10 Brain Hacks You Need To Take Charge Of Your Life

It may just be about time to regain control over your life.

You’ve got the guts, you’ve got the brains – all you need now are a few helpful hacks to kick-start your ‘can-do’ attitude.

Let’s see what science has pulled out of its magic hat lately.


1. Need to achieve an important goal?

Want to tell the world about your goals? Hold your horses – it may be more beneficial to keep them to yourself. According to the research article ‘When Intentions Go Public,’ your performance can get compromised once you’ve made it public. By telling others about your goal, your brain can be tricked into “a premature sense of completeness regarding the […] goal,” meaning that you’ll lose motivation to actually achieve it.

2. Need to remember an idea?

Simply go back to where you first had it, and it might hit you again. This phenomenon is called context-dependent memory, which simply means that your brain will be more likely to recall things in a similar environment to the one where it first learned about them.

3. Want to boost your memory?

Improving your memory means that you have to exercise both mentally and physically. Research has shown that regular aerobic exercise can boost the size of your brain’s hippocampus, an “area involved in verbal memory and learning.” Just another good reason to get a sweat on.

4. Facing a difficult decision?

Simply dim or turn off the lights! A study carried out by the University of Toronto found that both negative and positive emotions are heightened in intense light. As soon as people dim their lights, they’re able to think more rationally. Professor Alison Jing Xu calls it the “unusual paradox of lighting and human emotion.” Despite other studies stating that intense sunlight makes people feel more optimistic, her study found that “on sunny days depression-prone people actually become more depressed.”

5. Need to read faster?

The finals are coming up and you’re still not done with your reading load? By using a tracker to guide your eyes, you can speed up your reading immensely. Simply use a pen or a finger to guide your eyes along the lines – this way, you’ll be less easily distracted and more focused on the actual content.

6. Too stressed out?

If you need to calm down immediately but you’re too stressed out, there’s a simple hack to help you out. Just blow against your thumb without letting the air escape – this way, you’ll stimulate the vagus nerve, which will slow down your heart rate. It is a modified, harmless version of the so-called Valsalva maneuver.

7. Want to get a good sleep?

Exercising in the morning rather than the evening appears to correlate with better sleep quality – especially in women.

8. Want to slim down?

It’s not a myth: Losing weight can be accomplished by reducing meal portions. However, this may not always be an easy goal to accomplish. If you want to eat less, it’s best to use smaller plates. This way, you brain will be tricked into thinking that you’re eating a bigger meal.

9. Got exams coming up?

If you have to memorize things in great detail for the upcoming exams, you should start reading out loud ASAP. Reading out loud to yourself or someone else in combination with frequent repetition of the content will enable you to remember detailed information.

10. Want to get rid of chronic pain?

Obviously, you should always consult a doctor when experiencing chronic pain. Additionally, you could take up meditating: Research revealed that regular meditation may cut the pain’s intensity by up to 40 percent. Om!


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