In today’s fast-paced and technologically advanced work environment, our productivity is one of our most important internal performance metrics. We strive to reach our goals and change our habits to become more successful and optimize our personal performance. There are a ton of products that claim to have the ability to enhance your cognitive and physical abilities, but there are also natural alternatives to increase your brain’s processing power — to strengthen and retrain your brain.Can the connections in our #brain be increased, strengthened or rewired? Can we change our #habits to increase our productivity? Yes, there are reliable ways to retrain your brain and your habits.Click To Tweet
How to Change Your Habits
Changing your habits can be a great way to break free of a rigid mental state. Although, habits form deep in the region of the brain known as the Basal Ganglia, making them extremely difficult to change. This area of the brain is close to the brain stem and has been one of the earliest areas of cognitive development in humans.
In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg suggests habits can be broken into three distinct segments—the cue, the reward and the routine. For example, when you see someone smoking a cigarette (cue), and light one up yourself (routine), you get a rush of chemicals in the brain that elicits positive emotions (reward). Duhigg argues that by replacing the routine with something that can elicit similar brain activity, you can modify your habits.
To continue with the smoking analogy, scientists found that smoking can induce the brain to release endorphins that produce the “runner’s high.” When you see someone smoking a cigarette or have a craving you can try to run a lap around the block or sprint to get the same reward.
Neurogenesis vs. Neuroplasticity
Neuroscientists have studied the brain’s ability to develop neurons, known as neurogenesis, and strengthen the connections between those neurons, known as neuroplasticity. While some scientists believe neurogenesis can take place in adults, most think we lose the ability to build new neurons after the initial development of the brain.
Our brain is constantly being bombarded with stimuli that it must process and either act on, store for later recall, or ignore completely. When we are learning, this new information is strengthening our mental model of the subject and through repetition, we are able to enhance our synaptic connections between neurons. While repetition is crucial to learning, it is also necessary to give yourself a mental break or sleep. It’s no coincidence that most languages have a direct translation for the phrase, to “sleep on the problem.” (The direct translation in French, however, is to sleep with the problem).To improve your ability to #learn new subjects, retain information, change your habits and become more productive, implement some of these tips to retrain your #brain.Click To Tweet
If you want to improve your ability to learn new subjects, retain information, change your habits and become more productive, implement some of the tips to retrain your brain in the visual below from our friends at GetVoIP. Whether it’s from intermittent fasting, solving a puzzle, exercising, sleeping, learning a new language or simply reading a novel every night before bed, the benefits of your cognitive abilities will greatly impact your career and personal life.
Have you explored ways to strengthen and retrain your brain?
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