The original article by Chris Bailey can be found here on Lifehack. I thought it was useful enough to copy to my site.
1. Take a daily Vitamin B12 supplement
Vitamin B12 doesn’t just supercharge your brain, it actually grows the size of your brain! As you age, your brain gets smaller, which Vitamin B12 fights. The vitamin has also been proven to help you learn, concentrate, think critically, and even boost your test scores! Taking a Vitamin B complex supplement will ensure you get your daily recommended dose.
2. Eat a lighter dinner, earlier
Eating an earlier, lighter dinner has a ton of health benefits (like that it helps you lose weight), and it can also supercharge your brain. Eating earlier helps you sleep better because it gives your body more time to digest food properly, and prevents food and alcoholic beverages from disrupting your sleep. It also provides your brain with a more consistent flow of energy, without spiking your blood sugar levels like a huge, late dinner can.
3. Eat more almonds
Almonds are referred to as a superfood for a reason. In addition to their innumerable health benefits, almonds and other nuts “are good sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which is associated with less cognitive decline as you age.” They’re also chock full of amino acids and essential oils, which help your brain focus. Just be careful about eating too many—there are about 150 calories in 20 almonds, though they’re great for you in small doses.
4. Listen to music
Numerous studies have shown that listening to slow, relaxing music slows down your pulse and heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, and actually decreases the level of stress hormones in your body. Listening to music is healthy, recharges your brain, and best of all, is a ton of fun. What’s not to love?
I’ve had a daily 30-minute meditation ritual for a few years, and can’t recommend the practice enough. Meditation is proven to help your mind de-stress and relax, and the practice has even been shown to reduce your blood pressure and levels of stress hormones! I also find that meditation allows me to de-fragment my thoughts, which heightens my ability to learn and retain information.
6. Drink apple juice
According to one study, “apples and apple juice may be among the best foods that baby boomers and senior citizens could add to their diet” because they help your body produce essential types of neurotransmitters that aid your memory, and help you retain information. Apples and apple juice have even been shown to protect your brain, and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s!
7. Have more sex
Sex is a lot of fun, but did you know it can help you supercharge your brain as well? Sex has been proven to cure headaches, reduce your stress levels, help you sleep better, increase blood flow to your brain, and increase your brain power in general!
8. Spend time with friends and family
Spending time with your friends and family has “far-reaching benefits for your health.” Belonging to, and investing in a social support network rejuvenates your brain and provides you with more energy and inspiration, increasing your security, self-worth, sense of belonging, and even reducing your stress levels.
9. Go for a massage
Massages are so beneficial for your body and mind that I’m surprised more people don’t take them. “Clinical studies show that even a single 1.5-hour session can significantly lower heart rate, cortisol levels and insulin levels—all of which help reduce stress,” and rejuvenate your mind. Especially if your health plan covers massages, going for a massage is a no-brainer.
Reading is a powerful way to provide your mind with an escape, and one study found that reading can reduce your mental stress by an astounding 68% because, “your mind is invited into a literary world that is free from the stressors that plague your daily life.”
11. Invest time in a creative hobby
When you invest time and attention in a creative hobby, as with reading, you provide your mind with a much-needed escape from your day-to-day stressors. You jump into a zone that has no pressures, deadlines, or rules, and provide your mind with a chance to recharge. Whether you’re into writing, painting, or woodworking, investing time in a creative hobby is a fantastic way to supercharge your brain.
12. Exercise, or play sports
Exercise has consistently been shown to be one of the most productive ways to supercharge your brain. It has been proven to make you procrastinate less, focus more, act more disciplined, and even “[reorganize] your brain to be more resilient to stress” in the long run!
13. Expose yourself to more natural light
Too much exposure to artificial light zaps your brain of energy, gives you less control over your attention, and even affects the quality of your sleep! Especially if you expose yourself to a lot of artificial light, expose your body to natural light to supercharge your mind.
14. Go for a nature walk
Going for a nature walk not only provides your body with exercise, but it also significantly rejuvenates your mind. One study found that, even when it was dead-cold outside, participants’ memory and attention spans improved by 20% when they took a walk through nature! To give your mind an even more productive break, I personally recommend leaving your phone and iPod at home when you head out.
15. Stop multi-tasking
When you try to take on too many things in one moment, your mind can become overwhelmed and eventually, something has to give. Multi-tasking has a huge impact on your productivity, but it also can impact your brain. Multi-tasking affects your memory, because it makes it harder for you to distinguish between what’s important and what isn’t. It has also been shown to make you more prone to errors, and add stress to your life. The solution? Stop multi-tasking!