Seven ways to train your brain

If you were advised that you could train your brain a little each day in order to make you smarter, would you be interested? Well, a Q&A website called Quora believes you can be smarter with brain training. Here are seven activities in which you can engage that Quora members think make you smarter. And whilst they may not be experts in the field, there’s no better advice offered than from real-life experience itself.

1. Come up with three ideas every day

These ideas can be anything from solving world hunger, to a plot for a movie or an idea for a novel. Find a problem and think of a solution. No matter how ridiculous it may seem at the time, you’re still training your brain to think out of the box, and this exercise may help you with solving your every-day dilemmas in the future.

2. Cut out the ‘bad brain food’

Everything you see or hear becomespart of the ‘nutrition’for your brain. So be more selective about what you feed your mind. Think of the mindless ways in which you spend your time and start reducing these activities. No one’s saying it’s not okay to switch off every now and then, but try reading a book or educational article instead of a tabloid gossip magazine. Watch a documentary instead of reality TV. Your brain will thank you for it. Also, opt for healthy brain foods, go easy on the alcohol and try not to eat processed foods, such or those high in sugar or heavy in saturated fat. You know the drill.

3. Get the blood flowing

A daily run or brisk walk will increase the blood flow and do wonders for your brain. The change of scenery can also help free your mind, which can also assist with figuring out life’s little problems.

4. Use YouTube for more than just laughs

YouTube is often underestimated as a powerful educational tool. Want to know how to build a birdhouse or paint a landscape? Or maybe you just want to learn a little about history. Then look for it on YouTube. Or the next time you have a dilemma, head to YouTube and search for your query. You’d be amazed at how many ‘how to’ videos are available for you to peruse.

5. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it won’t hurt you.

If you have a query about something, find out the answer. There are a wealth of ways in which to find the answers to your questions, such as Wikipedia, Google, YouTube, Quora, IMDB, Wikihow, Khan Academy and Yahoo Answers. Why not use these outlets and get to ‘knowing’ instead of just wondering?

6. Make a ‘to do’ list, then a ‘done’ list

Make a list of all the things you want to learn, including knowledge, skills and hobbies. Figure out what you can learn now and what you can learn in the future. Be creative. If you want to learn French or paint a portrait, jot it down. No ‘to do’ is too small.

Now, make a list of how you can achieve these goals. Research your resources, courses, websites and books and note the ones that can help you. You are exercising your brain just by doing this project, but you’re also compiling resources that can help you get a bit closer to your goals. You’ll find it easier to chase your dreams once they are on paper.

Then, at the end of each day, create a ‘done’ list and write down all that you completed throughout the day. You’ll find that being accountable for your day means you’ll try harder to achieve something with each one that passes – because you’ll want to be able to write something down.

7. Put your knowledge to good use

Ensure that you use your newly acquired skill as often as possible in your daily life. The best way to reap the benefits of what you’ve learned is to use it, so don’t keep your newfound knowledge to yourself – get out and flaunt it!

Read more about daily habits to make you smarter at Business Insider.

Read more about maintaining a healthy brain.

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