In the Veritas culture code we state that we are passionate about solving our client’s most difficult problems. We hire the best and brightest people in the industry who love to solve problems. We also love learning new skills and believe that one of our secret ingredients is how we use our brain power to get the job done. Since October 13 is National Train Your Brain Day, we wanted to share some ideas on how to train your brain and maximize your brain capacity.
1. Read More
- Reading a book can help exercise your brain in addition to providing entertainment. Reading may be the best way to train your brain. There are many studies that prove this. We already know that reading to children is good for their brain development and increase vocabulary size. Studies show that reading to children leads to higher test scores. In adults, there is a study from Northcentral University that shows that people who read have a slower rate of memory deterioration. Another study from the University of California, Berkeley showed that reading can lower the levels of beta-amyloid, a protein involved in Alzheimer’s by keeping the mind working.
- Keep it simple, it doesn’t matter what kind of book you read. Since 27% of US adults say they have not read a book in the past year, we suggest you pick a book that is enjoyable to you. It could be fiction, non-fiction or self-improvement books.
- Books, especially fiction, elevate the reader’s ability to feel empathy for others. Reading doesn’t just stimulate your brain, it also makes you a more personable person and what client wouldn't appreciate that?! What a bonus!
2. Take a Break
- We are constantly bombarded by challenges that we need to solve, especially in the consulting world. However it is important to remember that our brains need rest and breaks. It is true that when we focus on a problem too long, our brains get fatigued and lose creativity. There are multiple studies that stress the importance of taking breaks to reset our brains. In our culture taking breaks has a negative connotation. We usually say we need to ‘power’ through this. The truth is that breaks can help your brain breakthrough problems by refreshing it, bringing back creativity and in the long run making you more productive.
- All breaks are not created equal though. For example, a break taken outside is better than a break inside the office. There are studies that state that connecting with nature refreshes the brain. If you are taking a break, make sure that it is a real break from what you were working on. Grabbing nutritious food while taking a break is better than a break with unhealthy, heavy food. David Pink has studied breaks and in his video about making breaks more replenishing, he cites examples of good breaks.
- Just like we go to the gym to exercise our body and keep it in shape, we need to take intentional steps to take care of our brain. One small habit that can have a significant impact is to drink lots of water. You need to be fully hydrated to use your brain's full processing power.
3. Work on Cognitive Skills
- There are several apps that you can download that will help you train your brain. Lumosity and Elevate are two of the most popular apps in this category. With these apps, you ‘play’ games that will help keep your mind sharp. At the beginning the games are simple but they quickly intensify and challenge the user to think. While both apps train your brain, they focus on different things. Elevate has games that focus on reading, writing, listening and math. Lumosity has games that focus on memory, speed, and ability to process multiple streams of information. Both apps have a free trial period that you can use to see if it will work for you. While there is a question regarding how effective games in these apps efficiently translate to everyday cognitive activities, we can still say that exercising your brain has benefits. It certainly is better than playing Candy Crush!
- There are also traditional, non-tech games to engage in. Sudoku is a popular game that can still be found in local newspapers. At Veritas we practice what we preach and prioritize strengthening brain power. In our breakroom, we have puzzles and games that help people take breaks and use their brains. It is a fun, offline team building activity.
- We also send our people to training that encourages deep thinking. We prioritize sharing information both internally and externally. On the Veritas Insights page, we showcase blogs and articles to share content to our clients and friends. During the writing of these pieces, we collaborate and exchange ideas with other team members. All these activities exercise the mind in new ways.
To celebrate National Train Your Brain Day this weekend, read a book, take a break and work on cognitive skills to train your brain and maximize your brain's full potential!
The Veritas team puts collaborates to solve this Texas-themed puzzle! We spend so much time on high-tech projects for our clients, that it's refreshing to "take a break" and revert back to some older pastimes, like building puzzles.
Veritas Total Solutions is a management consulting firm. We specialize in various strategy & transformation solutions that enable companies and professionals to transform their businesses. If you are interested in learning more about our specific capabilities, contact us or subscribe to our blog to stay connected.