How to Take a Brain Break

brain Break is for strong mental health

In today’s world brain break is most important, many of us spend hours upon hours staring at screens for work, school, social media, and more. While technology keeps us connected and informed, research shows that prolonged periods of focused mental exertion can drain our ability to concentrate. Taking regular brain breaks can restore mental clarity, improve recall, and enhance overall brain health.

The Benefits of Taking Brain Breaks

Improves Focus and Concentration

Studies utilizing the “Pomodoro Technique” reveal that concentration and productivity tend to decline after about 25-30 minutes of continual mental effort. Taking even a short 5-10 minute break after this time allows the brain to metaphorically “recharge its batteries.” This restores the ability to focus and prevents mental fatigue.

Allows the Brain to Recharge

Giving the brain a brief respite from intense cognitive work provides time for the brain’s neural networks to reload. Breaks create space for new connections to form, enhancing abilities like creativity, problem-solving, and recall.

Creates More Primacy and Recency

Primacy and recency refer to the tendency to remember the first and last items in a sequence. Taking regular breaks creates more start and end points, leading to better retention of information in between. Our brains evolve to encode beginnings and endings.

What to Do During a Brain Break

A brain break doesn’t require elaborate planning. Just 5-10 minutes of activities that are different from the mental tasks you’ve been performing will give your brain a chance to restore itself. Here are some easy, effective suggestions:

Breathe Deeply

Though the brain represents just 2% of the body’s mass, it demands 20% of delivered oxygen. Deep belly breaths deliver extra oxygen to promote mental clarity.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can sap mental agility by up to 30%. Sipping water encourages fuel delivery and waste removal in the brain. Added oxygen also assists with attention and short-term memory.

Stand Up and Move Around

Sitting for extended periods is often termed “the new smoking” for its ill effects on health. Getting vertical and moving engages the proprioceptive nerves, stimulating the brain. Almost any physical activity will do:

Take a Walk

Walking meetings allow continued concept discussion while allowing neural networks to rebuild. Sunshine and negative ions from moving outdoors offer additional benefits.

Do Jumping Jacks or Burpees

Jumping movements engage and revitalize. The exertion generates brain-fertilizing proteins that support nerve health and growth.

Try Calisthenics

Pushups, air squats, lunges – any body-weight exercises inspire new connections. The mental effort to perform movements is also training for cortical regions that convert intention to action.


The concentrated hand-eye coordination of juggling sparks new white matter growth as neural networks make adjustments. Juggling unique benefits include:

Improves Brain Connections

Oxford University research found that just 3 months of juggling increased white matter essential for fast information flow. These new avenues multiply over time.

Expands Peripheral Vision

Tracking multiple objects strains our central vision, forcing adaptation. This allows more visual data intake – great training for speed reading!

Good Metaphor for Life

Dropping balls while learning is expected; everyone drops something sometimes. It teaches optimism and demonstrates progress over perfection.

Other Types of Movement

Almost any physical activity transports you out of cerebral overload into a refreshed state. Experiment to discover which you enjoy and find effective:


The coordination of dance integrates sensory feedback loops essential for balance, spatial processing, and maneuvering. Learning new steps and patterns keeps things lively.

Play Table Tennis

The fast exchanges of this close-proximity sport accustom the brain to abruptly shift attention between visual spaces. Great for refining reaction capabilities.

Try “Super Brain Yoga”

This sequence of contralateral stretches while holding the ears supposedly synchronizes left-right brain signaling. It feels great even if the claims are overblown!

mind brain break mindset perception
mind brain mindset perception

Customize Your Brain Break

Everyone has unique movement preferences and responses. Play with blending various activities into your own optimal 5-10 minute brain break cocktail.

Experiment with Different Activities

Test out new configurations of physical and mental exercises until you discover your perfect brain-boosting fitness sprite. Adapt it as needed.

Find What Works Best for You

Staying with a less-than-ideal activity just because it “should” work won’t cut it. Embrace what reliably leaves you energized and clear-headed.


Incorporating short brain breaks into periods of intense study, work, or concentration can powerfully revive mental capacity. Avoid depletion – regularly give your brain room to refresh.

Consistency Is Key

Sporadic long breaks are less effective than shorter breaks every 25-30 minutes. Stick to a schedule for maximum benefit.

Any Movement Is Beneficial

Simple stretches, jogging in place, throwing a ball – any activity providing motion and novelty pays off in renewed acuity.

Share Ideas with Others

We can all teach each other new ways to clear mental fatigue. What is in your self-care toolbox to suggest? Let your creativity play!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I take a brain break?

Aim for 5-10 minutes every 25-30 minutes during intense mental effort. This brief reprieve helps prevent exhaustion and sustain acuity. Adjust timing as needed.

What if I don’t have time for brain breaks?

Even 60-90 seconds spent standing and stretching restores some mental clarity to continue working efficiently. Stuck at your desk? Leg lifts, spins, and deep breathing minimize downtime.

Do brain breaks really make a difference?

Absolutely! Both objective research and subjective experience demonstrate the power of pulsed mental activity. Taking movement and mindfulness mini-breaks curbs fatigue, frustration, and failures.

Do brain breaks really make a difference?

Absolutely! Both objective research and subjective experience demonstrate the power of pulsed mental activity. Taking movement and mindfulness mini-breaks curbs fatigue, frustration, and failures.

What exactly happens in my brain during breaks?

Neural networks reset their sensitivity so future input signals transmit cleanly again, waste by-products are washed out, and new connections form. Breaking fixation allows fresh eyes.

Why is movement important for my brain?

Our brains evolved primarily to govern motion. Involvement in physical activities potently reinforces neural nets organizing those actions. The attentional effort also stimulates learning circuits. Moving repatterns stuck thinking ruts.

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