How To Think Faster? (15 Tips)

This article will briefly introduce what fast thinking is and how one can efficiently engage in it without making any mistake with regards to information intake and processing. The article will highlight numerous ways to think faster and what benefits can one gain from this.

How To Think Faster?

There are a number of ways to think faster that have been listed below:

  • Reduce Drug Usage
  • Avoid Smoking
  • Make Small Decisions Fast
  • Sleep Well
  • Keep the Temperature Down
  • Meditation
  • Play More Puzzling Games
  • Exercise More
  • Stay Happy – Increase Dopamine
  • Chewing Bubble Gum
  • Make Sure Your 5 Senses Work
  • Have Enough but Relevant Information
  • Attend A Workshop
  • Read Books
  • Break Free from Routine

Before we take a look at how exactly we can think faster, let us examine the concept of fast thinking and compare it to other types of thinking!

What Is Fast Thinking?

We use this type of thinking as much as we can because it results in less work for our brain and is usually instinctive; we tend to jump to conclusions that may seem most obvious to us rather than working out the logic by taking extra time.

Fast thinking is also unconscious because we usually make a decision without really reflecting on the thinking process. Let me give you an example. If someone asks you what your name is, how fast do you respond? Very fast and not because you don’t think but because you think so fast to the extent that it is unconscious and automatic. Fast thinking is also affected by our emotionality; when we are sensitive about something we are quicker to realize what we want even if we do not admit it.

What Are The Other Types of Thinking?

Here are different types of thinking people engage in other than fast thinking:

  • Slow Thinking
  • Accurate Thinking 
  • Critical Thinking
  • Efficient Thinking

Slow Thinking

Mostly, people are categorized into two types of thinkers; fast and slow thinkers although thinking styles accompany both. What is slow thinking? Slow thinking is not instinctive nor is it unconscious. It is a conscious effort to reflect upon information at hand and take a logically constructed decision; one relies very less on their instincts and emotions here to make a decision. 

Slow thinking takes up more work however, it usually yields better results for long term decisions. Also, it may result in taking the better or more logically correct option because you weight the information from different angles and do not take it at face value.

Accurate Thinking

This type of thinking usually falls into the slow category but attempts to reach the truth and relevance of the topic under discussion. It is not really concerned with the agenda of others or what exactly are the pros and cons of each decision. Instead, it wants to focus on the appropriate end result or line of action.

Critical Thinking

Although critical thinking also aims to arrive at the best conclusion, it is more focused on the process where it analyzes, synthesizes, conceptualizes and evaluates information that one has or has gained through various sources. The process is very time taking and requires much effort; your brain really goes through a breakdown because it has to analyze things from various angles.

Efficient Thinking

This thinking is the result of knowing what to ignore! The main aim of this thinking style is to reach a good conclusion or judgement without exhausting your mental capabilities.

There are a number of thinking styles and they often fall into either of the categories; fast or slow. The purpose of introducing these thinking styles is to help you gain more understanding of the topic under discussion.

How To Think Faster?

We will now look at how we can think faster!

Reduce Drug Usage

Various classes of drugs can affect your thinking ability; they will cause your thinking process to slow down by affecting your learning and memory. The more time your brain takes to learn or recall information, the slower the thinking process.

The class of drugs known as anticholinergics blocks the activity of acetylcholine which is a neurotransmitter which affects memory and learning. As we said before, this slows down your thinking process and may lead to memory loss as well! Drugs that are affiliated with this category include antidepressants, antibiotics and antihypertensives.

Avoid Smoking

What does your brain need to think? It needs oxygen obviously! Make sure you avoid activities that affect your lungs such as smoking; if your body does not have the capacity to utilize the oxygen in your surroundings, your brain will not be able to function properly hence affecting your thinking speed.

Make Small Decisions Fast

You need to develop the habit of thinking fast, once you do that it will become your instinct. Your body will become used to the habit of making quick decisions. You can challenge yourself by giving yourself limited time to arrive at decisions relevant to small and not so important matters like what to choose to wear today, what to order to eat or buying a new book. Help your brain learn how to think fast by limiting the resource of time.

Sleep Well

In order to think faster enough, get enough sleep! If you are tired you will not be able to not only receive information but also process it! Have you ever noticed how unaware you are when you wake up for a class or work when you haven’t had enough sleep? Ruins the entire day right?

Keep the Temperature Down

Studies have revealed that as humans, we are able to think faster when it’s cold! However, when the temperature goes up we are not able to think well; the heat hampers our thinking abilities and makes us slow overall as well.

Meditation

Giving your brain a break is necessary; it needs a calm environment to relax and redesign its thinking processes. Also, when you meditate, your brain has the chance to throw out unnecessary information and only focus on the important stuff. Learn to focus by meditating; it will help your brain learn what information to process quickly to help you think faster.

Play More Puzzling Games

Although this boosts other types of thinking as well, by intellectually stimulating your brain you will make it more active and aware; hence you will be able to catch certain relations or patterns in your surrounding quickly! This will allow you to take decisions more quickly and hence think fast!

Exercise More

Many studies have found that exercise increases your ability to think faster. One study that was conducted on Swedish men found out that increased cardiovascular activity led to more intelligence. 

The data from this study substantiated that physical activity such as running and cycling could help improve educational achievements through improved cognitive functioning.

Stay Happy – Increase Dopamine

It is important to realize that dopamine determines how worth a goal is; we must also understand that the main objective of most thinking is to determine which option or outcome is actually correct or worth it – speaking purely in terms of benefit and not morality. Thus, by increasing our dopamine levels to an optimum point, we can increase mental focus and hence think faster!

Chewing Bubble Gum

It is funny but not surprising that chewing gum can actually increase the oxygen transmitted to the prefrontal cortex region of the brain. It is not the bubble gum itself but the act of mastication that provides more oxygen to the said part of the brain. So next time you want to stay alert and focused in order to think faster, chew on something!

Make Sure Your 5 Senses Work

It is simple but important! If your five senses are not working this greatly affects your brain’s ability to think. It not only prevents sufficient information being used by the brain to think properly but also puts strain on it; unable to hear or see well may actually make your head hurt. So get yourself checked up!

Have Enough but Relevant Information

If you want to think fast, focus on the information which is relevant. Yes you want to get to the right decision but you do not want to logically justify or construct a path to it hence you need to filter out those parts of information that can be deemed as extra!

Attend A Workshop

There are a number of workshops that help you learn how to think faster; they will not only tell you how but even show you through activities, physical engagement and demonstrations! It will be fun so try them out!

Read A Book

Books not only give you tips on how to think faster but they also develop the habit of taking in information quickly and processing it. This will help your brain engage in regular exercises on how to pick up information and process it.

Break Free from Routine

Staying the same routine will take away your creativity and make your brain stagnant. Let alone thinking fast, it will prevent you from thinking. Try new things and break away from your routine so your brain can get back into the habit of thinking – that too fast!

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

What Foods Help You Think Faster

How can we think fast? Well, we need something to help us increase our memory and learning as well as our ability to pick up relevant information from the environment. This is important so we can make the thinking process faster.

The following list apprises you of foods that help one think faster:

  • Coffee
  • Fatty Fish
  • Broccoli
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Nuts

Although there are many foods that are related to better thinking such as dark chocolate, blueberries, oranges and eggs as well as green tea, we will look at the above only in detail!

Coffee

Yes coffee not only wakes you up but helps your brain operate in an effective way to allow you think faster!

It contains caffeine that has a number of benefits. Firstly, it increases your alertness as it blocks adenosine which is a chemical responsible for making you feel sleepy. Secondly, it increases serotonin which boosts our mood. Lastly, studies have found that by drinking coffee either in one go or small portions throughout the day increases concentration.

Fatty Fish

Our brain, almost 60% of it, is made up of fat that also includes omega 3 fatty acids which are contained in fish. The brain uses this to build brain and nerve cells which are essential to learning and memory.

Broccoli

It is a powerful plant that contains a number of useful components. It has vitamin K that is linked to better memory. It also has compounds that are anti-inflammatory in nature and have antioxidant effects that protect the brain from damage or disease.

Pumpkin Seeds

These are powerful sources of nutrients but also contain antioxidants that protect the brain from radical damage.

The nutrients that it contains include:

  • Zinc which plays an important role in nerve signaling; lack of this can lead to diseases such as Parkisons. 
  • Magnesium that is essential for memory and learning.
  • Copper which is also used to control nerve signals.

Nuts

If not directly, nuts are very important for the health of your heart and if you have a healthy heart you have a healthy brain!

Nuts basically include brain boosting nutrients, vitamin e and other healthy compounds! Walnuts are very special because they contain omega 3 fatty acids like fish does. Studies have shown that people who eat more nuts can think sharply.

What Conditions Prevent You From Quick Thinking?

The following affect your rate of thinking:

  • Age
  • Disease
  • Lifestyle

Age

The speed with which you think varies throughout your life. As a child, while you are still developing, you may not be able to think so fast because you are still learning many things. You need to know what type of information to take in, how to think and what conclusion you actually want to reach. This process is further slowed down by the fact that kids are still learning what is good and bad as well as what is desired or undesired in life.

In our teens and young adult life we begin to think faster mostly because we have learnt many patterns in our surroundings and know what we want; hence our brain takes on an instinctive and unconscious approach to thinking; as adults we want to save as much energy as we can. 

In older age we slow down once again maybe due to our brain not being as efficient as it once was.

Disease

Disease prevents our brain from thinking fast as we have issues without memory and learning. Diseases that affect our ability to think fast include Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and Dementia.

Lifestyle

Culture and society greatly affects how we think; if as a society we prefer a slow approach to life then we will not be able to develop the fast thinking skills we desire as our environment does not demand it from us!

Conclusion

This article took a look at how we can think fast and also explained the concept and types of thinking to the readers. Furthermore, the article highlighted what foods and activities can help us think fast and what conditions or factors actually prevent us from engaging in such a type of thinking.

References

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0031512516683074

https://www.pnas.org/content/106/49/20906

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-brain-foods#TOC_TITLE_HDR_9

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