10 Simple Hacks to Give Your Brain a Break

10 Simple Hacks to Give Your Brain a Break

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

Your brain deserves a break more than you realize. It uses about 20% of our body’s energy. Much of it is spent filtering out signals from all the noise around us in our artificially constructed world. Our brains are bombarded with a huge array of stimuli that are distinctly different from the natural world. 

If we consider the natural world for a moment, it contains trees that stay relatively still and it’s branches sway with the wind. Animals move about doing the same expected routine, hanging out together hunting for food. Water on a lake is relatively placid, and at an ocean, relatively routine and serene, watching the waves roll in and the sun move about the horizon.

Now consider our human-constructed artificial world. It’s got lots of artificial lights, fast moving computers and cars, rigid buildings, hard tar roads, and pollution in our air. Our brain and body are much more easily overwhelmed.

It’s about to get significantly worse with the Metaverse, 5G microwaves, International tensions, and rising global catastrophes. All of this creates worries in our brains, which actually changes our brain waves from a calm Alpha or Theta state to Beta (hyperactive) state, looking for the source of worry to deal with the threat. It can’t be found, so we’re bathing in this pool of toxic chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol and consider that to be normal. It’s not. 

Because of all of this excess stimuli, we really need to up our self-care habits, boost our self-empathy and love, and empathy and love for others too. As I’m striving to level up my life, here are 10 simple hacks that give my brain a break.

  1. Your phone – everyday, when you first check your phone, are all of your notifications immediately meaningful to you? Or are there apps that send notifications to get your attention that aren’t aligned with your primary goals now? Maybe it’s apps that you installed to check out, it asked you to enable notifications, and of course, it never asked you if you still want them on. iPhone does this occasionally, but you can be in control when it feels right to turn them off to you. One simple hack here to turn off notifications, is either delete the app (find it, click and hold on it, tap Remove App) or if you want to keep the app, and just turn off the notifications, go into Settings > Notifications > Find the app > Turn off Notifications
  1. Your email – marketers love to get into our inboxes and show up with a new pitch every single day to get your attention and money. As you scan your inbox, first play a quick game with yourself. Can you find 1, 2 or a few email lists that are less important than the other items in your inbox? We know our most important goals often take a lot longer that we expect, so the more time and attention you can free up, the more you can create better results with what matters most in your life. 
  1. Prioritization: What’s your #1 most meaningful goal for you to achieve right now? What’s #2, #3, 4 and 5? Most people may not even know and just go at the whims of this world. That’s a great way to wonder what happened to your years. Warren Buffett has a great approach to prioritization: Make a list of all the things on your mind you want to achieve. Sort them from most to least important to you. Highlight the top 5, and eliminate the rest. Everyone is competing for time, attention, resources, customers, money and more in this world. For you to compete effectively, you have to focus on what matters most. The rest you can do if you find yourself finishing a goal early, taking a break to do a small thing, delegate or pay someone to do, or realize that it never really would have made a difference to your life.
  1. Nature breaks – Did you know some of the wealthiest people in the world love nature? Mark Zuckerberg would go on hikes through Silicon Valley and has a place in Hawaii where he has been spotted surfing. AOL founder Steve Case, also has a place in Hawaii. What can you do if you currently don’t live in Hawaii? Surprisingly, there’s places all around us that are inspiring nature reserves that we often forget about when we’re in an office or focused on getting our task list done. Near me, is a beautiful grassy park with a lake. New York, a concrete noisy jungle, even has Central Park. What you can do is plan your nature breaks. Consider one in the early morning to calibrate your body to the rising sun and fresh crisp air. One around noon to get out of a seated position, get your blood flowing again and adjust your eyes and brain from a close-up computer screen to the wide-eyed glory of the skyline. Another nature break around sunset, to walk off the emotions and energies of the day, shake them off outside, so you go home and go to sleep with more balanced and harmonized energy. That’ll give you and your brain, a better sleep and sweeter dreams.
  1. Tea instead of coffee – a gym trainer taught me this, swap coffee for tea. Why? Because coffee can make you feel jittery and make your brain and heart rapid. That’s Beta brainwave state, and you’ll feel like you’re going faster, but you’re also more likely to focus on volume of activity rather than quality achievement. As for tea, this is not your traditional cup of tea. You can get a hot or iced Matcha Green Tea for example. It’s got different elements in it like amino acid L-Theanine, which can instead lower anxiety, stress and reduce insomnia, the complete opposite of coffee. You’ll feel calmer, a little perkier as tea has less caffeine than coffee, and ultimately, you’ll be more productive for longer.
  1. Avocados – avocados are a great natural food source that everyone loves to have in a variety of ways: added to subs, salads, or as guacamole dip with chips. A low calorie way to enjoy avocados is to simply slice one open, remove the pit, add a little Himalayan salt, and scoop away. It’s super tasty, creamy, filling and nutritious. How’s this relate to your brain? Well since your brain uses about 20% of your energy, a low cal snack means your digestive system can work through the snack more quickly, to free up your digestive energy for your brain. The nutrition benefits of avocados also include cardiovascular and heart health, and eye health, directly in front of your brain, possibly staring at screens often. So the healthier you can keep your cardiovascular, nervous and digestive systems, the healthier your brain will be too.
  1. Too many tabs – Your browser almost becomes an extension of your brain. If you have too many open folders in your brain and/or on your computer, you’ll likely feel overwhelmed and sluggish. One simple hack for this is to chunk, in the same way our phone numbers are chunked, for easier mental processing. Our phone numbers are chunked, for example, into 3 digit area codes, then another 3 digits, a dash, then 4 digits. This makes it easier to remember What if your mental processing worked in the same way? You choose to do a chunk of related work, as easy as 1, 2, 3, take a break to refresh and reset yourself, then another chunk of work, 1, 2, 3, take a break, then a final stretch of work, 1, 2, 3 (4 if needed). With that, your tabs follow. Organize your tabs for that chunk of work into one window, so everything that is currently relevant is right in front of you, and nothing, irrelevant. This helps you focus and follow through faster.
  1. Your environment – if your body is shivering, you’re using energy to stay warm. Can you instead adjust the thermometer or put on a sweater? Is the vibe and audible environment around you conducive for your flow state? How can you make it better? The more you can comfortably optimize your environment, it makes it easier for your body to relax, and easier for your brain to find it’s flow.
  1. Overthinking – overthinking is a great way to get nowhere. Humans are social creatures and our brains function better with an audience to speak to, bounce our ideas around with, and get immediate feedback from. So if you want to reduce the taxation on your brain and get faster results, find the right person to talk things through with.
  1. Sleep – a great way to see how much sleep your body needs, is to calculate it from the night before, and see how you feel when you wake up. Do you need more sleep? If so, plan to get to sleep earlier. The extra time in bed is not lost productive time nor should it be more screen time. Allow it to be processing time: mentally, emotionally and physically. Unwind from the day, make sense of it, and tune into what next you want to go after. This’ll give your subconscious time to clarify details around it, and figure out pathways to help you more easily achieve your goals for the day, giving your brain a break and more of it’s favorite rewards like dopamine, for getting more joy out of your day.

Which of these tips are you going to incorporate into your day? How are you going to incorporate them? Are you going to schedule them on a calendar? Decide to build new habits and routines? Meditate on them? Whatever works for you, a plan only works if you work your plan.  

P.S. One of the most stressful parts of our lives can be money, as well as the state of the world. It doesn’t have to be that way. To give yourself more sustainable income so you can have more fun, spend more time in nature, and feel like you’re doing your part to help make a better world, join our new “Platform for our Planet ????” – Share2Seed.org

For the past years, Tatyana has worked as a sex blogger and a relationship advisor. She has been featured in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue. Vice, Tatler, Vanity Fair, and many others. Since 2016, Tatyana has focused on sexology, attended various training courses, participated in international conferences and congresses. “I wish people would address sexual issues in a timely manner! Forget shyness, prejudice and feel free to see a sex doctor for help or advice!” Tanya enjoys pursuing her flare for creativity through modelling, graffiti art, astronomy, and technology.

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