Sure, you could spend months learning a new language to get your noggin in top form—or you could just adopt some simple habits to maximize your mind right now. Here, three good ones to try. Your noodle will thank you!
Meditate (even meh-ly)
You’ll be more creative if you do so, particularly when you’re called on to think of new ideas, according to a new study in the journal Mindfulness. People saw brain perks from a mere 20 minutes of meditating, even if other thoughts popped into their heads while they were trying to Zen out, like “I need to start the dishwasher after this.”
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Let yourself reminisce
Got a problem—say, how to deal with a pushy relative—that you can’t solve? Allow your mind to wander back to how you managed a similar situation in the past. A recent study from Cornell University found that when folks engaged brain regions associated with memory and reminiscing, they did better on the task at hand.
Perhaps you've seen someone staring out the window and thought, "They're clearly not being productive." Turns out, daydreamers have a better working memory, which helps you retain and recall details in the midst of distraction (like remembering a long coffee order in a loud cafe), shows University of Wisconsin-Madison research.