How To Reboot Your Brain

By Newby Hands | Change your focus and up your energy levels with these three simple techniques.

confident women

Change your breathing

Hilary Clinton is a famous fan of the simple practice of alternate nostril breathing, a traditional yoga technique. It helps rebalance the nervous system, and can alter brainwaves and bring mental focus, according to a 2013 study. Use your right index finger to close off your left nostril and inhale through the right, then close off the right nostril with your thumb and exhale through your left nostril and then inhale. Close off the left nostril, and then exhale and inhale through the right nostril. Repeat for three minutes. “You can also use a version of this to consciously change your brain,” explains Los Angeles-based physicist and healer Hargopal Kaur Khalsa. “Breathing only through the left nostril for three minutes stimulates the right side of the brain, which is the more creative side, making it helpful before a meeting. Breathing through the right nostril in the same way engages the more logical left side of the brain.”

Take a break

Today’s ‘always-on’ culture has disconnected us from our natural tempo, meaning we are functioning at 50% capacity most of the time. “Our energy levels are regulated by an ultradian rhythm that naturally runs at a 90-minute period of high alert, followed by 20-minute troughs,” says Tony Schwartz, founder and CEO of The Energy Project. Work with, not against, this cycle by setting an alarm every 90 minutes and giving your brain a break. “Switching between 90 minutes of intense focus and 20 minutes rest allows you to achieve much more, and feel more alert while doing it,” says Schwartz. He recommends re-energizing your mind with one minute’s slow breathing or a quick walk up and down some stairs as both produce endorphins to boost brainpower.

Sleep easy

The brain gets busy at night as we analyze our day, but journaling helps clear and calm an overactive mind. Each night, write down three challenges you are facing and three successes you have had, to bring clarity and perspective to your day. To bring an additional element of serenity, simply stretch, says LA-based trainer and founder of The Class Taryn Toomey, who teaches cathartic exercise. “As little as 10 minutes of simple stretching pre-bed signals the brain and body to shut down for the night, and is shown to help you fall into a deeper sleep faster.”


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