Mental Strength Building: The Benefits of Brain Training
February 8, 2015 1 Comment
With our daily lifestyles consistently filled with endless stress and distraction, we may be overlooking an often forgotten, yet majorly important aspect of our bodies: our brains. In a culture that moves a mile a minute, making some quality time for you and your mind can often be a difficult thing. We often work like mindless drones and are constantly bombarded with daily distractions such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and television, which can simply take over all of our spare moments. And not to mention other stress-filled aspects of our lives such as dealing with money, houses, children and so much more.
Taking a few moments a day to sit down and concentrate on something other than a futile string of social network posts or the latest installment of a pointless soap opera can make all the difference to your mind and mental strength. Using brain training games and apps has become an extremely popular way in which you can help beef up your brain by playing various types of word and number games. Each game is typically simple to play and can work your brain in lots of different ways.
Just some examples of the types of games available currently are memory, spelling, comprehension, context, focus, conversion, mathematics, visualization, estimation, retention and information recall. Each is specifically designed to work certain areas of your brain. If you think of your brain as a muscle then you should treat it as such. We work other muscles in our body to improve our health, fitness levels and overall well-being, and our brains really shouldn’t be treated any differently. The results for those that spend a few hours a week in the gym working on their fitness and physique is noticeable. You look better, you feel better and ultimately you are working to improve these aspects of your body, whether it’s for health reasons or just general vanity. Your brain should also have a frequent work-out to help increase its sharpness, knowledge retention and pure focus – all elements that can really help you improve as a poker player as well.
Poker, particularly when there are large sums of money involved, can be a very high pressure game. Therefore, being able to control your mind and your thought processes as well as having the mental strength to cope with the situation without losing focus or control is absolutely vital. Players that benefit greatly from having a mindset of poker are often focused at such a level that they are able to block out everything else around them. They can successfully control their outward appearance to conceal their emotions from their opponents as well as retain all other relevant information from the game and the players around them.
Mental strength is an important factor for any athlete. This strength leads to confidence which leads to more motivation which leads to better performance. Without it you may find yourself discouraged or downcast and especially when you have to really focus on a number of elements, this could make all the difference to your game plan. So what techniques can you employ to improve this clarity?
The poker mindset itself has already been covered by PokerStars who were good enough to piece together an informative infographic that details all these relevant brain-related aspects that if considered, could help you play poker like the pros. It’s all about discipline, emotions and belief in you as a person and as a player. If you can sit down and self-reflect on the games you’ve played and what went wrong, you will also be able to take the positives from those great wins that you’ve also managed to accumulate.
If we take a quick look at the specific brain-related topics laid out in the infographic, we will be able to see just which characteristics are thought to be invaluable in a poker player’s repertoire. Featured across the several areas covered by the graphic is a useful breakdown of the brain functions required that suitably relate to each area. In addition to this is a description as to why it will help you as a player, and finally there is a special “Getting in Shape” piece which gives you some special physical and dietary requirements that will assist with your growth as a player.
Reflection is an important aspect highlighted by the “Poker Mindset” infographic. Having the ability to consciously identify and understand your strengths and weaknesses will really help with your development as a poker player. Increasing your cognitive functions in all this area in particular will help bring a further level of focus to your game by allowing your brain to really take notice of each aspect of game play.
Patience, discipline and self-belief are other elements of game play that are covered on the infographic. These are three equally important factors that you need to acquire in order to be a competent and successful all-round poker player. But these are still undoubtedly a trio of useful qualities that you can put to use in your everyday life, particularly for those working in high-pressure jobs and markets.
It’s clear that your brain requires a bit of care from time to time. A little maintenance for your mind will hopefully leave you feeling refreshed and more cerebrally active in your daily life both personally and professionally. But even if you don’t have the little time needed to play the odd brain training game then you can always incorporate another stream of simple techniques that you can introduce into your routine.
If you find yourself in a difficult situation and feel yourself becoming overly stressed then something as simple as breathing will help to keep those nerves and stress levels in check. Better still, if you can, break from the situation briefly and get some fresh air. Having that fresh oxygen pumping through your lungs goes a long way in both helping your body as well as your mind.
There is plenty of ways in which you can improve your mental strength. Take the time to look at all parts of your life, use self-reflection and discover which parts of your brain may benefit from extracurricular development. 🙂