By making simple changes, you can increase mental capacity and the potential to achieve more to become your best self.
That’s from Dave Asprey, author of ” Head Strong : The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster – in Just Two Weeks.”
Asprey is a tech entrepreneur who also founded the popular Bulletproof Radio podcast that boasts 50 million downloads.
“When you upgrade your body’s ability to make energy, your brain turns on all the way,” he adds.
Tips on doing so:
Schedule downtime. To counter living in our hurry-up-and-go society that’s wired us to always have to be “on,” Asprey recommends to set up time every day to tune out and go offline – and put it on your calendar.
He notes that every one of the highest-performing scientists and executives he’s coached or interviewed uses some form of mindfulness practice that slows the brain down.
“Consider taking up yoga or the breathing exercises,” Asprey said. “In just 20 minutes you can significantly boost working memory” and, with regular practice, improve brain function.
Terraform your bedroom. Most people don’t get good quality sleep, Asprey says. “Multiple studies have shown that it’s quality, not quantity that matters most.”
Poor sleep quality causes brain function to plummet and reduces your body’s ability to manage your blood sugar, he says.
The most important sleep factors in a physical bedroom are darkness, noise and temperature, Asprey says. By making small changes, such as installing blackout curtains, blocking LED lights on electronic devices, and reducing your bedroom’s temperature you can significantly improve your rest. “A pitch-black sleeping environment pays dividends every night.”
Fuel your mind. Eat more wild caught fish, coconut oil, nut butters, and other healthy fats, Asprey advises. These kinds of foods power your brain and body.
Peter Shankman, author of ” Faster Than Normal : Turbocharge Your Focus, Productivity and Success With the Secrets of the ADHD Brain,” points out that pizza and other types of junk food are all counterproductive to optimum brain performance.
Shankman, who has ADHD, is a tech entrepreneur who has started and sold three companies, an Ironman triathlete, and a corporate keynote speaker.
Junk food has lots of fat and carbs, and usually just requires you to eat more next time to get the same high, he says. Focus on healthy food instead; get your needed natural chemicals from exercise and other, more-beneficial options.
Train your body. There are two types of exercise that can help you to grow more energy production in your brain and muscles, Asprey says. The first is to go for a walk every day for at least 20 minutes – “no jogging required!”
The second is to push yourself really hard for only 15 minutes once or twice a week. The most effective forms of this kind of exercise are short sprints or lifting really heavy things. “It saves a ton of time and allows your body to be ready for making lots of energy at any time,” he said.
To add a little extra focus for your next meeting, Shankman has found the simple act of walking up a few flights of stairs or doing jumping jacks or pushups is enough to “physically change your brain for an hour, by providing dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline – the three key brain chemicals that keep you alert and on the ball.”
Prepare. To focus on changing up brain chemistry first thing each day, Shankman starts his morning being ready to exercise.
To fight the stay-in-bed-and-hit-the-snooze mentality, he has automated lighting that turns on just before he wakes up. Further Shankman sleeps in his gym clothes. By the time his alarm goes off early in the morning, he’s ready to go.
“The first two hours of my day are spent exercising,” he said. “This drastically ups my dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline, and gives me the focus, mental acuity and preparedness I need to be the most productive I can.”
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