Sure, you could spend months picking up a new language to get your noggin in top form — or you could just adopt some simple habits to optimize your mind right now. Here, three good ones to try. Your noodle will thank you!
You’ll be more creative if you do so, particularly when you’re called on to think about new ideas, according to a new study in the journal Mindfulness. Men and women saw brain perks from a mere 20 minutes of meditating, even if other thoughts popped into their heads while they were trying to Zen out, like “I need to start the dishwasher after this.”.
Let yourself reminisce
Got a problem — say, how to deal with an aggressive relative– that you can’t solve? Allow your mind to wander back to how you took care of a similar situation in the past. A recent study from Cornell University discovered that when folks engaged brain regions connected with memory and reminiscing, they did much better on the task at hand.
Perhaps you’ve seen someone staring out the window and thought, “They’re clearly not being productive.” Turns out, daydreamers have a better functioning memory, which helps you retain and recall details in the midst of distraction (like remembering a long coffee order in a loud coffee shop), shows University of Wisconsin-Madison research.