Every task that you perform in your daily life, be it as simple as walking or as complicated as coding a computer program, is a direct result of your brain activity. And, your brain activity is dependent on a lot of things like genetics, surrounding environment, education and diet. This indicates that a significant part of your brain power or intelligence is established during your childhood years, leaving you no hope of improving it when you become an adult. But just as you can completely transform your physical appearance by working out in the gym, you can train your brain to make it competent, intelligent and smarter. Here are some tips to get started:

1. Learn something new:  Whether you’re learning a new language or a new art form like dance, every time you learn a new skill, you trigger your brain to build new neurons, while the existing neurons form newer pathways. The more the number of neurons and neuronal pathways, the better and faster your brain works.

2. Play video games: Well, your parents might have scolded you for playing video games as a child but research suggests that video games are amazing tools driving the brain’s visual and motor neuronal activity. A study revealed that those who play video games during their childhood years have more brain cells in the part of the brain that determines their potential for learning and predicting skills. It also increases activity in the left ventral striatum, responsible for emotions and behavioural aspects.

3. Fool the brain: Assuming that you are right-handed, you must have tried writing or eating with your left hand as children. It seems that this exercise actually has the potential to boost your brain. Such activities help you tap your brain’s unused connections and pathways. Challenging the brain to carry out signalling of activities, for which it already has a fixed pattern or pathway, helps the brain to use neurons that are otherwise not very active. Practising such activities form a part of ‘neurobics,’ where you use different parts of the brain for familiar tasks. A few more activities in neurobics include walking backwards, running sideways, combing hair with left hand and walking with your eyes closed. 

4. Download brain training apps:  With today’s improving smartphone technology, we have an app for everything, literally, which is actually making us dumb because we are hardly using our brains to remember things. But a smarter way to use the app store would be to download a few brain challenging apps. Apps like Brain Trainer Special, Lumosity, Brain Fitness Pro and Fit Brain Trainer offer games that target and improve focus, memory and problem-solving skills. Although they may not guarantee improved brain activity, they will definitely trigger your brain’s hidden neurons.

5. Interact with new people:  Interacting with new people challenges the memory and brain power to process and store visual and auditory inputs for every one you meet. When you interact with them, you tap into deeper potential of your brain to allow development of judgements, psychological understanding and behavioural traits. Interaction also influences your behaviour. Researchers suggest that it’s not only face-to-face interaction that helps your brain work better, telephonic conversations and engaging on social media sites can also improve your cognitive skills.


6. Spend quality time with close ones: To improve your emotional quotient, you must have some meaningful and quality relationships in your life. Healthy relationships reduce stress in life and improve psychological understanding. It helps you understand yourself better and recall happy memories later in life.

7. Exercise: It’s official now — physical activity does make you smarter. A research published in Neuropharmacology suggests that aerobic exercises like jogging, swimming and cycling boost the number of new neurons produced in the hippocampus region of the brain that is responsible for memory, organising and storing information. Exercise also works by reducing stress that can hamper the process of neuron regeneration. [3]

8. Meditate: We all know that meditation reduces stress, anxiety, depression and all other negative thoughts originating in amygdala, a part of the brain strongly linked to emotional behaviour. MRI scan or brain images of people practising meditation shows improved neuronal signalling and enhanced activity in the region controlling focus. Meditation also strengthens connections between brain cells, especially those involved in better learning.

9. Eat for your brain: Like all other cells of your body, your brain cells also derive nutrition from what you eat. Naturally, if you eat foods that keep the brain cells healthy, they will work better. A lot of fruits and vegetables contain memory and brain power boosting properties in the form of antioxidants or omega fatty acids that protect the neurons from damage. Include these brain boosting foods in your daily diet to keep it healthy.

10. Sleep well:  Your brain is a powerhouse that functions day and night. Even when you sleep, your brain doesn’t rest completely. Different parts of the brain rest in different stages of the sleep cycle. When you’re asleep, the brain utilises the sleep cycle to regenerate neurons and prepare them for responding to events of the next day. If you don’t get adequate sleep, your brain does not rest completely. As a result, you wake up confused and your brain’s response time to all kinds of stimuli received throughout the day slows down. Researchers suggest that people who are sleep-deprived also have poor response to visual cues and their emotional quotient is also very low [4]. Also read: Sleeping Position May Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s

The ability of the brain to learn, improve and adapt is unparalleled. So be the master of your mind and keep training your brain each day to make it better.

You may also like to read:


  1. Tracy Packiam Alloway. Training Your Brain For Dummie0073; John Wiley & Sons, 2010; p264
  2. C. S. Green and D. Bavelier. Exercising Your Brain: A Review of Human Brain Plasticity and Training-Induced Learning Psychol Aging. Dec 2008; 23(4): 692–701.
  3. D.M. Curlik, 2nd and T.J. Shors. Training your brain: Do mental and physical (MAP) training enhance cognition through the process of neurogenesis in the hippocampus? Neuropharmacology. Jan 2013; 64(1): 506–514.
  4. Brain Activity is Visibly Altered Following Sleep Deprivation. Nature. February 10

Source: The Health Site