I was down with typhoid when I was 17. It was a time when I was preparing for competitive exams for entrance to top engineering colleges in India. Due to illness, I was hospitalised. I was under medication for a month. The only thing I did was take rest. At the end of the month, I felt dumb. I was not able to solve any of the problems which I did on my finger tips before.
After a few years, I was again in the rat race. I was preparing for competitive exams to get into top B-schools. This time luckily/unluckily I did not get through. After I stopped preparing for exams, I could notice the change in the way I was thinking. I was not as sharp as I was during exam preparation time.
The summary is not that you should prepare for exams. But you should do something which keeps your brain active.
What can you do about that?
Automate the manual task:
If you are doing the same task everyday, your brain is busy thinking something else as you are working. Make your brain sharper by automating the task. If you have to calculate the same thing on regular basis, write formulas in excel. Even though Macros might sound as a complex term, recording them is really simple. You can save a lot of time too with them.
You see something weird, question it. I saw a traffic policeman dancing today. A myriad thoughts ran in mind about his behavior.Let it be anything. If they are activities question why should they be done only that way. If it is people, think what ran in their mind to behave the way they did.
Let it be a piece of prose or poetry or a simple drawing. Or if you are a music player, compose music. Whatever it might be, just create it. Don’t care about how it comes out. It can take the worst possible shape, but still create it. Creation has a totally different affect on the brain from what consumption has.
Exercise & Meditation:
I feel so lazy when I don’t exercise. Exercise keeps your day active when you do for optimal time. Deep breathing helps you better with oxygen supply which in turn helps in keeping the brain active.
Eat food on time:
Brain constitutes only 2% of the body weight but consumes 20% of the energy. Don’t let the brain down by consuming irregular meals.
Stop depending on calculator:
When you are in the grocery store, calculate the approximate bill. When you are checking the distance you need to travel further, calculate the percentage of distance you have traveled so far. Let it be anything. Give your brain a chance to calculate before you open your calculator.
It expands your mind and helps you form new connections. The new concept you read today runs in the backend for the rest of day. Which in turn gives you new ideas to implement in your life.
What should you avoid?
The negative talk about the third person feels so tempting but it drains away all your energy. Avoid it all costs.
Negative self-talk :
Self pity feels so comfortable. But it deteriorates your brain. All the good habits you have just go down the drain with just this one habit.
Watching senseless TV serials and movies:
Talk to people who do this and then talk to others who read good books. You can differentiate the effects this has for yourself. In case, you already don’t know about it.
No. You don’t need rest. Indulging in activities which you love also constitutes rest. Stop acting like you need to sit idle for taking rest. If you feel the urge to sit idle, either meditate or sleep in corpse posture. But not idle brain.
Happy keeping your brain sharp and active!