Dropping the Book
I’m a man of images - When I was younger I was always excited to read comics and watch films rather than to pick up a book. Then a few novels came along which sparked my hunt for the ultimate dark, mystery books. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe became the go-to authors. It was strange but there was a difference in how I spoke in social settings; my speech was just a little more concise, I responded faster to questions and thinking of the answers to complex situations became easier.
Cognitive abilities such as perception, attention, memory, motor skills, language, visual and spatial processing and executive functions are all exercised when we are awake and can be improved with puzzles, reading, concentration and memory fitness exercises can improve how you understand the world and act in it.
Forgetting about Fitness
As a triathlete, I never knew how people can survive without working out. My take on it is that as humans, we are bred to be active; the body is an organic, living machine which is attached to the mind, so keeping it fit and healthy boosts confidence and keeps one energized; not to mention that it is clinically proven to significantly decrease many illnesses.
You don't have to be a gym rat to get the effects of a runner's high. This mood boost can be induced be any sweat-creating cardio workout. Endorphins are released throughout the body when it's active and act like natural opiates which trigger changes in neurotransmitters linked to pleasure and cause a confidence kick.
Unsurprisingly, diet affects the brain in a major way and not having the daily dose of antioxidants can leave neurons unprotected. Blueberries, kale, coffee, and nuts are the top "brain foods" which carry high levels of these anti-oxidative nutrients that block negatively charged oxygen compounds which are produced in the body (a by-product of a normal metabolism). They can set off chemical chain reactions that eventually damage or kill cells. Because your neurons are so active, your brain is particularly susceptible, and antioxidants can prevent those chain reactions from occurring.