The Grey Matter of the Hippocampus part of the brain is best known for its association with learning skills and memory capabilities, but it is also known for its connection to self-awareness, compassion and introspection. Basic activities done regularly in only a few weeks of time can increase your IQ and help you to feel more psychologically and physically at peace.
The discovery of neuroplasticity, the brain can change and reorganize itself, is revolutionizing the treatment of stroke patients, chronic pain sufferers, those with neurological disorders and by helping to ward off cognitive decline due to age-related issues.
Whether you are looking to increase your brain functioning or preserve your cognitive abilities, here are some activities to consider adding to your weekly routine to increase grey matter:
1) Embrace the Idea that the Brain Can Grow – This might seem like a silly suggestion, but it needs to be said. Children and young adults have the ability to learn skills faster and this often keeps adults from attempting more difficult feats. You are capable of learning a new language or learning to play an instrument in your older age. You are capable of evolving your behavioral habits. It begins with changing your mindset.
2) Meditation – Studies have shown mediation, particularly compassion mediation, increases neural activity and grey matter thickness. Meditation also puts you in beneficial brainwave patterns – alpha, theta, delta – a myriad of benefits manifest including super creativity, idea generation, enhanced cognitive abilities and overall intellectual capacity for growth.
3) Play Brain Games – Puzzles and Memory Games like Sudoku or other brain games will activate the mind by forcing us in a focused conscious state. This is the best way to increase grey matter via games.
4) Play Video Games – A recent study at University of Rochester, U.S., confirmed a link between 1st person video games and expanded visual awareness in the real world – a building block for the IQ. The ability to take in visual cues with speed and accuracy is invaluable.
5) Cardiovascular Exercise – Cardiovascular fitness is associated with increased cognitive scores and increased verbal intelligence by 50% according to a study done in Sweden. In contrast, muscle exercise was only weakly associated with intelligence.
6) Proper Nutrition – Food feeds the brain and a lack of the right food & nutrition will lead to lower energy levels which in turn lowers brain activity and eventually mental disorders. Vitamins B12, B6 and folic acid is needed for cognitive development. DHA/EPA is required for normal brain health and a lack of can lead to depression. Vitamin C increases mental agility. Vitamin K increases cognitive functioning. Berries containing anthocyanins increase short term memory. Zinc plays an important role in spatial learning and memory.
7) Learn a New Skill – Learning a new skill strengthens connections within the brain and it has the ability to get your mind out of a long time rut. The difficulty of the task is in close to relation to how much the brain will activate.
8) Use Your Imagination – Using your imagination is the same as using your visionary skills. Manifesting something positive into your life requires a lot of brain activity. Constantly using your visionary skills contributes to increased creativity, increased problem solving and idea generation.
9) Relinquish a Bad Habit – Forcing yourself to change a habit, whether it is smoking cigarettes or holding on too tightly to grudges, will help the brain to break down strong negative neural connections while making room for healthy new connections that benefit your brain growth. Weakening unhealthy brain connections is just as important as forming new healthy ones.