How to become smarter: 6 scientific ways to increase brain activity

Problems with memory can arise for everyone: forgotten keys, birthdays, meetings … It seems that these are all trivia. Really, with whom does not happen? But the further, the worse, scare scientists.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute warn: memory impairment may begin as early as 35 yearsWhen Exactly Does Your Memory Start Declining? . Innocent hobbies, such as solving crossword puzzles or learning a foreign language, will only be a waste of time. Scientific evidence confirming their positive effect on memory is not enoughDo “Brain-Training” Programs Work? . You can read Shakespeare in the original or become a real master to fill empty cells, but that’s all.

Put the English-Russian dictionary aside. In order to successfully develop memory and attention, you need to use other methods. Here are some of them.

1. Go in for sports

It would seem, what is the connection between morning jogging and good memory? It turns out, the most direct. As a result of physical exercises, the brain receives blood flow, which activates its work. And this, in turn, leads to other pleasant consequences.

Scientists have found that people who walk more often, creativity is more developed than their “sedentary” colleaguesStanford study finds walking improves creativity . Moreover, it is scientifically proven that exercise stimulates the growth of new nerve cellsHow Exercise May Help the Brain Grow Stronger . For several years, scientists carefully examined the structure of the brain cells of people and animals that were actively moving, and those who led a sedentary lifestyle. As a result, it turned out that due to physical exercises in the part of the brain responsible for our memory and attention, new cells are formed.

By the way, changing physical activity also helps the brain. Maybe it’s time to change the voyage to yoga?

2. Experience useful stress

Ian Robertson, a professor from Dallas, argues that stress in moderation can affect the performance of our gray matterGet Smart: 6 Brain-Boosting Activities to Add to Your Day .

It turns out that stress triggers a certain chemical process in the brain that increases brain activity and improves the work of neurons.

However, it should be remembered that the stress is different. With short-term stress, a huge amount of adrenaline hormone is released into the blood, mobilizing all the body systems. But with prolonged frustration, the hormone cortisol predominates, which, on the contrary, depletes the body, and also stimulates the consumption of excess calories.

So sobbing over the missed deadline will lead only to the desire to eat chocolate cake, and not improve the brain. But flying a parachute or a dialogue with a nice colleague will help and increase brain activity, and strengthen self-confidence.

3. Sleep enough

Series until three nights, dancing in the club late … Lack of sleep leads not only to the third cup of coffee, but also to more serious problems.

American scientists have found that sleepless nights can cause Alzheimer’s diseaseLack of Sleep May Lead to Dementia: New Research Finds It Makes Brain Vulnerable . It turns out that in the brain of a person who does not sleep well, beta-amyloid accumulates, a special protein that causes memory loss. And the more protein, the worse a person sleeps, and the worse a person sleeps, the more he has this cunning substance. Just a vicious circle! Therefore, try to become larks, dear owls, because a sound sleep is a pledge not only good morning, but also good memory.

4. Follow the diet

Excess chocolate and cake with cream will lift the mood, but will lead to a deterioration in memory. After all, our brain, like a car, needs fuel, and that is food. Products in which a large number of vitamins and minerals improve the work of the brainNutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food , but eating high in sugar causes brain damage and even depression.

Plus, in many fruits, vegetables and plants there are special substances – flavonoids, which can improve the body’s performance and affect various systems of organs. And here researchers from Columbia University (USA) came to the conclusion that cocoa, in which the content of flavonoids is very high, favorably affects the brain and improves memoryDietary Flavanols Reverse Age-Related Memory Decline .

In the course of the experiment, it turned out that people aged 50-69 who regularly drank cocoa coped better with the test for memory than the group that did not use cocoa, but was younger for almost two decades. Therefore, a meal rich in vitamins and beneficial substances will not only benefit the whole body, but also help improve memory and attention.

5. Use the neurogadgets

High technology replaced caffeine and tablets. Improve memoryTranscranial Stimulation of the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Prevents Stress-Induced Working Memory Deficits and attentionModulation of attention functions by anodal tDCS on right PPC now it is possible with the help of scientific inventions.

Scientists have been using transcranial DC stimulation (tDCS) for many years. It sounds scary and incomprehensible? But in fact, everything is very simple.

The clever device acts as follows: to certain zones on the person’s head electrodes are attached, through which a weak direct current passes. This charge is very small – so much firefly spends to light, – and absolutely safe.

Current affects neurons, making them more or less excitable. As a result, contacts between nerve cells change.

This leads to a phenomenon such as an improvement in synaptic plasticity. It is the synaptic plasticity responsible for improving memory and attention.

Such cunning devices have been used in leading European clinics for several decades. However, in order to improve memory and develop attention, it is not necessary to contact doctors. For domestic use, commercial devices are created in America and in Russia. In America it’s Foc.us and Apex, in Russia it’s Brainstorm. Perhaps, in the near future, transcranial stimulation of the brain will become just as common as drinking a cup of coffee.

6. More positive

The recipe for a good memory is simple: a full-fledged sleep, healthy food, use of neurogadgets, physical exercises … What else? Professor John Krakauer of the Johns Hopkins University (USA) states: “It’s good to spend evenings with a book on the couch, but loneliness can lead to depression”Get Smart: 6 Brain-Boosting Activities to Add to Your Day . Moreover, scientists say, the more friends you have, the longer your life will be! So chatting with a girlfriend over a glass of wine, it turns out, is not only pleasant, but also useful.

The editors may not share the author’s point of view.

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