Any ideas what grey matter I am talking about? To put it simply, it’s the brain! And in detail, the grey matter comprises neuronal cell bodies which process information in the brain. Although it is present in all humans, it is up to us to keep making it stronger.
Our intelligence is connected to the strength of the grey matter.
While it is important to think, ask questions and ponder on the information we may not be aware of, we also need to develop our brains. This should be done daily so we need to make it a part of our lifestyle.
You must be wondering if developing our grey matter is a difficult task. It is not. We are doing it unconsciously. This article will help you consciously work to strengthen your grey matter, that is to build your brain and enhance your mental activity. You can do so in the following ways.
Reading is an important activity that helps in developing your brain cells. It exposes you to new information, makes you aware of important facts, and helps you to question the details you come across.
For example, if you read about the seven continents of the world, you will want to know more about it and will then ask your parents and teachers, or you will try to read about it. Just imagine reading about Pakistan, its cities and provinces, and learning about the many cultures that prevail. Even if you have not visited the many cities of Pakistan, you will still learn about them by reading.
Reading must be your pastime activity. You should develop a habit of reading books, novels, newspapers and anything that your elders suggest to you. It will give you insights into the world around you.
Watching documentaries gives you an added insight into the world. Where reading helps you to imagine, watching videos/documentaries will bring you to the middle of the narrative where you will see what is being shared.
For instance, watching a documentary about the Himalayas and the Karakoram Highway will take you to these sites. You will learn much through the voice-over sharing information and you will understand the context by watching these videos. This helps you to remember the important facts and ponder on the details you are being exposed to.
When you are a part of a conversation with your friends at school or with siblings and elders at home, do listen to what they are saying. Actively listening to what people are saying to you and the conversation taking place helps you to select and absorb information.
Listening helps you to ask follow-up questions based on the information that you absorb. This enhances your cognitive skills and your ability to select the information that interests you.
What do you do when you read a book? You begin thinking about the story and the characters. You visualise what you read.
Thinking is different from imagining. When you imagine, you create fictional characters and situations that may not be real. However, when you think, you actively reflect, ponder and deliberate upon a topic or a real situation. For instance, if you want to save pocket money, you will think of ways to do so. If you want to become the best student in your class, you will think of strategies to pursue to get this title.
Keep thinking about the activities you want to pursue and the actions you want to complete. Thinking will help you to compare and contrast between options and will let you question yourself and the world around you.
Absorb what is necessary
We are exposed to information at every second of our life. With the social and digital media at our disposal through our smartphones, new information is disseminated all the time. We must be selective in absorbing the information we come across.
For instance, as a student, you may want to know more about the subjects you are studying at school. College students may want to know more about the career paths they can choose once they begin their university education. You need to actively accept and reject information you come across.
Instead of wasting time sharing memes on social media, you can research more about climate change, inflation and topics that are related to our socio-economic landscape and the ones that are linked to the subjects you are studying at school/college. Your brain will absorb whatever you feed it, so why not feed it with the right kind of information, instead of those that do not add to your intellectual growth.
Interestingly, the food you eat also helps you develop your brain. You should eat more fruits and vegetables, consume juices and soups. You must avoid eating junk food for it only damages the body. Fast food can be consumed once a month, but not more than that.
Getting the right amount of sleep also strengthens your brain. Make it a point to go to bed early so you can sleep for eight to nine hours. After returning from school/college, you should take a nap of at least an hour so you are fresh enough to complete your homework and pursue other personal, academic and extracurricular activities at home.
You need to create a balance between pursuing physical activities every day. You can either play with your friends in the neighbourhood or create a play area in your home. You can also play board games at home with siblings or friends.
However, safety should be your primary concern when playing with board games or playing outside your home. Always tell your parents what activity you are doing so they may be aware of your whereabouts.
Published in Dawn, Young World, February 19th, 2022