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3 Ways to Boost Your Brain Power & Your Wallet

Boosting your brain power and wealth don't necessarily need to be distinct goals–here are 3 activities that can help you achieve both.

If you’re like many Singaporeans, you may turn to nutraceuticals, vitamins, and other supplements in hopes of improving your memory and cognitive function. Unfortunately, there’s a lack of robust evidence that shows that these are effective in boosting brain power. They're also often costly. But you don’t have to throw your hard-earned money down the drain to achieve results. Here are 3 scientifically proven activities that can help you improve your brain health and build your wealth–simultaneously.

Reading Can Improve Communication Skills At Work

Just as frequent jogging strengthens your cardiovascular system, regular reading can improve memory function by giving your brain a good workout. According to a study at the Fisher Centre for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, reading provides the mental stimulation needed to protect memory and thinking skills, especially with age. More specifically, frequent brain exercise has been shown to lower mental decline by 32%. This delayed decline means that you can stay sharper for longer, leading to better long-term work performance.

Additionally, reading can make it easier for you to relate to others. This benefit is especially true with literary fiction, which helps readers understand what others are thinking by reading about other people’s emotions. Interestingly, research shows that emotional intelligence plays a crucial role in the workplace. Managers are known to pay extra attention to communication skills when reviewing an employee for promotion purposes. So, if you want to advance in your career and earn that paycheck raise, reading may be the way forward. To further cement the relationship between reading and wealth, research indicates that access to books from a young age corresponds to higher earnings over a lifetime.

Yoga Improves Memory, Fitness Correlates With Higher Salaries

According to a study published in 2016 by researchers at UCLA, yoga can improve memory functions just as much as dedicated memory enhancement exercises–the gold standard for managing mild cognitive impairment. As a total mind-body workout, yoga can also keep you physically fit, which research has shown actually correlates with earning a notably higher salary compared to those who rarely (or never) workout. In fact, research across multiple countries and decades cumulatively estimates a 4%–17% comparative boost in earnings for individuals who engage in sports and exercise, such as yoga.

While an annual gym membership can be costly, physically active individuals tend to earn more in annual income

If you choose to stay physically active through yoga instead of going to the gym, you may also be able to save an average of S$193.97 per month by forgoing a gym membership. While opting to take classes at a yoga studio can be expensive, you can alternatively exercise from home and follow YouTube instructional videos for free.

Massage Therapy Promotes Mental Health, Countering Burnout

Unsurprisingly, overwhelming work intensity is a strong predictor of unfavourable work outcomes. In Singapore’s fast-paced, high-stress economy, working without taking time to relax can lead to disengagement and higher burnout rates (which is linked to suboptimal job performance and earnings). Massage therapy is known to lower stress, decrease anxiety and prevent depression, and by promoting relaxation and mental health, can help to counter workplace burnout. In addition, massage therapy is on average the least expensive type of spa treatment, making it relatively accessible compared to pricier options like facials.

Table showing the average cost of spa treatments in Singapore

To Maximise Your Benefits, Be Sure To Use The Right Credit Card

You can save on most of these brain-boosting activities by using the proper credit card. Credit cards like Maybank Family & Friends Mastercard offer up to 8% cashback on learning retail, such as with POPULAR Bookstore. You can also earn credit card rewards for online shopping if you purchase books–or a yoga mat–with vendors like Amazon or Lazada. Finally, many cards offer spa-specific discounts as part of their monthly promotion programmes. Visit your card issuer's web page to review current offers you may be eligible for.

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