Getting the Most Out of Your Brain Power

Unlocking your cognitive potential

We all want to think better. To unlock what we know we are capable of. To do this we need to understand our cognition. From this we can learn and understand how to optimise this powerful beast we all have. Knowing how to unlock it is the key.


We use our cognitive processes in every aspect of our lives, whether it’s thinking about your health, judging a social situation or even deciding what colour shirt would show you as the cool calm and collected kind of cat you are.

 

You don't want to be the person who has the brainpower of say 500 but only gets 100 out of it. We all know this person. This means it's important for us to nurture this ability and boost it as much as possible. This means focusing on what's essential and discarding what's not. This means optimising your brain's processes so you can learn and apply at your full potential. 


What is BDNF?


It is a highly active neurotrophin ( a cool long word for a type of protein). It helps control the survival, development and function of neurons in the brain. BDNF also helps control the development of our neurons and therefore boosting our brain power and ability to require new connections around the new ideas we are learning. 


How can you improve cognition?


Physical activity

  •  Endurance exercises -  higher intensity activities like running or cycling increase BDNF levels by 200-300% initially.
  • Regular exercise also increases resting BDNF levels over an extended time period.
  • Exercise is shown to prevent cognitive decline over the years.

Meditation and mindfulness 

  • Mindfulness works to strengthen you attention and working memory 
  • It increases the levels of BDNF in the brain


Good sleeping habits 

  • BDNF is released in the deepest stages of sleep (stage 3 & 4)
  • It is important to aim to sleep 7 hours a day and have regular sleeping patterns

Intermittent fasting 

  • Intermittent fasting has been shown to increase your BDNF levels amongst many other benefits including heart health and hormone balances
  • A good way to introduce this into your day is fasting 16 hours overnight and having an 8-hour eating window. This would mean you would, for example, eat between 12.30pm to 8.30pm and only having water or black coffee through fasting hours.  This allow your body to adjust hormone levels and initiate repair processes.


What lower levels of BDNF?  

  • Long term stress is a massive inhibitor of BDNF 
  • It decreases the expression of BDNF in the brain 
  • This is why mindfulness can be so helpful
  • Sugars and processed foods result in a restriction on production of BDNF 


In summary, to get the most out of your brain power..


Avoid

  • Stress
  • Sugar


You need to focus on

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Anaerobic exercise
  • Meditation
  • Sleep
  • Experimenting with intermittent fasting


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