There are many ways to boost the power of the mind. Some of them are proven by science, some soon-to-be proven, and others that work for one person and not another. That is why I advocate the “shotgun approach” to increasing one’s mind power. Unlike rifle shells, shotgun shells have many pellets instead of one bullet. When fired, these spread out, so you don’t have to be as accurate in your aim. In other words it makes hitting the target easier and more likely.
What does this have to do with the power of the mind? Actually it is a useful metaphor for almost any goals we have, especially when the correct course of action is a bit uncertain. Try many things at once and one of these “pellets” is likely to hit the target. When you need a brain boost, then, and you are not sure what will work best, do more than one thing at a time.
For example, you could sit up straight, breath deeply, tell yourself you’re mentally powerful, have a cup of coffee and take a ginkgo biloba supplement. If one of these “hits the target,” you’re better off right? And if three out of the five of them work, you’ll be thinking much more clearly. When there are cheap and safe things to try, I advocate the “shotgun approach.” With that in mind, here are five more things to try.
Try A New Perspective
Try a new perspective when thinking about things this week. For example, imagine what your actions would look like to a being from another planet. Do they make more or less sense from that perspective? Or think about your income in terms of how much you make per hour or per day, or per action. Each of these ways can suggest different alternatives. New perspectives give you new insight.
You have probably heard about the benefits of exercise, and in particular walking, for the brain. You also probably know from experience how much a good conversation can clarify your thinking and help you generate new ideas. Why not combine the two? Take a walk with someone who you can have an intelligent conversation with. It will will be good for your body and the power of your mind.
Do Something You Enjoy
There isn’t much scientific evidence for this idea yet, but fully engaging in an activity you love seems to rest the brain and refresh it. Sometimes your mind is racing here and there – until you focus on something you enjoy doing. This might include building a birdhouse, playing a game of chess, downhill skiing, or a hundred other activities.
I used to get my brain-rest by chopping firewood. Afterwards, I always felt like I could think more clearly. The idea here is to take a break by doing something that fully engages your attention in an enjoyable way. Then you can get back to work, able to use your mind more effectively.
For clearer thinking, try eating less, or eating more smaller meals. The research shows that “brain fog” or the “sugar blues” is a real phenomenon, often caused by eating too many simple carbohydrates. But in addition to this, most of us have the experience of eating too much of any food and feeling mentally sluggish. Try a light food day, to see if you feel more mentally awake.
Solve Your Problems
Every day for a week pick a real problem and solve it, using any of the many creative problem solving techniques, or whatever your own routine is. These can be very simple or minor things, like fixing a sticky door, or finding a new way to organize your desk. This exercise isn’t about mentally inventing things – unless you can make a prototype today. Just creating new ideas can be good mental exercise and entertaining too, but the idea here is to train yourself to be a problem solver, and to relate that thought process to action. This is a powerful way to boost the power of the mind.