50 Brain Hacks You Can Use to Supercharge Your Mind
Lifehack is a word that is prevalent all over the internet today, and each day people are inundated with these small vague tips about things that they can integrate into their daily lives to improve them. You may adopt one of these habits for a few days but nothing sticks, because lifehacks don’t often include the why – which is almost more important than the how.
The reasons you want to hack your mindset, your fitness, and your nutrition are abundantly clear. You deserve to be productive, healthy, and feel good about your body and your mind. With the hacks below, you get the how and the why on changes that you can make, big or small, that will transform you into your best self and allow you to create the life you deserve.
Fitness & Health
1. Do yoga: There is a lot more to a yoga practice than spending way too much money on Lululemon; yoga can help you approach every aspect of your life in a better way and eliminate stress all while making you look great.
2. Fight insomnia caused by electronics: As nice as it would be to be the kind of person who gets off your laptop or cell phone an hour before bedtime, that isn’t realistic for most people. The problem is that the blue light emitted from the screens inhibits the production of melatonin (which puts you to sleep), luckily there are plenty of apps that cause these screens to emit warmer light to help you get a good night’s sleep.
3. Fix your Circadian Rhythm: Insomnia is a highly prevalent problem in the world today, which in turn leads to groggy mornings, unhealthy eating, and limited productivity; by aligning your sleep rhythm with the natural rhythm of the sun, you can solve a lot of these problems.
4. Get enough sun: Time in the sun gives you more than a great tan; it helps your body create vitamin D which helps your body absorb calcium and helps your cells to communicate better.
5. Go float yourself: Float tanks are also called sensory deprivation tanks, and they eliminate all incoming stimuli; this helps your body reach an elevated state of relaxation and has many mental and physical benefits.
6. Invest in your workouts: The Pact app can be used to earn money for healthy actions you take, and you are also financially penalized for not meeting your goals. You can use this system to keep your mind motivated to work out, even when your body isn’t.
7. Jam out while you work out: Music can create bursts of strength when a song you particularly like comes on, and can also enhance your enjoyment of certain activities that may have otherwise been difficult to enjoy; when working out, music has been proven to delay signs of fatigue and aid with endurance.
8. Lift heavy: Lifting heavier weights increases the endorphins your body releases during your workout which leads to a positive and sometimes even euphoric feeling causing you to have a better mood all day, it can also increase the level of testosterone in men; muscle also burns more calories at rest which speeds up your metabolism.
9. Use photos to hack your immunity: Studies show that looking at certain (read: gross) images stimulates the immune system to fight off infections at a faster rate.
10. Use the Seinfeld Strategy: The Seinfeld Strategy is simple, if you want to keep a habit going you just mark your calendar with an X (or check mark, star, etc.) each day you complete the desired action; it motivates you to continue so as not to break the streak.
1. Build a Memory Palace: By using visualization to conjure a palace in our minds and putting the things we need to remember in specific “places” within it, it drastically improves our recall.
2. Chew some gum: As many times as you’ve been told to spit out your gum in class could be the reason for dips in you GPA; it turns out that chewing gum increases performance on exams and can help you recall certain things better. It also can help you feel more focused and alert when chewing.
3. Create a mind map: If you’re a visual learner, creating a mind map (or any visual representation of the things you need to remember) can help solidify information in your brain.
4. Just sleep on it: Instead of reliving your college days and cramming for that meeting, project, or even wedding speech coming up, just sleep on it! Studies have shown that reading over the things you need to remember and then getting restful sleep is way more efficient than cramming right up until you need to use the information.
5. Try Mnemonic Training: Remember PEMDAS? It’s probably one of the only things you remember from high school (besides the fact that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell). You can create your own mnemonic devices (like acronyms or songs) for the same effect.
6. Try teaching someone else: If you can’t explain it to someone else, then it is almost guaranteed that you don’t understand it yourself. The act of teaching something to someone else makes you think harder about the subject, and saying it aloud and hearing it will also make more connections in your brain than just reading it.
7. Use dramatic imagery: You know how they say to do something strange when you lock your doors before going on vacation so that you won’t forget having done it? This is the mental equivalent to that. By visualizing things that are a little out of left field, you use a different part of your brain which will help you retain the information better.
8. Use Spaced Repetition: Spaced repetition is one of the most effective ways to remember anything. You go over the material periodically, and anything that you have trouble remembering, you just go over it more frequently until you get the hang of it.
9. Watch a documentary: Watching a documentary, or even just a movie, that has to do with what you need to remember will help you create what’s called ‘story memories’ and create stronger associations with the information.
10. Write things down: Walking through the supermarket repeating “milk, cheese, canned corn,” works right up until you run into someone you know or stop to check out a sale; by writing down the things you need to buy or remember in general will help them get into your mind better. Then, of course, if you forget you’ll have everything you need already written down.
1. Be your own motivational speaker: Taking your own advice is extremely difficult, but if you make slight changes to the way you talk about yourself you will see improvement over time. Don’t say “I’m stupid” if you forget something, instead say “I tend to be forgetful.” This will help you think more positively about yourself.
2. Don’t think too much: It never pays to second guess yourself. Studies show that the more time you spend thinking about what choice is best for you, the more likely you are the choose wrong.
3. Focus on the grand scheme: If you focus too much on every small interruption or inconvenience throughout your day at work, you forget about your paycheck. This applies to other areas of your life as well, just remember why you started and you can reach the finish line much easier.
4. Form healthy habits: You can do anything that you set your mind to as soon as you set your mind to it. By making small changes over time and building on them, you can be healthier, and happier.
5. Keep smiling: Facial expressions do a lot to tell other people how you’re feeling, but they actually do that same thing for you. If you make an effort to smile throughout the day, you will stay in a better mood and feel more confident.
6. Meditate often: Meditation is something that everyone plans to do, you know, eventually. This practice is great for your mind and your body because it helps you reduce stress throughout the day and can keep you on track for your goals. Even just five minutes in the morning can set a positive tone for the day.
7. Practice gratitude: Consciously focusing a little of your time every day on the things that you’re thankful for in your life can help your setbacks feel a lot smaller.
8. Practice self-compassion: It has been said that people are not their behavior, and the same applies to you too. If someone is short with you at work, you assume they may have had a rough morning, and you move on. You need to practice the same compassion with yourself. If you don’t meet all of your expectations for the day, consider the reason why and just agree to do better tomorrow.
9. Sit up straight: Making sure that you have good posture will help you sleep better at night, and can immediately increase your confidence.
10. Use affirmations: It may feel silly to stand in front of the mirror every day and say something nice about yourself, and if that’s the case you can try writing them down or even posting a status with a positive affirmation each day. Over time, you will internalize these messages and feel better about yourself and your ability to reach your goals.
1. Eat healthy fats: Avocados are delicious, and your brain agrees. Healthy fats increase blood flow to the brain, which makes it function better; they can also help lower your cholesterol.
2. Eat more mindfully: Eating while watching Netflix or even something on TV can cause you to overeat. Instead, you should pay attention during your meals so that you can stop when you’re full.
3. Eat your chocolate: Eating a little bit of dark chocolate every day can benefit your health in many surprising ways from improving memory loss to lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease. It is also full of antioxidants that your brain needs to thrive.
4. Get enough antioxidants: Brain cells are the most susceptible to the damage done by free radicals, and antioxidants are the only way to fight that damage. They can also help your skin stay clear, and slow the aging process.
5. Stay hydrated: Dehydration makes your skin feel gross, your head hurt, and can make you more likely to binge. Not only that, dehydration is one of the leading causes of attention span problems and can impair the memory.
6. Take your vitamins: Most people don’t eat a balanced enough diet to get all the nutrients that they need every day. Supplements and vitamins can help you get what you’re missing. B12 deficiency is the most common and can lead to excessive fatigue and even depression.
7. Track what you eat: Keeping track of what you eat in an app or even in a notebook will force you to confront all those 3 am trips to the fridge and will encourage you to eat healthier through out the day. You know what they say, a healthy body makes a healthy mind.
8. Try CBD Oil: CBD Oil can help with a broad range of things such as severe medical conditions like cancer, epilepsy, and Type 1 Diabetes. In addition to that, it helps you sleep better, is a natural solution to pain and inflammation, and reduces anxiety. It also helps your body release less cortisol which is a stress hormone.
9. Try fasting: Consuming all of your food in a particular 8-hour window is the most popular way to do what is called intermittent fasting. This can help speed up your metabolism and allows your brain to repair DNA in a way that it can’t if you eat regularly.
10. Try smart drugs: Smart drugs is the colloquial term for something called nootropics. Nootropics are specific compounds that help boost creativity, motivation, and overall brain function.
1. Check emails at a set time: Checking emails throughout the day is detrimental to productivity in a lot of ways. By setting a particular time to check it and turning off your notifications (if practical) will help you focus on the more important work throughout the day.
2. Clear your desk: Keeping your work area clean keeps you from getting distracted and will help you be more organized in general.
3. Complete similar tasks together: Batching your tasks will help you to get more done because you’ll be in the same frame of mind as you work. If you have a lot of proofreading to do or a lot of writing, and you batch those tasks together they will be easier to do because you’ll find a sort of groove as you work.
4. Limit distractions with a site blocker: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, and so on are the biggest contenders for our time in our day to day lives because social media is designed to be addictive, but unless you work in social media marketing, they’re not helping you! You can use a site blocker to keep you off those sites until your lunch break, or ideally the end of the day.
5. Personalize your workspace: Having your workspace decorated the way you like will lead to you being more comfortable in it and thus, more productive. Having control over your space will also help you to feel like you have more control in general as you complete tasks.
6. Set your alarm clock: Waking up early is the worst thing you have to do as an adult, isn’t it? It was the one thing you looked forward to not doing while you were growing up, but now it may be all it takes to change your life. People get more done in the morning, there are fewer distractions, and you’re able to think more clearly.
7. Take a break: Knowing when to take a break is a critical skill to being productive. Now and then, you need just to switch off and focus on something else while at work. This will boost your focus, and prevent burnout.
8. Two-Minute Rule: This is very simple: If you can do it in 2 minutes or less, do it now. Small tasks can pile up on you so quickly and start to feel overwhelming. You can avoid the ‘task avalanche’ by knocking out little things immediately.
10. Use the Pomodoro Technique: The Pomodoro technique is extremely popular, so much so that you might be sick of hearing about it. The reason people keep coming back to it is that it works. 25 minutes of work is extremely manageable, and then you get to look forward to a break. The short bursts combined with the reward aspect of a break drive productivity through the roof.