Divergent thinking is a great way to enhance your creativity. The goal is to pick a topic and create as many different ideas about it as possible in a short amount of time. The best way to begin is to begin brainstorming prospective topics is to engage in self-analysis (asking yourself questions to help you brainstorm a list of topics). Examples of such questions include:
•How is my time spent?
•I am an expert on what?
•What are my hobbies?
•What grinds my gears?
Be In Tune With Your Mind and Body
Everyone needs alone time. When you have time to yourself to reflect on the day that has passed, you’re helping yourself learn more about who you are, what you want out of life, and what you can have with a little hard work and effort. Don’t skimp on the alone time; make sure to make some, even if your life is busy! A great way to help you be in tune with yourself is to practice mindfulness, a type of meditation to help you cultivate well being and happiness. Even 10 minutes of solid meditation per day can stimulate measurable positive changes in the brain traceable on a brain scanner. For more information about mindfulness and its benefits, go to the section “Benefits of Meditation for the Brain.”Remember not to waste time on things that mean nothing or get you nowhere. This can be anything from worrying about the weather to doing a favor for someone that doesn’t treat you so nicely. Make sure to spend your time doing things you want to do. This is your life, and you can become great if you let loose a little.Whatever you choose to do, make sure that each thing you do is done with your heart, body and soul. You want to make the most out of your life by fully realizing everything that you’re doing, and allowing yourself to feel, explore and learn.
Many studies indicate that small changes in daily routines promote brain stimulation, and that’s where neurobics comes into play. Neurobics is a concept created by doctor Lawrence Katz, a neurobiology professor at Duke University Medical Center. It is a unique system of brain exercises connecting your emotional sense with your five physical senses in ways that encourage you to stimulate your brain’s daily routines (14). You can practice neurobics almost anywhere and anytime. The following are a few examples of these simple exercises:
•Alternate routes when driving to work or routine destinations
•Open the door or get dressed with your eyes closed
•Use your opposite hand to brush your teeth or comb your hair
•Shop at a new department store
Neurobics relies on the concept of the uncommon. For example, research suggests that using your opposite hand more often can help stimulate parts of the brain that are not normally used.
Manage Your Stress
People suffering from chronic stress tend to have high levels of cortisol, a steroid hormone produced in respond to stress by the adrenal. High levels of this hormone are dangerous to the brain and can lead to shrinkage of the hippocampus (since it has many cortisol receptors), and in some instances neural death (13). The hippocampus is an important brain region for spatial, episodic, and contextual memory. Researchers from the University of California found that a cortisol imbalance, leading to short or long-term stress, can impair cell communication in the brain’s memory and learning regions (12). Since stress is an essential part in our lives and cannot be eliminated, stress management is the key. There are several activities that can help you manage stress in your daily life:
•Create a noise free environment or a sanctuary
•Avoid multitasking, over-scheduling and unnecessary responsibilities
•Get a massage
A new brain in 7 days?