05 If you want to stay sharp, give your brain a good workout

By Tara Crean, Writer & Media Consultant

Have you ever wondered why you have all your best ideas in the shower, or while you’re having a glass of wine at the end of a busy day? Why don’t those lightning bolts strike when you are at your desk creating a new brand identity or working on an important pitch? It’s because our brainwaves drop from Alpha to Beta during those times, allowing the creative juices to flow.

This was just one of many points made by Phil Dobson, coach, hypnotist, author and guest speaker at YCN’s Meet Your Brain workshop on Tuesday evening, where a 50+ crowd assembled to find out how to maximise their grey matter.

If you’re like most people, your brain is at its best for about three hours a day – in other words, 20% of what you do will get you 80% of your results. Most of the time what you’re doing doesn’t matter very much. So, instead of working ‘harder’ for longer, work ‘smarter’ and make that crucial time slot count.

According to Phil, that’s within easy reach – we just need to understand our brains better and learn how to use them properly.

We all have the ability to improve our brain fitness and function. Most of us understand that investing in our physical wellbeing pays dividends, but we tend to just leave our brains to get on with it. But looking after your brain will improve cognitive function, learning capability and mental health in the short- and long-term.

Improving our responses to stress with meditation, breathing and relaxation is vital, as are exercise, nutrition and sleep – all of which can be worked on and improved with the right know-how. Taking time out from daily chores (work and professional) to allow our brains time to refocus is another essential step. Phil outlines these and various other techniques in his handy manual, The Brain Book, which is packed with hints and tips on how to keep your brain young and adaptable.

Learning something new, like a language, is the best brain-rejuvenating workout of all. And it’s NEVER too late to start. In fact, the more you take on the better you’ll feel – for years to come!

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