By Ahmed Wafi

Ever thought about how to think better? We did.

Stop and think for a while, how often do you think about the decisions you make?

Whether it’s ordering the right item on the menu or choosing the right outfit for that job interview next week, making decisions requires you to squeeze out some of that brain juice and sometimes, it’s not easy! These six tips we came up with will help you make better choices by fine tuning that complex organ inside your skull.

FUN FACT: The cerebrum is the part of the brain responsible for thinking, learning, speech, emotions, voluntary muscle movements and more!

Listen to your hunches
At any given time, whether you realise it or not, your brain gathers all sorts of information around you and processes them. You unconsciously study your environment, the different noises around the environment, the people around you and so on. This means your hunches aren’t just hunches; they’re feelings based on the unconscious processing your brain has made. When your brain is waving a red flag, don’t ignore them as your brain could be trying to tell you something important. Use it as fuel for a more efficient thinking process.

Don’t think under pressure
You’ve been studying for that exam all week and you pretty much know the textbook from the first page to the last but when you’re in the hall and the pressure of the exam gets to you, you struggle to remember even your student ID! When you’re under pressure, routine activities can come as a struggle. Ask the countless basketball players who missed free throws under the pressure of the game.

Whenever possible, avoid having to make decisions in highly stressed environments. Opt for calmer environments suited for thinking and remember, a calm head always prevails. The next point definitely helps out with this!

Put yourself in thinking-conducive environments
Different environments are conducive for different kinds of thinking processes. Creative writers might prefer to do their writing in coffee shops or cafés while accountants might prefer to do their thinking in more quiet environments. In fact, factors like room temperature, noise, colour of the room and even the lighting play a role. There’s a lot of evidence of this that you can read about here. Be wary of your environment when thinking, whether it’s creative thinking or more logical/deliberate thinking.

Get rid of distractions
This should come as a no-brainer buuttt it isn’t. Distractions are often underestimated during the thinking process. Distractions don’t just come in the form of annoying sounds or bright lights but can even be your growling stomach. Grab a bite before thinking things through to let that creativity flow!

Learn from your mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes but when you keep making the same mistakes, you can’t keep getting away with it and ignorance doesn’t seem blissful anymore. Something a lot of successful people have in common is how critical they are of themselves even after a good performance. Look back at what went wrong or what you think you could have done better and remember to use it the next time you’re going to make a decision.

Stay healthy
You want your brain to work? You’re going to need to make sure your body is healthy. Your brain is surrounded by fluids so it makes sense to stay hydrated at all times. Light exercise like running or taking a stroll has also been proven to be an idea-producing factory. As if you need another excuse to hit the gym, exercise is proven to improve memory and thinking skills.

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