Our brain is such a fascinating tool that most of us don’t know how to use it to its full extent. In it, you’ll find a treasure trove of abilities that you (probably) were unaware of. Many of which you can start using today to improve your life.
Since we want to make sure that you’re in top productive shape, we will post from time to time a few mind hacks that will support you on your quest to live a fuller and more productive life.
I hope you’ll enjoy them. If you have a cool mind hack that you’d like to share, send it to haim [at] iqtell [com] and it might get featured in one of our next posts (crediting you, of course).
Today, I’ll share with you a few hacks that will help you process information faster, increase your brain’s capacity to deal with taxing tasks and open your child’s horizons to a brave new world, let’s get started…
#1 Mind Hack – Try Switching Hands
Your dominant hand is able to do a lot because you’ve invested a lot of resources in developing the pathway that streamlines information from your brain to your hand. Have you ever tried to brush your teeth or use the mouse with your non-dominant hand?
It’s quite frustrating and tiring right?
The reason is because the neural pathway in your brain that is in charge of doing things with your non- dominant hand is not nearly as developed. Trying to develop the new neural pathways could provide an overall productivity boost.
1# “There is research that musicians who use both hands have about a 9 percent increase in the size of their corpus callosum (the part of the brain that connects the two hemispheres), so certainly using both hands creates more transfer“, according to Carl Hale, Psy.D, neuropsychologist with Neuropsychology and Learning Associates in Merrillville and Fishers, Indiana.
By using our non-dominant hand for routine tasks with our dominant hand we’re stimulating the neural connections between both our brain hemispheres and increasing as a result our ability to process information and perceive it i.e. learning. “An increase in exchange between the hemispheres could benefit intelligence or processing” says Hale.
2# There’s a hidden bonus in adding ambidextrous capabilities to your repertoire.
Researchers from the University of New South Wales discovered what looks to be the ultimate anger management hack, and no, it’s not what you might think.
By using your non-dominant hand and forcing yourself to do certain tasks, you are strengthening self-control (the real reason behind our tantrums).
#2 Mind Hack – Start Learning a Second language
Being bilingual makes you smarter. Aside from the obvious advantages of knowing a few languages, e.g., reading books, speaking to people when you travel, etc.; knowing an additional language improves your cognitive skills (non-language related) and protects your brain against old age diseases such as dementia.
“As the human body begins its natural decline in old age, bilinguals seem to maintain better cognitive function” according to Ellen Bialystok of York University in Toronto, Ontario.
Apparently, when the brain knows two languages, it thinks in two channels, i.e. thinking about the same thing in two languages instead of one. This may look like it’s tasking the brain but the contrary is true. It actually gives it a sort of a workout, developing cognitive brain power by resolving a conflict.
Research has also shown that understanding several languages helps people process their surroundings in a different and more effective manner. Tests have shown that bilinguals react to the surroundings faster and ace mental tests that require rapid focus shifts.
The above mentioned doesn’t only apply to kids learning a new language, learning a second or a third language later in life gives you the same above mentioned rewards, what are you waiting for?
#3 Mind Hack – Make your kids smarter
As kids, our world is made up of sounds and images. Sounds that we analyze in our brain’s left hemisphere helps us differentiate between sound patterns. Connecting them to images (which are processed in our brain’s right hemisphere) helps us learn more effectively by connecting sounds and images.
By giving books to children, we expose them to a wider spectrum of vocabulary and concepts; enhance their understanding of more complex grammar and enrich their imagination; and as a result, boost their creativity. The above mentioned works even to a greater effect when the parents are the ones reading books to children; this exposes them earlier on to language concepts and ideas, years before they’re able to do so themselves.
Read to your kids, make them smarter and, most importantly, strengthen the bond you create with them.
#4 Mind Hack – You learn better while you sleep
A lot of people (including me during my days as a student) have this nasty habit of procrastination. We try to cram everything for the night before the exam hoping we remember everything. We make whatever excuse we can to justify waiting for the last minute.
Apparently, if you learn for an exam a few days before, and then stop learning for 24 hours, you are more likely to remember much more due to sleep.
Yes, “sleeping on it” helps our brain process the information we’ve absorbed. Given enough time for a pause, sleeping will translate into better achievements during the exams.
Don’t forget to send me your mind hacks to haim [at] iqtell [com].
Until next time!