In 2019, we’re exploring energy. How it affects us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We’ve hooked up with a series of experts who will set an experiment every month to help us discover a new way of managing our energy.
Throughout October we’re going to be looking at our mental energy and how brain training can help to give us better mental energy for the things that are important to us. We’re going to be working with the super clever BrainHQ, who’ve shared a series of exercises that are specifically designed to give our brains a work-out.
BrainHQ is an online brain-training system based on 30 years of research in neurological science and related medicine. It was designed by an international team of neuroscientists, led by Michael Merzenich—a professor in neurophysiology, member of the National Academy of Sciences, co-inventor of the cochlear implant, and Kavli Prize laureate. So they know they’re stuff!
Why do we need to train our brains we hear you ask? Well, 50 years ago, going to the gym wasn’t something the average person did. Now, it seems, everyone has a gym membership, or finds another way to exercise regularly. That’s because a revolution took place in the 80s and 90s; we all learned how important physical exercise was for our overall health and well-being.
Brain fitness is the next step in that revolution. Just as you can exercise your abs, delts, and quads, you can exercise your memory, attention, and more. And as with physical exercise, brain exercise can help you to improve your performance and feel your best.
Each week this month we’ll be trying out a game from BrainHQ designed to boost our memory, increase our focus and improve our mood. Playing games produces dopamine and other brain chemicals that help us feel alert, rewarded, and upbeat. And the mental boost that comes through faster thinking, sharper focus, and having a better memory can result in a more positive mood. The result: we feel good!
The games work on a system of ‘streaks’ where we get 10 chances to build as longer streak as we can. Get a game wrong and it’s back to the start….But remember, it’s all designed to be fun so don’t let competitiveness take over :)
Week 1 is all about improving our memory using Target Tracker. This game is designed to challenge our brains to build divided attention by requiring us to track several items moving around our screens at the same time.
Try it out here: https://secure.brainhq.com/l/try-target-tracker
Week 2 is all about exercises visual precision, using Hawk Eye. This game helps the brain perceive what we see quickly and accurately so that we can recall it better. Visual precision is what enables us to remember details about what we saw in a movie, at a wedding, in a meeting, and everywhere else we go. If we remember these details accurately, we can talk about them later and take action based on them.
Try it out here: https://secure.brainhq.com/l/try-hawk-eye
Week 3 is all about improving cognitive skills using Visual Sweeps. It might not be obvious, but when broken down to its most basic parts, everything in our visual world is constructed of the basic visual information—colour, luminance, orientation, spatial frequency—contained in these sweeps. If we can help our brains effortlessly identify these sweeps at very rapid speeds, we’ll improve our cognitive skills, which will give us faster processing speed.
Try it out here: https://secure.brainhq.com/l/try-visual-sweeps
And finally, Week 4 s all about developing a good eye for detail. This game is designed to exercise our ability to take in lots of information at high speed and process it to decide what’s important and what we can filter out.
Try it out here: https://secure.brainhq.com/l/try-eye-for-detail
It takes less than 5 minutes to play each game so there’s no excuses for not finding the time to give your brain a mini work out every day. Plus they work on any device so they’re perfect to pass the time on a commute or to do instead of scrolling on insta! And if you want more than the 5 mins you can sign-up to BrainHQ’s awesome programmes here.
We’ll be reporting back throughout the month on the impact this experiment has on our energy and you can follow our progress and let us know how you get on too @UppingYourElvis.
Here’s to flexing our brain power!
The Upping Your Elvis Team