There are millions of pills and supplements on the market today. They claim to do everything from curing anxiety to building muscles to fueling the brain.
The problem is most of them them have horrible side affects, don’t address underlying causes, don’t work over the long-term or simply don’t work at all.
In this article, I share 15 ways to fuel the brain naturally – using the right mindsets, biohacks and routines.
1. Avoid negative people
Some people like to hate. Fair criticism is fair. But personal attacks and constant negativity is not helpful.
Eliminate these people form your life. If you have to keep them around – for your job or otherwise – don’t let their negativity affect you.
2. Eat well
The body fuels the brain. Healthy foods fuel the body. Thus, food fuels the brain.
Everyone responds differently to different foods. I do some combination of Bulletproof and paleo. Low carb, high fat.
Here are some of my favorite foods that fuel the brain:
- Grassfed butter
- Sweet potatoes
Crappy foods provide the short term thrill of good taste, but healthy foods provide the long term thrill of a long and prosperous life.
3. Be around people who have fueled their brains
Be around people who fuel you.
- People that challenge you
- People that are energized, happy and motivated
- People that think rationally
It will rub off on you and inspire you to take action.
I don’t have six pack abs. Nor do I ever want them. I don’t do crossfit. I can’t lift 500 pounds.
But I do exercise about five times per week. Otherwise I’d be sitting around all day.
Moving my body fuels my brain. I like lifting weights, but do what works for you and given your current level of fitness.
Something is better than nothing. Build up strength slowly over time.
5. Sleep well
Sleeping may seem like a waste of time to my more “type-a” readers. I can assure you it is not.
By getting eight hours of high quality sleep each day, I ensure that the other 16 hours of my day are focused, energized and productive. If I slept for 6 hours, I would have two more hours in the day, but the time would be less productive.
To get high quality sleep, try sleeping with an eye mask to block out light, with earplugs to reduce noise, and in a lower temperature room.
6. Challenge yourself
Sometimes resting too much leads to boredom. And boredom leads to a lack of energy.
Try working on a project that challenges you. The extra fuel it requires from you might fuel your brain even more.
This could mean blogging, doing crossword puzzles, learning a musical instrument or learning a new language. Find something that will keep your brain engaged.
7. Have fun
Feeling burnt out?
Working too much without taking a break is like accumulating debt. It will only cost you more later.
To avoid burn out, take some time to have fun every once in awhile. See some friends, watch a movie, go see some standup comedy – whatever works for you.
8. Drink coffee
I like “Bulletproof Coffee.” That’s coffee with grass fed butter and coconut oil. I often add some cinnamon as well.
2.5 tablespoons of grass fed butter, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 12 ounces of coffee. Blend it together using a hand blender.
I have it every morning for breakfast. The caffeine gives you boost of energy. The fat helps you sustain it and gives your body fuel as well.
9. Read personal development books
Read about someone who achieved success against the odds. Fill your brain with ideas that energize you. Learn something new.
Here are a few of my favorite personal development books to get you started:
- How to Fail at Almost Anything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- Choose Yourself by James Altucher
10. Trust yourself
Have confidence in yourself. In your ability to handle adversity and succeed. Love yourself.
Without self-confidence, you’ll be more stressed and tentative to take action.
With self-confidence, you’ll feel energized and motivated to take action.
11. Focus on what’s in your control
So many aspects of our lives are completely out of our control. What decisions our partners, bosses and clients will make. What the economy will look like five years from now. Traffic.
Focusing on the factors outside of your control, wishing they were different, or trying to control them will only keep you from performing your best on what is in your control.
The way you react to your circumstances is within your control. The actions you take on what’s in your control will impact your future.
12. Have a bias towards optimism
I like to determine the truth before making a decision or taking action. But you can’t always know with 100% certainty what’s true and what’s not.
It’s more productive to be optimistic than pessimistic. So I always have a bias towards optimism.
Instead of just thinking about what could go wrong, I think about what could go right. Instead of just worrying about failing I think about what it will be like to succeed.
13. Try nootropics
Nootropics are like vitamins for the brain. Different nootropics can help with things like focus, energy, mood and memory.
Some people say nootropics are wonder drugs. Other people say they don’t work at all. I say they help a little.
I like Alpha Brain by Onit. I find I’m just a bit more focused when I take it. I switch task slightly less.
They’re not a silver bullet, but I’ll take any improvements I can get.
14. Go outside
I live in New York City and work inside an office for most of the day most days. In the winter especially, I don’t get much sunlight.
Sometimes going outside and being in nature relieves stress and increases my creativity.
Water, sky, sun, grass, trees. These are beautiful things.
Going outside doesn’t have to mean a week long camping trip. It can be a fifteen minute walk. Sometimes the physical act of getting up and walking outside is what really brings the fuel.
15. Do something new
Go someplace new. Change your routine. Take a different route to work. Try a new food. Travel. Learn something new.
How to Fuel the Brain
With the above list, you now have many ways to fuel the brain.
Pick a few to try. See if they work for you. Stop doing the ones that don’t work. Do more of the ones that do work.
Some of these ideas may be unpleasant to you. Start small and build over time. Remind yourself of the long-term benefits of these healthy habits to motivate yourself to do them today.
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