End brain drain— in 60 seconds!
’Tis the season for gatherings and good cheer…and for many of us, it’s also the season for foggy and groggy thinking brought on by all our extra holiday-time to- do’s. Luckily, these study-proven strategies can sharpen focus in just 30 seconds— plus boost
Chill your hands
Running your hands under cold water for just 30 seconds revs your mental energy by 46% for two hours straight, Dutch researchers report in PLOS One. That’s the same jolt you’d get from a strong cup of coffee, but without the caffeine jitters! Study co-author Monique Dresen, PH.D., explains that when the temperature of your extremities drops, your adrenal glands release a hormone that helps boost the flow of oxygen-rich blood to energize brain cells.
Over time, we stop seeing things that never move, like the family photos that decorate our walls. Psychologists call it habituation, and say outsmarting it can banish brain fog. Indeed, British researchers say simply repositioning photos so you appreciate them anew prompts the release of an energizing brain chemical that makes mental energy soar by 45% in 60 seconds!
Stand like Superwoman
Take once an a break hour to and strike you’ll a superhero increase your pose mental stamina by 67%, report University of Connecticut researchers. Simply stand tall with your hands on your hips and inhale as you lift your chin up and pull your shoulder blades back; exhale as you release the pose. Repeat for 60 seconds. The researchers say combining a chest-expanding stretch with deep breathing kick-starts your brain’s production of its key energy enzyme (ATP).
Add spice to rice
Ginger, coriander, cinnamon…adding 1⁄ tsp. 2 of spice to a meal can chase away fog for two hours. For a lasting boost, spice up 1⁄ cup 2 of brown rice—making it a daily staple can improve your focus by 55% in one week. Neal Barnard, M.D., author of Power Foods for the Brain, says aromatic oils in spices spur energizing brain waves while brown rice helps steady blood sugar.