical ingredient for overcoming many of the problems that people face, including ill health.

References

American Chemical Society. “Smoking and alcohol: Double trouble for the brain?.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2019.

Benington, H. J. & Heller, C. (1995)  Restoration of brain energy metabolism as the function of sleep, Progress in Neurobiology, Volume 45, Issue 4, Pages 347-360, ISSN 0301-0082

Bremner, J.D. (1999) Does stress damage the brain?, Biological Psychiatry, Volume 45, Issue 7, 1999, Pages 797-805, ISSN 0006-3223.

Dresler M, Shirer WR, Konrad BN, Müller NCJ, Wagner IC, Fernández G, Czisch M, Greicius MD. Mnemonic Training Reshapes Brain Networks to Support Superior Memory. Neuron. 2017 Mar 8;93(5):1227-1235.e6. 

Junhua Li, Rafael Romero-Garcia, John Suckling, Lei Feng. Habitual tea drinking modulates brain efficiency: evidence from brain connectivity evaluation. Aging, 2019; 11 (11): 3876 DOI: 10.18632/aging.102023

Peters R. (2006). Ageing and the brain. Postgraduate medical journal82(964), 84–88.

Shaffer J. Neuroplasticity and Clinical Practice: Building Brain Power for Health. Front Psychol. 2016 Jul 26;7:1118. 

Texas Institute for Neurological Disorders (2020) The Effects of a High Sugar Diet on the Brain. 

Van Praag, H. Exercise and the brain: something to chew on, Trends in Neurosciences, Volume 32, Issue 5, 2009, Pages 283-290, ISSN 0166-2236.

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