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Playing chess can help boost brain power

Everyone knows the importance of physical fitness and its benefits with living longer, lifting more, and generally feeling better - but what about mental fitness? Your potential mental abilities require similar attention and with a bit of effort, you can accomplish great results. 

The 2014 film titled Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, is about a new experimental drug that unlocks her mind's fullest potential. This new unbarred and open brain power gives her special abilities that can manipulate the environment around her in order to process probabilities at a heroic rate.

While Lucy is pure fiction, it raises some questions about the power of the brain. As humans, we have so much unexploited mental potential that it's almost intimidating. Is there really any limit to how much we can learn? Can we train our brain to think faster, better, and remember longer, rather than being mentally lazy and giving up on critical thinking?

Often this potential remains untapped due to daily stresses and poor health. While there is no miracle drug available like in Lucy, there are some surprisingly effective options that can help you unlock your mind's potential. Discover some of these options below.


Meditation is essentially the act of clearing one's mind, regulating breathing, and relaxing. Many people describe meditation as generating a peaceful and rejuvenating feeling, similar to sleep while still being awake. This peace and clarity can help rid your mind of cluttering and extraneous thoughts, which makes space for thoughts and ideas that really matter as well as providing clarity in problem-solving and creativity.

People reach a meditative state in many different ways. Some people follow techniques taught in Buddhism and other religious practices. Others prefer reaching a meditative state in group-led practice or a more meditative exercise like yoga. Find your personal meditation path with this handy guide on how to meditate.

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You wouldn't expect a jet plane to run on the same gasoline as your lawnmower, so why expect your brain to function at stellar speeds on lower-quality food. Good nutrition is a key to unlocking your brain and body potential.

Nutrition is one of the recommended six pillars for brain health, which also includes rest, exercise, and relaxation. Some nutritional tips include:

  • Small quantities of red meat
  • Fish from healthy sources
  • Using spices liberally in food prep
  • Dark chocolate (avoiding high sugar, high-fat chocolate)
  • Whole-grain foods

Another top tip from nutritionists is to consume beneficial supplements as needed. When combined with a healthy diet, supplements, such as nootropics, have been shown to have significant impacts on your health.


So what are healthy supplements? Most people are familiar with adding Vitamin B and C to their diet, but nootropics take this one step further. A nootropic is a substance that enhances cognition and memory and facilitates learning.

Some popular nootropics include Piracetam, Alpha GPC, CDP-Choline, and Huperzine-A. Proper dosing and combinations of nootropics can take some research in order to properly boost the correct neurotransmitters without accidentally blocking helpful receptors in your brain. This combination is called a nootropics "stack." As you gain more knowledge about nootropics, you'll be able to customize your beginner stack and maximize your unlocked potential.

For more information on brain unlocking tools such as nootropics, consulting the Nootropics Experts with their online Guide to Nootropics.

Physical Fitness

Physical fitness is critical to brainpower as well. Just like making sure to have the right nutrients and proper diet - exercise helps too. At its most basic level, being in better shape helps get more oxygen to the brain and that helps it process things better. Plus, being active and alert means that your brain is always being used and that helps your mental alertness increase as well.

Belief and Attitude

Often our limits are self-imposed. If you’re constantly thinking that something is too hard, or that you aren't talented enough, chances are you won't access your full potential in this chosen field. Self-defeating behaviors can severely limit your abilities by not allowing you to even attempt new skills.

While natural talent is a factor, a large part of any talent is practice and determination. If you have a positive attitude and work to persevere through adversity, you will greatly increase your chances of success. Believe in your own power to unlock your potential.

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Be Creative, Explore, Travel, and Try New Things

Being creative in life is critical to mental fitness and increasing your brainpower too. I used to work with a neurologist who enjoyed world music with tribal beats and instruments that most Americans have never even considered. His reasoning behind this was simple. By training the brain to recognize new patterns it can help build new connections that ultimately increase your ability to learn and comprehend things. You can get a similar benefit by trying new foods, traveling to new places, learning new languages, and other creative exercises as well.