By: Lesira Rampa

Sometimes it just feels like our brains are running out of fumes. From brain fog to the irritating frequent memory lapses, including forgetting what we studied 20 minutes ago. Undoubtedly the first thought is usually to make way to the chemist to purchase brain supplement pills, which can be helpful, but what if I told you there are rather whimsical ways to drive away memory related glitches, which are not only entertaining but just as effective. Boosting brain power has never been this easy yet so cost effective.  The workplace is your oyster and for the student – those exams are bound to be a breeze!  

Turns out gum popping will just have to be tolerated further, for good reasons this time. Research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests that chewing gum increases blood flow to the brain by 25% to an impressive 40%, resulting in improved alertness and concentration. This interestingly avers that we may have unsuspectingly subsided certain memory related issues from time to time when really our intension was simply to eliminate bad breath. No wonder the brain is dubbed the “master organ”, It is the most critical organ to our survival and must be taken care of .Be that as it may, anxiety and stress are one of the conditions suffered by most people every now and then, and a salute to gum-chewing, certain Basotho have even claimed to take chewing gums to recede tension as well as to effortlessly face certain social situations that aggravate their anxiety.

It further gets intriguing. As per informed sources, some foods shaped like the brain aid in heightened cognitive function. First is the walnut, is it a natural brain food known for its similarity to both the left and right hemispheres of the brain and is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Fruit like blackberries and orange also bear a resemblance to the brain; the vitamin C contained in these fruit prevents an age related memory decline in adults while for students they are a great choice to enhance focus.

A famous Chinese adage goes “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” and literally, putting some steps in and investing in physical activity does lead to improved brain function and the growth of new brain cells. From the challenging amapiano genre dance moves that have taken the world by storm to simply letting the body move to the music with your own rhythm, making mental images in memorizing dance moves boosts brain health in the most pleasurable way. Learning new dance moves equally promotes expression and more creativity, and it is with creativity that people become better problem- solvers, it is a natural anti- depressant and intensifies innovation and decision making.

Most of us have fantasized about playing one or two music instruments that intrigue us. Learning a musical instrument has a positive impact on emotional and social intelligence, but also stimulates areas of the brain associated with emotional understanding and empathy.  This fun activity also leads to enhanced neuronal communication between the hemispheres of the brain bringing about greater verbal reasoning, a study insists. Moreover, besides learning an instrument, listening to music can help one memorize new information, like listening to classical music in the background while studying. Lyric free music is best for studying, helps ease pain and improves sleep quality.

Oh, the wonders of reading! This mental escape from the humdrum of everyday life will remain the most powerful tool to boost brain power. It is often mentioned the brain is synonymous to a sponge, soaks up the knowledge it comes across and just like physical workout -it contributes wonderfully to the brain minus backaches and aching muscles. The process of reading environs the complex cognitive process that involves decoding words and making connections between ideas that contribute bountifully to the read language comprehension, increased vocabulary and better knowledge of the world around us. Text in newspapers covers diverse topics and is informative and at times entertaining, diving into the depth of a captivating novel or a non-fiction book with enlightening or entertaining information even if it’s a page every day is guaranteed to improve one’s intellect , because  “drop by drop is the water pot filled” –Buddha.

The pursuit of advancing brain power does not essentially need to be mundane as it seems. It is absolutely acceptable to embrace the unconventional methods that are also engaging to boost cognitive function. So go ahead, chew that gum, eat brain boosting snacks, put on your dancing shoes, get lost in a novel or pick that music instrument- lets embark on a journey of boosting brain power, one activity at a time.