Hacking Your Intellect: Does Brain Age Matter?

Have you ever taken one of those online quizzes such as:  “How Old Are You Really?” or “Does Your Brain Age Match Your Real Age?”  Perhaps your children, nephews, and nieces—maybe you, yourself—remember playing that classic Nintendo game, Brain Age.

If this is your first time hearing about your brain age and how it may be different than your real age, there’s no need to stress. And if you’re opening up a new tab to take one of the above-mentioned quizzes, just hold off for the rest of this article.

 

There have been numerous studies on the concept of brain age.  Other than the occasional publications from MIT and other leading research schools, however, these studies more or less come from online articles from sources such as Forbes or The Atlantic. In other words, oftentimes the factual scientific evidence is somewhat lacking.

Sure, there are case studies indicating similar “instant-solution” methods may not only improve brain capabilities but could also assist with health management, weight loss, or any other number of related issues. But just like how various miracle diets or super foods aren’t the end-all, be-all, the same is true for these popular brain games. The catch behind these exercises is the repetition of specific mental tasks. Memorizing a pattern or filling in the missing number seems helpful in theory; in practice, however, these small exercises or games simply make you better at—that is, more efficient at and more familiar with—performing those certain tasks.

Some anecdotal evidence may corroborate the validity of these training exercises.  Those who are convinced by them exude a genuine confidence that their brain age is younger than their actual age. Whether this holds true, however, turns out to be a result of the participant’s confidence and attitude.

Ultimately, there really isn’t a sure-fire way to guarantee a “level up” in brainpower.  And generally speaking, the repetition of similar exercises simply won’t bear the fruit one may be expecting.  That being said, however, neurologically, there are many components to working out the brain and stretching it to keep it healthily active.  So is it possible to manipulate these neurological processes to your advantage? Can you “hack your intellect”?

Although this trend has been based largely on gimmick in the past, I’m here to tell you that you can train your brain and wire it in a certain way.

Similar to an article we published in February (The 4 Brain Superpowers You Need to be a Successful Leader, According to Neuroscience), a healthy brain with high resilience and performance is essential to not only launching startups or leading investment companies, but to the everyday individual as well. Mindset mastery is essential to cultivating a healthy brain. As stated in point 3 of the aforementioned article, those with a fixed mindset tend to believe that intelligence and certain skillsets are innate, and rather static. Having a growth mindset, however, can make all the difference. Attitude not only affects brain performance, but brain health. According to Dr. Laura Kubzansky, a professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard, a positive outlook and sense of optimism or purpose scientifically coincides with strong emotional balance and a substantially reduced risk of health hazards such as heart attacks and strokes.

Okay, but how do I train my brain to develop a positive mindset?

Here are some quick tips to help you optimize your intellectual capacity in order to maximize your personal achievement.

1) Start your day with a positive mindset and the intentionality to have a great day.

Meditation and reflection are popular ways to channel this energy—and for the skeptics or scientifically minded individuals— yes, quantum physics even supports the idea that our thoughts have unique frequencies and vibrations that attract similar frequencies into our lives.

2) Utilize visualization.

This is a psychological practice that refers to creating big-picture and immediate goals through visualizing them completed. If you seek to affect the outer world as much as how you visualize it internally, our brain’s elasticity will stretch our mind’s capacity.

3) My favorite: reading, writing, watching, and utilizing other creative outlets.

Although inspiration can come from anywhere, practices that jog our imagination and creativity bring about the most positive results. Writing, for example, allows us to literally give form to our thoughts, and can aid in the above-mentioned visualization.

The take-away? Attitude counts for a lot. A healthy brain comes from a healthy mindset. And rather than seek the quick fix, it may be a worthy investment to create healthy habits such as positive thinking. The quickest path to success can only come from yourself.

Article by Zachary Tanimoto | Equatorius | Image: Pixabay | Copyright © 2018 Equatorius All Rights Reserved.

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