Secrets of the Smart: 5 Hacks to Improve Brain Power

Unlock your brain's true potential with these brain boosting tips and tricks.

Improve brain power with nootropics, rest, and other hacks.

So you want to improve your brain power? Well, it’s not just you. Brain fog, mental exhaustion, struggling to learn new technologies—we all feel this way, and it’s starting to become the norm. Life is more fast-paced than ever. The Mental Health Foundation recently conducted a stress survey across the UK in which 74 percent of respondents identified themselves as feeling “overwhelmed or unable to cope” with daily life.

Every day our brains find themselves in intense “sink or swim” environments. If we want to thrive in this new normal, we need to start thinking about cognitive function the same way we think about physical fitness. We to build brainpower the way fitness trainers help us build muscle power.

Of course, there are some things you can do to maximize cognitive function that everybody knows, such as getting high quality sleep and exercising regularly. But there are also some brainpower hacks to maximize your mind’s potential and unlock your intelligence. Here are five examples:

1. Cutting Edge Brain Nutrition

Improve brain power with nootropics and proper diet.

The word “nootropic” may be new to you, but it is a word becoming well known to competitive career professionals, college students, and athletes. Nootropics are substances which may improve mental performance and brain health, particularly executive functions such as focus, memory, willpower, mood, creativity, and productivity.

The rare plant extracts and minerals that enhance these faculties used to be sold separately. However, a California startup called Neurohacker Collective specializes in combining nootropics into ultra-powerful brainpower formulas with dozens of brain boosting ingredients in one product.

Qualia Mind and Qualia Focus are two of their most popular formulas, and they are getting major press. One pilot study just completed on Qualia Mind showed increases in six different cognitive faculties after just five days of use. Go HERE to try either product with a money back guarantee, and enter 15OFF at checkout for 15-percent off your first purchase.

2. Juggling

Juggling can help improve your brain power.

Yep. Juggling. The kid you made fun of in your high school talent contest is getting the last laugh. It turns out that juggling can create positive structural changes to the brain that can yield benefits far beyond juggling.

A study published by Nature indicates that the processing and storage of complex visual motion sequences associated with juggling induce macroscopic alterations to the brain’s structure that actually show up in brain imaging scans and are associated with general increases in mental capacities.

3. Being a Social Butterfly

Socializing is great for your brain.

Parties can be draining. All that interaction. All the different styles of communication, topics, and contexts you have to make sense of almost instantly as you mingle. But it turns out that exhausted feeling you get by the end of the night is a sign you just gave your brain a vigorous workout. A recent study from the University Of Michigan found a strong correlation between participants’ positive cognitive testing results and their frequency of social interaction.

So in the middle of the awkward Thanksgiving conversation with your relatives, just remember: something good might come from it after all.

4. Napping

One key way to improve your brain power is to get enough rest.

If you have a mentally challenging activity planned after a long work day, the best thing you can do is to take a 100 minute nap. Or at least that was the finding in a recent UC Berkeley study. Participants who napped before an evening memorization task scored approximately 20 percent higher on the task than those who didn’t.

Fighting to keep your eyes open through a long work day may seem admirable, but you’ll likely get far more done if you concede 100 minutes to recharge. That’s why companies like Google and Mercedes Benz are now providing nap rooms to employees, realizing it actually increases employee productivity in the long run.

5. Listening To Music While Studying

Music stimulates your brain.

The person in the library or at work with headphones in all the time? You may think they’re just distracting themselves, but it turns out the opposite may be true. A number of studies have indicated correlations with music listening and capacities such as memorization, math skills, and more. Even cooler is the fact that certain genres of music appear to have beneficial correlations to specific tasks. For example, classical music seems to be more beneficial for learning math than other genres.

From cutting edge mental nutrition, to napping, to cranking tunes while studying, we’ve entered a new age in neurohacking—one that’s backed by real science. Give these hacks a try the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by mental stress.

Inverse may receive a portion of sales from the post above, which was created independently from Inverse’s editorial and advertising team.

Media via istockphoto.com