How to Train Your Brain for Analytical Thinking

 The ability to think analytically is critical in all aspects of life, including socially, economically, and professionally. At their most basic level, analytical skills are used for solving problems. And just like physical exercise, regular training of your thinking skills can only make them stronger and faster. Some of the most common analytical skills include budgeting, communication, organization, and creativity.

 There are a number of steps you can take to improve your mental acuity. For the sake of brevity, we’ve condensed these steps into three of the most effective methods for training your mind to think more analytically.

Don’t Be Afraid to Learn

One of the best methods for improving your analytical skills is to be in a constant state of learning. This can manifest in a variety of ways, including reading, taking courses, and simply being aware of and mentally documenting your surroundings throughout the day.

Of course, it’s not enough to just read the words on a page or skim through your course material. To truly train your brain and analytical skills, it’s important to practice active reading and engage as many of your senses as possible. Doing this will enable you to actually internalize the information you’re taking in and take action on it, if necessary.

And if you ever fear you haven’t retained enough of the information you’re reading, quiz yourself periodically. This can be done at the end of a chapter, with an online quiz on a specific topic, or even by discussing what you’ve learned with other people.

Even better, living in a constant state of learning effects more than your ability to think critically. It’s also beneficial for your long term health, your social life, and your earning potential. Reading has long been shown to reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, in your brain, and learning new skills or information can help keep your mind sharp well into your golden years.

Practice Your Problem Solving

When you take the time to examine every aspect of a problem or circumstance, you increase your logistic capabilities. These are critical for developing analytical thinking skills, as they enable you to make decisions based on logic, rather than emotion.

If you find yourself behaving irrationally when situations become stressful, or you simply want to become more aware of potential solutions to problems that are plaguing you, journaling has been shown to help develop problem-solving and analytical thinking skills.

Studies have also demonstrated that the ability to examine stressful situations with a clear head and determine relevant solutions contributes to better relationships and significant personal growth.

Play Brain Games

The final step you can take to train your brain for analytical thinking is essentially a combination of the two mentioned above. Brain games like Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and quizzes that test your knowledge are great methods for continuous learning and exercising your problem-solving muscles.

When you engage in these activities regularly, you’ll see a marked improvement in the speed and analytical accuracy with which you evaluate situations you’re presented with. This is true no matter your age, but the sooner you start training your brain, the better. Many cognitive abilities tend to peak around the age of 30 and begin to decline as people age. This means the show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” is more than a test of your ability to remember facts you were told during your childhood. It is also a demonstration of the negative effects aging can have on your mental acuity.

Although new episodes of the show are no longer being made, you can still test your current level of knowledge and determine how much training your analytical abilities need with this “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader’ quiz.
 
Get Your Think On
 
Regardless of your age, analytical thinking skills are a necessary part of life. If you want to succeed professionally, socially, and economically, it pays to train your brain on a regular basis. And like all skills, practice makes perfect.

So what are you waiting for?

Get out there and start getting your think on! Before you know it, analytical thinking will come to you as naturally as breathing.
 
 
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