4 Ways You Can Boost Your Mental Energy and Make Better Decision
Everyone these days dreamt of being focused, hard-working, successful, healthy and much more. But to accomplish those goals we need to make better decision, need more self-control, choose what is right for long run. But many of us simply not aware that we have limited amount of mental energy and just like physical energy, it can be exhausted. Mental energy from same pool is used whether we make a decision or resist an impulse.
We shouldn’t always rely on our impulses, because impulsive actions are generally poorly conceived, premature, inappropriate or risky. These actions do not have thought or rationality behind them and often bring negative outcome.
It may seem that we make decision occasionally. But in reality - taking a mortgage loan, deciding on what to wear, resisting yourself from another cookie or buying a new car – all involves decision and using up mental energy as well. Conserving mental energy, using it wisely and improving it, can help us making better decision. With some simple rules we can do this effectively.
1. Make it simple
Once we start making decisions like – What should I take in breakfast? Which is the best dress for today? Where to lunch today? What to lunch? - We use some of our decision making energy. Alternatively you could have same breakfast every day at weekdays, wear one or two set of clothing, etc. and avoid decision making scenarios.
Many important people like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg never bother to spend their valuable energy on making decision about clothing because they have more valuable decision to make. President Barack Obama only wears blue or gray suits. Of course if you are Lady Gaga, then it is a part of business plan and the dresses you wear create enough attention that helps in selling music. But otherwise you could save yourself from the “what to wear” conundrum and conserve on mental energy.
Don’t fall in the decision dilemma unless it is really important. Make it simple and save your mental energy for what really matters. Follow a life where the most of repetitive tasks are routine job or no-brainer. We have to use our willpower many times a day. Saving some energy from simplifying some activity will save the resource for more important mental activity.
2. Plan for the next day
Planning previous night for small decision will save some energy for the next day. Your plan is better when written, because it free up your mind from burden of remembering. Surely you use some decision making energy, but it will replenish after a good night sleep. So decide your breakfast menu, make a list for shopping item, laying your socks on the shoe will help you better prepared for the next day.
Most of us having a quitter time at night after dinner but before bed (not when we are too sleepy) and is perfect time for making a to-do-list or shopping list for the next day. If for some reason making it at night is not possible, do it anytime you feel comfortable.
3. Replenish often
A good blood glucose level and sound sleep replenish our mental energy. A good night sleep is more than anything to refresh our body and mind. Try to sleep as much comfortable as possible. If possible have a short nap at daytime. Study shows that decision energy depletes with depletion of blood glucose level. A good steady blood glucose level is best for providing mental energy for longer period.
Maintaining a steady blood glucose level helps you make better decision or provide more self-control. A small snacks of fruits, cookies, donuts, smoothies etc. can quickly raise your blood glucose level. It is best to grab a fruit like apple, banana or any other fruit to avoid other health issue.
For larger meal, try to eat complex carbohydrate, as these will ensure more steady blood glucose level for longer time. Some Complex carbohydrates are brown rice, oatmeal and whole-wheat breads/cereals/pastas etc.
Smaller more frequent meals are better over larger meals at work hour. Try to avoid junk food and sugary drinks. For quick fix, when you feel mentally drained, a glass of lemonade or some pure fruit juice can improve your self-control.
4. Workout to improve
Just how exercise makes muscle stronger, regular practice of self-control can improve willpower strength. Improve in one area of self-control can contribute to other area even if they are completely different. Simplest practice of self-control can improve academic performance or management decision.
Regular exercise of self-control means overall improvement of mental strength. Some of the simplest techniques are, using non-dominant hand to do simple tasks – such as brushing your teeth or using TV remote, improving posture, changing accent etc. Some more advanced techniques are meditation, solving puzzle, practice writing with other hand, working on money management to save more etc.
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