Need a Brain Boost?

Brain overload?

Is your memory not doing so well?

Perhaps you can’t recall important information after one of those endless meetings you attend?

Are you constantly losing your keys or your glasses?

If any of this sound familiar to you, then perhaps I can offer some simple ways to work with these brain challenges.

I read a recent article in Redbook Magazine by Kelly Mickle entitled “kooky memory tricks that work.” According to Mickle, not only will these little tips make it easier to remember where you put things, but will help defend against senior moments later. Some of us might have needed them sooner rather than later, but my motto is its never too late.

Doodling – ever doodle during a meeting or while you’re on the phone? According to an Applied Cognitive Psychology report sketching while listening means you’re 29% more likely to remember what you heard. Why? Apparently doodling keeps you focused on the action and less likely to daydream. You can still listen while you doodle, but daydreaming reduces your attention towards the speaker.

Web surfing – bosses take note: surfing may not increase productivity, but it can boost brainpower and that’s important. One study had people search the web for information on a variety of topics, and afterward brain scans showed they had more brain activity in the memory and decision-making areas of the brain. And in today’s world, decisions seem to come a mile a minute. So take a moment to Google something of interest when you start to feel drained or overwhelmed.

Laughter – Stress disrupts brain-cell communication in the hippocampus (the area of your brain that controls memory) according to the University of California’s research, laughter can counteract this affect. Sometimes I get little video clips via email and Facebook, and watching the humorous ones does offer a nice break. You might also try America’s Funniest Home Videos highlights at

Power walking – taking a brisk stroll for 20 minutes before that big meeting will actually boost your brainpower for an hour. According to Charles Hillman, Ph.D. at the University of Illinois people performed better on difficult memory test 30 minutes after cardio. Why? Aerobic exercise may increase blood flow to the brain and improve you ability to learn new things. I do yoga and I know that the head down position downward-dog seems to make my brain seem more alert.

Yes, engagement at work is incredibly important and yet without disengaging you may not be your best self, and therefore not do your best work. So is laughter and exercise the best medicine? It’s worth a try.

~ by transformativethoughts on September 5, 2011.

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