We go to the gym to train our muscles. We lift weights to get stronger and do cardio to increase our stamina and endurance. But did you know you can also train your brain and “program” it to help you succeed?
Reaching your goals is hard enough—but it’s even harder when your brain won’t cooperate with you. So you need brain exercises and strong mental models to help you accomplish what you’re trying to do.
Regular training of the brain can help you perform in all aspects of your life, including your career. Whether you’re running a business, raising a family, studying, or working 9 to 5, your brain can be your greatest asset.
Think about how you can pick up so many new skills and knowledge by attending a seminar or reading a book. Today we’re going to give you many different examples of brain training exercises, as well as habits you need to adopt in order to sharpen your mind.
It’s not easy building new habits and developing a new mindset. You’re basically trying to change the way you think. But remember that the most important thing here is consistency. The more you practice these habits, the more effectively you can reprogram your brain into becoming a magnet for success. Eventually, it will all become second nature.
Train Your Brain for Success, Happiness & to Get What You Want Out of Life
Brain fitness is all about variety. If you have already mastered a certain skill, it’s time to move on to a new one. Developing a curiosity about a wide range of topics can help you become a well-rounded person with tons of different skills. It will also be good for your brain. The more you learn, the more connections your brain can develop, the easier it becomes to establish more connections in the future.
If you already know everything there is to know about a certain topic, it’s time to pick up a book or open up an article about a new one.
Your brain needs to be challenged—and often. This will keep your brain working quickly and efficiently. This is the number one rule for mental fitness.
Learn the Difference Between Problem-Solving and Ruminating
If you ever find yourself thinking about something for a very long time, ask yourself: are you actually working on a solution or just dwelling on the problem? It’s unhealthy to imagine yourself in uncomfortable situations and torture yourself over things that are out of your control. You could be spending your time learning new things or creating solutions instead.
Now if you’re actively solving your problems, keep processing. But if you’re just rehashing things in your head, or trying to make predictions about possible outcomes, just change the channel. Get your mind off the issue and do something else.
Each of us have an estimated 70,000 thoughts per day. You could use them wisely by building yourself up, or you can use them to tear yourself down. Don’t overthink and second-guess your decisions. Doubting your abilities will only hinder your progress.
Identify and Work with Your Emotions
Training your brain isn’t all about becoming an emotionless robot. If you want to succeed and reach your life goals, you can’t disregard your emotions. They’re an important part of your mental health, and you need to learn how to process your emotions in a healthy way in order to function.
You can’t think straight or learn new skills if your emotions are uncontrollable. So label your emotions, talk about your feelings, and don’t be afraid to show them. If you ignore what you’re really feeling, you will only feel distracted from your goals.
Spend more time acknowledging your emotional state so you know what you’re dealing with. And once you’ve identified your emotions, start balancing them with logic. This will allow you to make the best possible decisions. Leave your emotions unchecked and they will spill over into other areas of your life.
We are a lot nicer when talking to other people compared to when we’re talking to ourselves. Pay attention to your internal dialogue and identify when you’re being unnecessarily mean. We get it—we are our own worst critics. But this can often become counterproductive especially if you’re being overly critical.
Taking care of your mental health is a vital part of training your brain for success. A bit of self-compassion goes a long way towards an improved well-being.
If you’re trying to solve a problem, give yourself the same advice you would normally give your trusted friends. Don’t dwell too much on your mistakes—it will only slow you down. This is backed by numerous studies linking self-compassion to increased motivation and self-worth.
To fully train your mind, you need to lay a healthy foundation. Start having better conversations with yourself if you want to reach your greatest potential. You may notice some improvements in your disposition, which will allow you to work towards success more effectively.
If you want to boost your well-being even more, practice gratitude. One study suggests that grateful people are 25 percent happier. Try to look for the good in life and your mind will be in a better disposition.
How Can You Train Your Brain?
Meditating daily is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body. Not only does it relax you, it also gives your brain plenty of exercise. Meditation puts you in a different mental state, which lets you engage your brain in a new way.
Training your brain also involves taking care of your body. We think that exercise is only for the body, but it is actually good for your brain too. Physical exercise involves learning new muscle skills, which means it’s a new way to challenge your brain.
A combination of exercise and a healthy diet is great for your brain. Your brain needs a lot of healthy fats, so include more nuts, fish oils, flax seed, and olive oil into your diet. And speaking of fats, eat less saturated fats and transfats. Your brain will thank you for it.
Another thing your brain is going to thank you for is turning off the television. While the average person watches more than four hours of television every day, it is an activity that is often done mindlessly, and it hardly engages your brain. Watch less TV and exercise your brain a little bit more.
One good exercise for your brain is learning a new skill. Learning a new skill works multiple areas of the brain, including memory, coordination, and even your senses. While learning new skills, you learn new movements and create new connections within your brain. It makes you more intelligent as a result.
Picking up a new skill can also make you more valuable—which will ultimately help you reach your goals. Learn to cook, speak a new language, try a new computer software, build something with your hands, or unleash your creative side by pursuing art. You may discover a fun new hobby in the process.
The three main principles of brain training are memory, visualization, and reasoning. Work on these three concepts every day and you can easily sharpen your mind.
Simple Ways to Train Your Brain
You don’t need to reprogram your brain and develop a new mindset entirely. You need to see what works for you and what helps you be more productive, because at the end of the day it’s what will help you succeed in life.
Start with simple changes. Identify unhealthy habits and break them. We all love our routines. But if something is unhealthy—for example spending hours and hours on Netflix instead of working on your career goals, then you can change that.
If something is already “second nature”—like your routines and habits, for example, you can switch it up and try something new just to challenge your brain. Even changing routes to your destination can be a good exercise for your brain. Try new things—small things, instead of going too big too soon.
Even though we’re encouraging you to drop unhealthy habits, you don’t need to drop all your hobbies entirely. In fact, having fun and doing things you enjoy can recharge your brain. Play some games: they’re really good for challenging the brain. You can benefit from doing these games a little bit every day. But don’t spend hours on them—a few minutes a day will do.
Read something different. Learn something new. Pick up a new book on a topic you’ve never read about before. This will expand your knowledge and help you learn new skills.
How to Train Your Brain to Focus
Perhaps the most difficult thing for professionals is to beat procrastination. It’s easy to get distracted by fun activities, news, and small life events that you encounter every day. But if you let yourself get swept up by these distractions, you’ll never get anything done.
So train your brain to focus for longer periods of time—long enough to finish one activity. You need this level of focus to attract results.
If you want to be more productive, start planning and visualizing your most critical tasks each day. Once you’ve identified your biggest priorities, put them into “time blocks” and dedicate hours per activity. Stick to that schedule so you can accomplish all your daily priorities within those time blocks. This way, you can accomplish your most important tasks without getting distracted.
Try to work within your peak hours. We all have those peak times where we perform at our best. Some people work better during the day, while others do better at night. Find your most productive hours and make the most out of them.
Building your focus takes willpower and discipline. You need to develop both at the same time. It’s all about teaching your brain what to prioritize and which tasks to take seriously. Acknowledge the fact that your brain wants to gain pleasure and avoid pain—that’s perfectly normal. But when you acknowledge it, you can avoid procrastinating. Procrastination happens because the brain wants to avoid pain.
So every time you want to focus on something, think about your brain’s immediate response. Are you trying to avoid pain and gain pleasure? And then consciously make the decision to do it anyway. This way, you’ll be in charge.
Start building productive habits so you no longer have to use motivation and tons of willpower just to get something done. Building good habits is like teaching your brain how to behave at certain times.
Finally, avoid multitasking. We all love to feel productive but doing many tasks at the same time only makes you unfocused and ineffective. Multitasking prevents you from putting your best foot forward, which means your results will be subpar. Focus on doing one thing—and do it well, and then you can move on to the next thing.
How to Train Your Brain to Remember More
The first thing you need to do to train your brain to remember more is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is self-awareness. Don’t just live life on autopilot—be conscious of what you’re doing. Actually pay attention to the task at hand, so you can remember more.
Pay attention to your environment, your thoughts, feelings, and even your breathing. Stay focused on the “here and now” so that your mind is present.
Next, work on your memory by practicing it regularly. Remembering events or things and discussing them with others can help you improve your memory. Memory activities and exercises can also help.
If you’re trying to improve your memory, try doing something new often. This creates new pathways for the brain, which helps you recall them better and faster. For example, the more you exercise, the more your brain learns to enjoy the activity.
You don’t have to implement all the tips listed above. See what works for you and start training your brain at your own pace. Developing a winning mindset will be tough, and it may take some time. But once you’ve trained yourself to think like a winner, you will start attracting more success along the way.