Increase Brain Power

Is it possible to increase brain power? If you read the research about the dual n back task, and how it is measured, it is possible to increase IQ using a computerized brain fitness program.

In fact, according to the researchers, there does not appear to be any upper limit to the increase in IQ possible. So keep practicing.

If an increase in fluid intelligence, from practicing the dual n back task allows me to offer novel solutions or think out of the box solutions to issues I am confronted with, then I have increased my brain power.

More fluid intelligence is very important to me. I am a Dad, an entrepreneur, and husband, and as the kids grow, I need to grow with them.

Any increase in brain power, no matter how many hours I spend doing computerized brain fitness programs, is going to require attention to what Brainfit for Life authors Simon Evans, Ph.D. and Paul Burghardt, Ph.D. call the Pillars of Brain Fitness, physical exercise, nutrition, including Omega 3 fatty acids, sleep, stress management, and novel learning experience.

Most references to novel learning experience refer to things like using the non-dominant hand for tasks more frequently, learning a new language or instrument, and I am going to include reference to several of the commercially available brain fitness programs.

Any increase in brain power needs to include attention to all the pillars.

If attention is paid to all the pillars, then two recently uncovered capacities of the human brain are enhanced.

Those capacities are neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.

Neurogenesis is the daily growth of new neurons, and neuroplasticity describes the constant search by neurons to connect in helpful ways with neighboring neurons. Those connections are the backbone of increaseing your brain power.

According to researchers, physical exercise is the single most important thing we can do for increased brain power.

The good news is that an increase in physical activity, those things we are already doing, walking around the block one more time, rather than pumping the big barbells, will suffice initially for the requisite physical exercise.

In fact, if you want a model for at home workouts which last 10 minutes, involve equipment no more sophisticated than a barbell or exercise ball, and leave you all sweaty, take a look at this, More Love, Less Fat, which is a couples exercise program put together by Angie and Scott Tousignant. Following that program will definitely be good for your brain power.

I am sure you are familiar with the nutritional guidelines. For our purposes, you need to eat real food, grown locally and harvested when ripe, lots of colors to get the right combination of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and glyconutrients into your brain.

Why? Because your brain, while it is only 2% of your body weight, consumes 20% of the fuel your body consumes, and it must have the right kind of sugar for example, to function at its best.

Neurons are mostly omega 3 fatty acid, and your brain needs a regular infusion of omega 3 fatty acids, in the right proportion to omega 6 fatty acids. The best omega 3 comes from fish, but there is a risk of getting mercury poisoning from eating too much fish, so supplementation may be the very best way to get your brain the vitally needed omega 3. Just make sure your supplement, like these, has been refined to clean out the mercury.

For what its worth, I tried omega 3 supplements years ago, and had really uncomfortable and smelly burps, and quit using them because of that. However, there is nothing at all like that happening now when I take omega 3 supplements. (I am not a fish eater). One of the results of the omega 3 supplementation is longer focus, and when discussing this with Simon Evans, Ph.D., he said omega 3 is now used for ADD.

Without the necessary Omega 3, neurons become hard and brittle, and do not pass signals as effectively between them as they might.

That is an increase in brain weakness.

Sleep is very important part of the brain fitness paradigm. According the Evans and Burghardt, the brain evaluates the new neuronal connections formed during the day, and decides whether to keep them or not. There are also hormonal events which happen during the night, which help the brain consolidate the days activity. If that does not happen the brain suffers.

Next on the agenda for an increase in brain power are the computerized brain fitness programs.

The program mentioned above, which is an adaptation of the dual n back task, is called Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro.

It is an addictive program, and Martin has put together a version for your kids now.

Would You Share Something That You Are Grateful For?

When I was beginning my personal growth journey, a wise person told me that when I was feeling resentful or afraid or sad, that I should remember the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was ready to feel better. That phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.

Would you share what you are most grateful for? Your story could be just what another person is searching for to renew themselves? Thanks.

Have a question and want to talk with a therapist? Call 815-316-2621 for Julie Logan, LCSW, RN. 7121 Windsor Lake Parkway, Loves Park, Illinois 61111

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