How to Improve Your Cognitive Flexibility with 9 Science-Backed Tips

It’s hard to imagine a person who is not thinking about the ways to increase IQ and improve cognitive performance in general. Scient...

How to Improve Your Cognitive Flexibility with 9 Science-Backed Tips

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cognitive-flexibility


It’s hard to imagine a person who is not thinking about the ways to increase IQ and improve cognitive performance in general. Scientists have discovered many ways to boost your brain’s abilities, with cognitive flexibility being one of the most interesting and popular concepts in this field.

It’s a complex phenomenon which demands a fair share of research and understanding, but you can take it to the whole new level in a few simple steps only. Our goal is to help you with that, so keep reading to learn nine science-backed tips on how to improve your cognitive flexibility.

Cognitive Flexibility: Background and Definition


Before we begin discussing any practical suggestions, we need to define the concept and explain what cognitive flexibility really means.

By definition, cognitive flexibility is the mental ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts and to think about multiple concepts simultaneously. Some people believe that it’s just another way to say “multitasking,” but the truth is that cognitive flexibility represents a much more complex process. As a matter of fact, it is so complex that we usually divide it into five different aspects:

  • The transition between thoughts and attention: The most common way to describe cognitive flexibility is to say it’s the ability to switch between different contexts quickly. For instance, it is the ability to redirect your focus from medicine to physics in a matter of moments, which is a critical feature among the writing help agencies such as boom essays review and Essaygeeks.
  • Upgrading cognitive processes based on inputs: Stubborn people are by no means flexible in terms of cognition. On the other hand, individuals who embrace new ways of thinking based on quality inputs can be considered cognitively flexible.
  • Multi-observation: Another function of cognitive flexibility is a person’s ability to observe multiple features at the same time. For instance, you can follow and analyze the entire team of basketball players simultaneously instead of focusing on one player only.
  • Reconstruct ideas: Cognitive flexibility enables individuals to reconstruct complicated ideas and divide them into small units. It helps them to solve problems and understand complex concepts.
  • Enhanced awareness: The fifth feature of cognitive flexibility is to stay aware of every outcome and prepare for different alternatives.

Practical Tricks to Boost Cognitive Flexibility

Now that you understand the concept of cognitive flexibility and its main aspects, it is time to turn to real life and show you practical tricks to make it better and more efficient. Here are nine ways to do it:

1. Change your daily routine


Your daily habits and routine are the biggest enemies of cognitive flexibility. After all, how can you expect to get creative and multitask successfully if you keep the same rhythm and style of work 365 days a year?

If you want to boost cognitive flexibility, you must change the everyday routine and start using alternative ways of thinking. This is exactly why writers from essayninja mix topics frequently – they cannot allow falling into the trap of writing automatically, losing passion and inspiration along the way.

2. Get creative


Cognitive flexibility is all about making people creative and giving them enough inspiration to try different things in life and business. This is why you should augment the process by forcing yourself to get creative. How can you do it?

Our advice is to think about your job, family, life goals, or anything else that currently occupies your mind and then begin brainstorming. Don’t be afraid of imagining new places, people, tasks, and objectives that could help you become a more complete and satisfied person.

You can select the most interesting ideas and start implementing them in everyday situations – it will make you fresh and boost cognitive flexibility.

3. Stop worrying


We know this one is easier said than done, but you should really stop worrying about personal problems and start enjoying life for a while. Give yourself some breathing room and concentrate on the nice things that you truly love.

Do you like music? If yes, go to gigs and concerts frequently. If you like something else, make sure to do it often. More fun and entertainment in your life will set you free from negative thoughts and free your mind for a more flexible way of functioning.

4. Don’t stop socializing


Another thing that can keep your mind in good shape is going out and meeting new people. You can do it whenever you want – out on the street, in a restaurant, etc. You can also grow the network of professional connections and meet new business partners and colleagues.

What makes socialization so important?

It is the sheer fact that new people bring new thoughts and ideas in your life. They have different points of view, so you can learn a lot of new things and thus improve cognitive flexibility.

5. Take the hard way


We live our lives fast and we all want to get things done as quickly as possible. But this is not a good thing in terms of cognitive flexibility because your brain needs to immerse fully into the subject in order to figure it out completely.

This is why we strongly recommend you to avoid shortcuts and do at least some things the old-fashioned, hard way. For instance, don’t watch the “War and Peace” movie but rather read the novel. The process is longer and much more demanding, but the benefits are much greater, too.

6. Try new things


Here’s a suggestion all of you adventure lovers are going like – try new things in life to make increase cognitive flexibility. The idea is the same as meeting new people because you get to experience and learn a brand new skill, which in turn boosts your mental processes.

7. Exercise


You probably know already that training is good for your health. People who exercise regularly lose weight faster, prevent cardiovascular diseases, increase energy levels, relax easily, and enjoy a series of other benefits.

However, one thing gets neglected frequently – individuals who exercise also boost cognitive flexibility and performance in general. A study shows that “sports activity has a positive effect on cognitive flexibility, depressive symptoms and sleep which are all signs for a possible ongoing neurodegenerative process.”

Therefore, you should train at least two to three times a week to keep both your body and your mind in good shape.

8. Have fun and make jokes


Every time you make a quick joke, you actually train your brain and make it work on a deeper level of consciousness. Funny moments are mostly sudden and totally spontaneous, which makes them incredibly useful for cognitive flexibility. In other words, hanging out with your friends and brainstorming practical jokes will make your mind more efficient.

9. Combine theory and practice 


The last suggestion on our list is to go beyond theoretical studying and practice what you read, hear, or learn. Your mind can memorize theoretical concepts, but it won’t make it more flexible until you put ideas into action. This tactic not only helps you to boost cognitive performance but also to gain new skills quickly.

Conclusion

Cognitive flexibility is one of the most complex phenomena that can drastically improve your brain’s performance in the long run. There are many ways to work on it and become more flexible in terms of cognition, but we selected nine techniques backed by years of scientific research. Make sure to give them a try – they could strongly impact your cognitive performance.

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