Can we train our brains to think smarter? According to Bill Gates, yes.
Just like we must exercise our heart and other muscles to keep them in shape, we must also exercise our brain. According to Gates, it takes more than the occasional Wordle or Cross Word Puzzle.
Based on an article on gqindia.com, these are the habits Bill Gates practices to increase his brain power and think smarter:
- Sleeping. Sleep is so important to brain health. It’s when your brain recovers, saves memories, and stores information from the day. Who knew your brain is so busy while you sleep! I’ve definitely noticed that when I don’t get enough sleep, I don’t think as clearly as I normally do. I’ve always needed at least 8 hours of sleep each night to feel refreshed. Gates found that in his younger days when he didn’t sleep enough, it affected his creativity and productivity. He now makes sure to get 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Reading. Gates recommends reading 50 books each year. Reading improves your vocabulary and writing skills and is a great way to exercise your brain and keep it from getting sluggish. I currently read one book per week so I should be able to reach at least 50 books this year. Last July I wrote about some business books that come highly recommended. You can view that list here. In addition, last year Businessinsider.com put a list together of 25 books recommended by Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates. View that list here. These are all great books to start you off on your goal to 50.
- Working. Beyond their diet, people who live in the world’s “blue zones” live longer because they never stop working. Of course, this doesn’t mean to never retire, it just means to keep yourself busy with activities that challenge you and bring you joy. The brain is just like any other muscle – use it or lose it.
- Resting. This is not about sleep, but instead about giving yourself downtime to do the things that you enjoy. Take that vacation. Take time to complete your hobbies. Take time to rest.
- Exercising. Studies have shown that daily exercise benefits the brain. It also lowers cortisol levels which reduces stress. If you can walk outside you’ll get the added benefit of nature which is proven to be good for your health.
What are your habits for keeping your brain healthy? Let me know at [email protected].