Give yourself a Valentine's day present and your brain a break by unplugging for a bit. Neuroscience shows that our brain receives the equivalent information a day to reading 174 newspapers. That's enough to make your head spin. And it does sometimes when we feel a bit overwhelmed.
Our brain was not meant to process so much information, so fast, without breaks. Downtime replenishes the brains stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity and is essential to achieving our highest levels of performance. There are ways throughout the day that we can give our brain a break and actually bring us back to work more productively and ready to solve problems we might have been stuck on before.
Here are a few tips and suggestions for giving your brain that much needed break.
- Make sure you are getting a good night's sleep. According to the National Sleep foundation, adults need need 7-9 hours a night to feel your best and be most productive the next day.
- Give yourself mental breaks throughout the day where you completely unplug and let your mind wander. If you can take a walk outside, even better. Neuroscience and psychology research show that mind wandering facilitates areas such as creativity that are important for helping the brain work more effectively.
- Take time for meditation or mindfulness every day. Even 10 minutes a day can change your brain. According to Harvard neuroscientists, meditation can increase the amount of gray matter in the frontal cortex which is associated with working memory and executive decision making.
- Don't multi-task or switch task, it makes your brain less productive and efficient. It also divides up your mental resources between tasks and requires your brain to switch contexts for each task you're juggling.