Why the Modern World Is Bad for Your Brain (and How to Fix It)
Did you know we’re exposed to more information in a single day than someone in the 1500s encountered during their entire lives? Before marvelling too long at how far civilization has come, here’s the bad news: This information overload has taken a serious toll on our attention spans.
The endless information is rewiring the way our brains work, and not necessarily for the better. We now rely on calculator apps to do simple math we learned in grade school, and we use our vehicles’ navigation systems instead of remembering routes.
We don’t often pause to consider how the Information Age is affecting the way we think and live. One area where this deluge of data is especially damaging is decision making.
This overabundance of information undercuts our judgment. Instead of making more important decisions, we allow ourselves to get mired in minor details.
Modern technology is pushing our brains to their limits, and while electronic devices can extend our capabilities, our brains work best when we concentrate on one task at a time. But how can we tune out the ceaseless noise of today’s world and train our brains to function in a more natural way? Here are two tactics that can help.
1. Give your brain time to refuel
It’s no surprise that meditation is among the best ways to recharge your noodle and achieve a more balanced state of mind. Simple breathing exercises and 10 minutes of mindfulness can go a long way toward turning the volume down on everyday distractions. Meditation not your thing? Healthy sleep habits can also lead to improved judgment during waking hours.
2. Filter your sources of information
Whenever you’re researching anything, consider the validity of your sources. In a world where anyone can publish anything to the internet in an instant, it’s more important than ever to be careful who you believe. Nonfiction books are an excellent source of information, as authors are generally experts in their fields and statements are often supported by verified research.
Nonfiction books are an excellent source of information. The Blinkist app is great for surveying what books are out there.
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