Smarter Tomorrow | Elizabeth R. Ricker

Summary of: Smarter Tomorrow: How 15 Minutes of Neurohacking a Day Can Help You Work Better, Think Faster, and Get More Done
By: Elizabeth R. Ricker

Introduction

Get ready to discover the fascinating world of neurohacking and how it holds the key to unlocking your brain’s potential. In ‘Smarter Tomorrow: How 15 Minutes of Neurohacking a Day Can Help You Work Better, Think Faster, and Get More Done,’ Elizabeth R. Ricker guides you through a personalized journey of self-experimentation and self-knowledge. You’ll learn how to unlock your own brain’s superpowers by understanding its unique wiring and adopting DIY scientific approaches. Delve into the intriguing concept of neuroplasticity, the importance of emotional self-regulation and executive functioning, and the extraordinary potential to improve memory and learning speed. Embrace the power of creativity and discover how neurohacking can help you cultivate it, all while realizing that the brain holds the potential for endless transformation.

Neurohacking Your Brain

Learn how to transform your cognitive skills and mental performance by becoming a neurohacker. Neurohackers believe in self-experimentation and DIY science as they measure the brain’s capabilities and test solutions to improve them. By tracking and recording progress in areas to be improved, self-tracking apps can detect impairments in mental performance. An expert on personal systems: their brains, a neurohacker explores the vital key to hacking mental capabilities- self-knowledge.

Unleash Your Brain’s Potential

Your brain is unique, and its wiring constantly changes depending on how you use it. This neuroplasticity means you can improve areas of weakness through repetition and enhance your special talents.

No two brains are alike, not even for identical twins. Scientists suggest that 50% of your intelligence comes from nongenetic factors such as your individual experiences and habits. This means that you can alter your brain’s structure depending on how you use it. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to modify its connections and reorganize its functions over time. It’s a case of “use it or lose it,” and the more you practice a skill, the more efficient the connections between neurons become.

For instance, when a Korean research team used brain-imaging technology on archers of differing skill levels, they saw that the Olympians’ brains had become ruthlessly efficient, with only a few regions engaging to fire an arrow. Neuroplasticity allows us to improve areas of weakness by locating them and practicing repeatedly. However, what counts as improvement is highly personal. Certain traits traditionally considered impediments can also be superpowers, such as ADHD, which can be an advantage for ER surgeons who require bursts of laser focus.

Therefore, before attempting neurohacking, it’s essential to know yourself. Rather than striving to become more “neurotypical,” focus on enhancing your special talents. Your brain’s wiring is unique, and its malleability allows for endless possibilities to unleash your potential.

Neurohacking Executive Functioning

The author discusses the significant role of executive functioning as the brain’s CEO and how to enhance it through neurohacking.

The story of Mark Zuckerberg’s exceptional talent, called executive functioning, is an example of how some people see the bigger picture, hold multiple things in their minds, and synthesize various arguments. According to the author, executive functioning is a crucial strength and can be neurohacked.

Executive functioning is the mental ability that manages other essential brain areas like creativity and memory to achieve specific goals. It consists of three sub-abilities, namely working memory, inhibition, and flexibility. Working memory defines the ability to hold and manipulate information in the mind. Inhibition is what controls your response when it is counterproductive, and flexibility allows one to move from one idea to another.

The author explains neurohacking as a method to improve executive functioning. To begin with, one should test one of their executive sub-abilities like inhibition. A popular test, called the Stroop test, is available online, where you identify the meaning of a word or the color of the font it is in.

To enhance executive functioning, try neurohacking interventions regularly. One such way is using a placebo. By wearing something that makes you feel organized, like a smart suit or a lab coat, and telling yourself that scientific studies have proven that wearing this will increase your executive functioning, one can significantly improve their performance.

Overall, the author suggests the significance of executive functioning and explains how to neurohack it to improve productivity and efficiency in work and school.

Mastering Emotional Self-Regulation

The importance of emotional self-regulation and how to improve it.

Have you ever found yourself suppressing laughter in an inappropriate moment? If so, you have experienced emotional self-regulation. In life, having the ability to control and express emotions at the right moment is crucial for success. It also allows for better control of stress, which affects personal relationships, school, and work.

The good news is, emotional self-regulation can be improved, just like executive functioning. To start improving, the first step is to discover one’s baseline and what needs improvement. By asking a set of questions that assess core aspects of emotional self-regulation, one can rate their level of self-control and record their development over time.

After recording one’s emotional self-regulation, the next intervention is to practice controlling distressing thoughts through mindfulness meditation. By sitting in a quiet space and focusing on breathing, one can draw their attention back to their breath when it starts to wander. This exercise strengthens neuronal connections, allowing for better regulation of emotions.

In conclusion, emotional self-regulation is essential for success in many areas of life and can be improved through methods such as mindfulness meditation.

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