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Cheat Sheet

Training Your Brain For Dummies (UK Edition)

Everyone wants their brain to work at its best – whether you want to stay sharp to keep up with your children or come up on top at work. This Cheat Sheet gives you the essential need-to-know information up front to get you started.

Five Questions to Ask before Training Your Brain

Everyone has days when they don’t feel on top form. The question is, does this happen to you all the time? Here are some questions that you can ask yourself as a kind of mini-check for how well your brain is working:

  • Do you find yourself frequently distracted when you’re doing something important?

  • Do you always struggle to follow conversations?

  • Do you often lose your train of thought and end up forgetting what you wanted to say?

  • Do you always find it hard to remember information that people tell you, like phone numbers or directions?

  • Do you constantly have trouble mentally juggling different tasks during the day?

If you answered ‘yes’ to more than one of these questions, then training your brain is all the more important. Science shows that the brain can change and adapt at any age. So it’s never too early or too late to start developing good habits to train your brain. By training your brain, you can be more mentally alert, cope better with daily stresses, and even enjoy life more!

Do’s and Don’ts of Training Your Brain

Before you get yourself going with the process of training your brain, take a quick note of these tips to help you on your way.

  • Don’t put off brain training for tomorrow. Make today the day that you choose to boost your brain power.

  • Do take baby steps. Do a little each day to make a difference for your brain.

  • Don’t let yourself feel overwhelmed. You can do many things to train your brain. Find things that you enjoy so you stay motivated to do them.

  • Do start the day with a brain training activity that you look forward to.

  • Don’t let ‘no time’ be an excuse to avoid training your brain. Many games exist that you can do on the move.

  • Do brain train with a friend. It’s easier and much more fun if you have someone to share the experience with.

Five Considerations for Training Your Brain

Training your brain involves more than just your brain itself. From what to eat to doing the right physical activities, to socialising, you can help your brain to work more efficiently in lots of different ways. Here are five great examples:

  • Mental health. Happiness isn’t a state of mind that some people are lucky enough to be born with; happiness can be a choice. And you can choose to be happy to make a difference to your mental health.

  • Body matters. An active lifestyle leads to a more efficient brain. From what you eat, to what exercise you do, to how much sleep you get, and the amount of caffeine you drink – all these affect your brain.

  • Call a friend. From picking up the phone, to meeting for coffee, to discussing the latest movie together – growing research illustrates the benefits of friendships for the brain.

  • Digital help. You’re never too young or too old to start training your brain. But although many products do have good hard science to back up their claims, equally many – if not more! – products are without any scientific backing. Don’t get suckered into products that don’t have research behind their claims. Discover how to figure out what really works from what doesn’t.

  • Silence speaks. In this ever-demanding environment, finding time to quiet your brain and create a space for contemplation is increasingly important. Calm time brings tremendous benefits for your brain, so be sure to make time for quiet every day.

Four Key Parts of Your Brain

The brain is complex but, thanks to cutting-edge science, knowledge of the brain has increased considerably. Here is a brief overview of the four key parts of the brain:

  • Frontal lobe. Located in the front of the brain, this lobe is responsible for planning and organising incoming information. You also use this lobe to control behaviour and emotions.

  • Parietal lobe. Crucial in integrating sensory and visual information.

  • Temporal lobe. Used for processing language and storing information in the long-term memory.

  • Occipital lobe. Home to the visual cortex.

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