Your mind is like a muscle. The more you train it, the stronger it gets. This means that the more you stimulate your brain with new information, the sharper and more confident you’ll be when faced with new, unfamiliar challenges.
Brain training, or cognitive training, helps you sharpen your mind by exposing it to more stimuli. The more stimuli your brain is exposed to, the sharper it gets. Your brain will start to recognize patterns and associate patterns with results, which in turn helps it make better decisions.
This cognitive training can be done through audio, visual, and kinesthetic stimulation. But the best brain training comes when you’re doing something interesting.
There are many approaches you can take to improve mental focus, such as exercise (which boosts brainpower), avoiding caffeine (which can disrupt concentration), meditating (which improves mental clarity), or doing crossword puzzles (which improves memory).
But there’s one technique that’s especially effective for developing mental focus: find something that feels interesting Focusing means being wholly absorbed in an activity, either mentally or physically. Like a laser beam, a laser focus is a highly concentrated energy.
To improve mental focus, you first need to identify something you’re truly interested in. Then, find an appealing activity that engages you. Next, set aside 30 minutes a day to work on that activity.
“In particular, dopamine creates a heightened state of focus. It tends to contract our visual world, and it tends to make us pay attention to things that are outside and beyond the confides of our skin,” explained neuroscience professor Andrew Huberman.
If you’re working on something you’re genuinely interested in, you’ll automatically feel more energized and focused. It’s a simple principle, but as with any habit, it takes consistent practice to develop. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What activities do I enjoy?
- What activities do I get genuinely excited about?
- What activities do I truly feel passionate about?
- What activities do I find interesting?
- What activities do I find inspiring?
- What activities do I find fun?