Category: Logic & Reasonable decisions
Created: Saturday, 19 December 2020 10:09
Do you ever wish you had the ability to solve problems efficiently and easily? If so, you may want to improve your thinking patterns in order to be more logical. Keeping your brain sharp is important as your brain has the power to rewire itself throughout your whole life in a process called neuroplasticity. From engaging in mental exercises, recognizing irrational thoughts, and making lifestyle changes there are many ways to work on thinking more logically.
Method1 : Exercising Your Mind
1- Test your recall.
Your brain, like any other body part, improves with exercise. A great way to give your brain a workout is to test your recall. Throughout the day, see how many details of a given moment, list, or task you can remember.
- Try to memorize small things each day. Write a grocery list and commit it to memory. Memorize a small passage from a poem or book. Wait an hour and see how much you can recall of what you've committed to memory.
- Draw a map from memory. Sketch a map going from your home to work, a store, a friend's house, or another place you frequently visit.
- Notice the little details. Making a conscious effort to notice seemingly irrelevant things can be a huge tool to help you become more logical. Do you notice the new paper cut on your friend's hand? Do you count the steps in your school or college? Do you look for spelling mistakes in texts? If the answer is no, now would be a great time to start. The more you practice, the healthier your mind will be. Over time, you'll become a more critical thinker.
2- Do crossword puzzles. The benefit of crossword puzzles on the mind is well documented. Crossword puzzles force you to push your brain slightly beyond its capabilities, which causes the regrowth of brain neurons. This increases your overall brain power and can promote more sound, logical thinking. Pick up a crossword puzzle book from a local bookstore or do your local newspaper's crossword each morning.
3- Learn a new talent.
Learning new abilities requires a lot of logical thinking. From devising strategies that help you learn to undertake challenging tasks, you use logic and strategy to acquire new skills. Try taking up some of the following activities to boost your logical thinking skills:
- Learn to play instruments.
- Learn to draw or paint.
- Learn to speak a foreign language.
- Learn to cook.
4- Socialize. Learning from others is a form of mental exercise. Social connections and friendships nourish the brain and push people to strive to better understand themselves and the world around them. Spend time with close friends and family members on a regular basis. Attend social events and take this as an opportunity to meet new people. This can be difficult if you're a shy or introverted person, but pushing yourself to take risks socially can actually improve your ability to think logically.
5- Change up your routine. Novelty helps the brain stay sharp as well as increase your memory. Try taking a different route to work than usual or cooking a new type of food for dinner than you typically would. Experiencing new things helps the brain stay active, which can help you become a more logical thinker.
Method2: Recognizing Irrationality
1- Recognize how you catastrophize.
Many people, especially when in high-stress scenarios, tend to catastrophize. That is, they assume the worst possible outcome for a given event. Try to recognize when you are catastrophizing a moment.
- Catastrophizing takes on many forms. Say, for example, your boss sent you an email about contributing more during work meetings. If you're prone to catastrophizing, you might take this to mean your job is in jeopardy, your boss thinks you're a poor worker, you'll end up fired and unemployable, and your friends and family members will all think less of you. If you catch yourself snowballing like this, take a deep breath and try to think logically. In this example, you could think to yourself, "It's my boss's job to give me constructive feedback. She just wants to push me to perform my best and everyone gets criticism on occasion. It's a normal part of life."
- Minimizing is a form of catastrophizing where you ignore your successes and good qualities and do not see the negatives in other people's lives. You may think some people have it all, are flawless and successful, and then when you realize they are flawed in some manner you write them off. You might also do this for yourself - you'll think you're the most successful person in the world then, after a small setback, see yourself as a massive failure. Try to recognize these thinking patterns as flawed and recognize the fact everyone is made of both good and bad qualities.
2- Stay away from self-aggrandizing thoughts.
Having an unrealistic sense of self-importance is just as bad as catastrophizing. If you think of yourself as the most important person in the office or the most talented student in a class, you're probably not thinking clearly.
- Everyone contributes an important role to a company, school, organization, and field. A sense of grandiosity is not only off-putting but it can actually cause you to have setbacks at work and life. A sense of self-awareness is important to regulate how you interact with others. Try to combat feelings of grandiosity by reminding yourself that while it's important to feel good about yourself you need to acknowledge the hard work and contributions of others as well.
- Personalization is a form of self-aggrandizing where you think events that have little to do with you are somehow caused by your presence. This can be for better or for worse. If a co-worker is talking to an attractive person in the office, you may assume he or she is trying to make you jealous. If the same co-worker can't make it to your birthday party, you may assume he or she harbors a secret grudge against you when in fact he or she may have simply been busy. If you find yourself personalizing, try to remember that other people's lives are as hectic as yours. They likely have little time to make decisions with regards to you.
3- Be aware of magical thinking.
Magical thinking is not just for children. Adults sometimes engage in superstitious thought patterns as well, particularly in response to a traumatic event. People believe engaging in some ritual, like wishing or thinking positive thoughts, can have an impact on a situation. Try to remember that, while it's painful to acknowledge, there are many situations over which we have little or no control.
- This type of thinking is often causes people to not take responsibility for their actions. If you have a problem, make sure to acknowledge and accept it, then find a way to correct or learn from it.
4- Watch for logical leaps.
Logical leaps are leaps in judgment, where you make assumptions about people or situations that are not based in reality. People make logical leaps all the time without realizing it.
- For example, if a cashier is rude to you, you may assume, "I bet she doesn't like me because of my appearance, weight, attire, etc." when in reality you have no idea what another person is thinking.
- People also tend to assume someone will naturally know what they're thinking, which can lead to confusion. For example, you may assume your roommate knows you want him to let your dog out as you'll be home late, but if you do not express this he may not realize it. Try to be conscious of logical leaps in your day-to-day life and catch yourself making them
5- Recognize "all or nothing" judgments.
All or nothing judgments are a common form of irrational thought patterns. People are unable to see the gray in situations and see situations, people, and outcomes as either entirely positive or entirely negative.
- You might, for example, feel like you're a complete failure if you misspelled one word in an e-mail without acknowledging the fact your message was conveyed successfully and no one commented on the error. Make an effort to accept that most things in life are neither entirely positive or negative.
Method3: Changing Your Lifestyle
1- Eat brain food.
The food you consume can have a profound affect on your brain power. Strive for a healthy diet, rich in brain food. A Mediterranean diet can increase your brainpower. This is a diet comprised of mainly fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, healthy fats, and fish. Healthy fats include monounsaturated fats and are found in foods like fish, avocados, olive oil, and canola oil. Transitioning into a more Mediterranean-based dietary plan can help you increase your overall brain power.
- Spinach is a powerful brain food. Eating three or more servings of spinach or other leafy greens like kale each day slows mental decline and increases overall brain function.
- Simple sugars, like table sugars and brown sugars, as well as syrupy sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, can have a detrimental effect on the brain. Saturated and trans fats, the kinds of found in red meat and dairy, have a negative effect on your mental level as well as overall health. Enriched, bleached, or refined flour, the flour found in white breads, white rices, and white pastas, also has a poor affect on the brain.
2- Improve your sleep schedule. Getting a solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night can increase brain power and promote logical thinking. To improve your sleep schedule, have a set bedtime and wake time that you do not deviate from, even on weekends. Stay away from electronic screens close to bedtime. Do not eat heavy meals late at night and work on engaging in a relaxing activity, like reading, in the hour before bed.
3- Breathe. Breathing increases brain power by increasing oxygen flow in the brain. Practice deep breathing exercises in the morning and before bed. Practice yoga, meditation, Pilates and other activities that focus on healthy breathing patterns.
4- Exercise frequently.
Physical exercise has a profound effect on cognitive abilities. In addition to being great for the body, a regular exercise routine can boost your mind's capacity for logic.
- Make exercise a priority. Many people push exercise to the peripheral of their lives, not making the time necessary to go to the gym or go for a run. If you make a schedule for yourself, and stick to it, exercise will eventually feel as vital a part of your routine as brushing your teeth in the morning or showering.
- Aerobics seem to have a particularly strong effect on cognitive abilities. Running, jogging, biking, and engaging in workout routines that get the heart pumping 4 or 5 times a week can increase your brainpower.
5- Spend time in nature. It’s important that you make time to be outdoors in nature on a regular basis. Spending time outside will help you clear your thoughts and ground yourself. Aim to spend at least a couple hours every week in nature. You can go for a walk or hike, fish or hunt, explore the mountains or forest, swim in lakes or the ocean, or simply sit underneath a tree.
6- Take breaks. People tend to see downtime as an indulgence. However, this is not the case. Taking the occasional break is vital for your brain's ability to process information. Give your brain the occasional mental rest. Have a relaxing ritual you engage in each day. Designate one day a week as your "day off" and take the day to spend time by yourself engaging in leisurely activities you enjoy.