November 2021

7 ways to build a better brain

Your market value as an employee is directly linked with your sharpness. So, how fast do you acquire new knowledge? Are you flexible and prepared to adjust when changes occur?

Life science is a field in continuous progress. Daily exercise, a balanced diet and a good night’s sleep will help you take in all the fresh input, but the acquisition of new knowledge is even more important: the more your brain is stimulated by new learning, the sharper it gets.

Fortunately, according to brain researcher, Troels Wesenberg Kjær, you can train your brain throughout life to ensure the capacity for the building and processing new knowledge. Check out his excellent advice on how to train your brain, getting it into the highest gear.

4 good habits that will get your brain into the highest gear


1. Exercise

Exercise will boost your capacity for learning. Preferably spend at least 30 minutes a day on physical activity that gets your heart going – both your brain and heart will thank you.


2. Eat a healthy and balanced diet

Blueberries, dark chocolate, and other kinds of ’brain food’ have proved to be good for our brain. These ingredients cannot stand alone, though. A balanced diet supports a healthy brain.


3. Mind your sleep

During sleep, your brain has time for ‘spring cleaning’. A sound sleeping habit allows your brain to prepare for the challenges of a new day.


4. Break routines

Routines makes our everyday life easier, but doesn’t challenge our brain. Therefore, make it a habit to break routines. Take a different route to work, try out a new recipe, speak to a stranger, visit a new place…


7 ways to build a better brain

…and 3 ways to further sharpen your brain

5. Learn something new

Do mental gymnastics by learning a foreign language – quite literally as well as figuratively. Learn Russian, how to play the cello, train handstand, or move into new professional territory. You could, for instance, take a course that will provide insights into the ‘language’ spoken by your primary collaborative partners. Immerse yourself into something that you find new and strange. The point is not to become world champion, but rather to challenge your brain.


6. Train your attention

Focus on what you’re working on is key to strengthening your brain. You sharpen your attention by making a plan for what you intend to accomplish and how you intend to process the matter. Schedule rewards and take at least one hourly break during which you do something entirely different. Find a place with the least possible interference – and switch off your mobile.


7. Sharpen your memory

There is a wealth of mnemonic techniques based on rhymes, figures, associations, visualisation, and much more. What might work best for you? Explore what’s most efficient for you. Regardless of whether it’s singing, writing, drawing or something completely different, a method involving repetition is recommended. You could, for instance, write a brief summary of what you have been reading, draw a mindmap of the main points, read the points aloud to yourself, or something else. And work brain exercise into your daily life: try leaving your shopping list at home, the next time you take a trip to the supermarket – then you’re already on the right track to sharpening your memory.

Exercising your brain

At Atrium, we provide your brain with substantial excercise. We look forward to meeting you at one of our many courses – find an overview here.

Source: The above advice represents a compressed summary of cardinal points from Troels Wesenberg Kjær’s book, ”Hjernestarter” (only available in Danish).