The 6 Best Books on Brain Fitness

Mental fitness is just as crucial as physical fitness. Just as you can train your body to run faster, you can train your brain to think faster as well.

The Six Best Books on Brain Fitness

Please don’t believe that you can’t increase your intelligence as an adult. You can boost your learning ability and not merely learn new skills. Your intellect can increase.

Merely eating a better diet and getting more exercise can make you more intelligent. If better sleep makes you capable of more difficult mental tasks, better sleep increases your intelligence.

You can do even better if you use more advanced brain training techniques to get your brain in excellent shape. The brain is malleable – if you use a part of the brain more often, it physically changes. You can build up your brain like you can build up your muscles.

The Best Books to Read on Brain Fitness

If you want to become calmer, happier, more focused, more creative, and more intelligent, many books can help you. Don’t neglect brain fitness – it can improve your life just as much as exercise.

I used to get brain fog after a few hours of working on mentally demanding projects. This is no longer true – my mental stamina is vastly better than it once was. My life is better because I take brain fitness seriously.

These are some of the most famous books on brain training, plus a few less well-known ones that taught me to be a more mentally tireless and creative person.

1) Change Your Brain, Change Your Life

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (Revised and Expanded): The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Lack of Focus, Anger, and Memory Problems
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Amen, Daniel G. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 476 Pages - 11/03/2015 (Publication Date) - Harmony (Publisher)

This is the bible on brain fitness. It might not quite be my favorite book, but it is one of the most detailed books on the subject. The book not only gives you useful tips but explains the neuroscience of how to make your brain work better.

You can get more done if you feel good. If you feel bad, you might be able to force yourself to work anyway, but you will work slowly. Forcing yourself to work is no way to live life.

If you can defeat bad emotions, you can do everything better than you could before. Anger, obsessive thoughts, anxiety, and depression all hold you back. If you can learn to switch these feelings off, you can perform well at school, work, and elsewhere.

The book gives you specific solutions to specific problems, with everything backed by science. If you are frequently angry, you can eat an anger-calming diet and take anger-calming supplements. An anger-calming diet is valid science – many nutrients get rid of rage.

You can use habits to boost memory, writing exercises to defeat obsessive thoughts, breathing techniques to prevent anxiety, and supplements to fight depression. The book gives you plenty of strategies that work and the neuroscience behind them.

2) Boost Your Brain: The New Art and Science Behind Enhanced Brain Performance

Boost Your Brain: The New Art and Science Behind Enhanced Brain Performance
  • Hardcover Book
  • Fotuhi, Majid (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 09/10/2013 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

You can actually make your brain bigger – and it only takes a few weeks to do so. Your brain is very malleable – this is known as neuroplasticity. You can get a bigger and better brain, and this book will show you how.

The book gives you tools to help you measure your current level of brain fitness. You then use strategies specific to your current abilities to sharpen your brain.

Real mental improvement requires nerve cell growth. Your brain needs the right nourishment to grow new cells, and the book will teach you what to eat for nerve growth.

Just as healthy habits can grow your brain, unhealthy habits can shrink it. The brain and specific parts of the brain can shrink if you allow a sleep problem to continue for too long. There are many habits you should avoid.

If you are interested in brain fitness to avoid Alzheimer’s disease, this is the best book to read. It has plenty of great information about taking care of your brain to avoid cognitive decline later in life.

3) The End of Mental Illness: How Neuroscience is Transforming Psychiatry

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The End of Mental Illness: How Neuroscience Is Transforming Psychiatry and Helping Prevent or Reverse Mood and Anxiety Disorders, ADHD, Addictions, PTSD, Psychosis, Personality Disorders, and More
  • Hardcover Book
  • Amen, Dr. Daniel G. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 03/03/2020 (Publication Date) - Tyndale Momentum (Publisher)

While this book is about mental health and arguably not quite about brain fitness, it is worth reading alongside brain fitness books. The book is quite optimistic – while rates of many mental illnesses are increasing, the book argues that new treatments based on neuroscience will cure them. The book includes great actionable advice about how to avoid falling into negative emotional states.

4) Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients that Fuel Brainpower, Boost Weight Loss, and Transform Your Health

Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients That Fuel Brainpower, Boost Weight Loss, and Transform Your Health
  • Harper Wave
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ramsey M.D., Drew (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 05/17/2016 (Publication Date) - Harper Wave (Publisher)

Since nutrition is just as important for brain health as for physical health, you should read a nutrition-focused brain health book. Possibly, this is the most important book of all.

Brain training exercises don’t work very well if the brain doesn’t have the nutrition necessary to improve. You wouldn’t expect physical strength exercises to work without the right food.

The book points out that many mental disorders are nutritional deficiencies. A mental illness can have many causes, but a lot of the time, getting more of a single food is enough to correct it.

5) The Complete Brain Exercise Book

The Complete Brain Exercise Book: Train Your Brain - Improve Memory, Language, Motor Skills and More
  • Smith, Dr. Fraser (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 09/02/2015 (Publication Date) - Robert Rose (Publisher)

As well as giving more valuable information about diet, the book gives you easy everyday exercises that you can use to make your brain function better. You can do ordinary things like write with your left hand (if right-handed) to keep your brain sharp.

You can try many skills and activities if you want to train your brain to think better. You can start fun new hobbies by reading this book, as things like playing an instrument are excellent for brain fitness.

Challenge your brain and expose it to new experiences if you want it to work better. Nutrition is the other half of the equation.

6) Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life

Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life (Harvard Health Publications)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Carson, Shelley (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 401 Pages - 09/07/2010 (Publication Date) - Jossey-Bass (Publisher)

This book is about boosting your creativity, as opposed to merely your focus or memory. Creativity is not only for people with creative professions. Ordinary people need creativity.

With the right tricks, you can develop creativity further. The book provides an excellent selection of exercises to improve your creativity and tests to measure your progress.

The book explains how your brain goes into different states – “brainsets” – to solve problems. A creative person can control their brainsets and switch to a different state to solve a problem.

You can learn this ability to switch between states. You can train your mind to create more original thoughts.

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