Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 2, 2012

Train Your Brain

One of my personal mantras is, “Think deeply. Live wisely.” I believe that each new day offers us multiple opportunities to think deeply about something. And, thinking is good for the brain — that’s what God designed it to do. In order to stay sharp, it’s important to exercise and stimulate your brain every day. The writer of Lamentations said that God’s mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23). He’s right! We have no excuse for puttin’ the noggin in neutral and coasting through the day without ever giving thoughtful consideration to at least one of the many daily expressions of God’s tender mercies. Our connected world also presents us with interesting current events to ponder daily. I like to think about and to examine these under the light of my biblical worldview. I also believe that thinking deeply is a prerequisite to living wisely because our actions are rooted in the thoughts that produce them. So, how can we train our brains to think deeply? Here are a few suggestions.

B = Books | Reading books is one of the best ways to stimulate your imagination. Reading forces your brain to get engaged by drawing mental pictures. So, always have a good book close at hand. Also make it a point to read stuff that will challenge your worldview, that will expand your vocabulary, and that will give you something to meditate on throughout the day.

R = Rest | Physical exercise is important because it increases blood flow to the brain which, in turn, helps to improve brain functioning. However, rest is also important to good brain function. A lack of sleep or exhaustion can actually interfere with your ability to process and assimilate new information. So, get a good night’s sleep and you may find that things will be much more in focus when you wake up in the morning.

A = Ask | Learn to ask questions. Asking questions is at the root of good thinking and helps to stimulate the thought process. We live in the day of instant information — essentially hand-me down knowledge that is easily accessible and seldom questioned. We must read carefully, think critically, and ask the kind of questions that can give us greater insight into any given topic.

I = Interest | Develop an interest in things that can stimulate your thinking. Consider learning a new language, memorizing a chapter of Scripture or a song, expanding your vocabulary, or finding a new or more creative way to do something. Stay curious about the world around you, try to learn something new every day, and let your mind dwell on good things (Phil. 4:8).

N = Nourishment | Good nourishment is essential to good brain function. Start your day by eating a good breakfast high in protein and good carbohydrates. Avoid the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant and slows down and impairs cognitive ability. Make it a point to eat right — after all, you are also feeding your brain.

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