For several years, the Japanese way of living has been emulated because of its proven benefits of extending longevity and increasing brain power. This increase in poker brain power is what most poker players need to stay on top of their game. More so for online poker players who often spend hours playing in multiple tables in one sitting.
Our brain continues to change and adapt to our way of living until our deaths. This adaptability or neuroplasticity allows our brain to generate and integrate new neurons. The process of creating neurons is called neurogenesis, and this often happens when you engage in activities that make you happy. Poker is one of them, but they are at the highest when you exercise, eat healthy, socialize, learn new things, and meditate. Most of these mentioned activities are what most Japanese do.
How do you increase your poker brain power by imbibing the Japanese way of life? Let’s start with the food. Japan has one of the best culinary offerings in the world. Almost all of their food items are prepared and served fresh. Among the well-known Japanese diet is the Okinawa Diet. So named after the indigenous people of the Ryukyu Islands, where a significant number of its citizens live a long life, often exceeding a hundred years. The traditional Okinawa diet only has small portions of rice, but have healthy amounts of purple-fleshed Okinawan sweet potato.
What’s notable about the Japanese diet is the practise of moderation. Keizan Jokin, a Zen master from the early 1300s, teaches his students to consume not more than two-thirds of their capacity. Hara Hachi Bu also teaches its students to eat until they are 80% full. Restriction of diet leads to increased longevity. It also delays the onset of cognitive decline because of improved neurogenesis.
Sushi is a widely known brain food. Raw fish in sushi like tuna and salmon has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which has long been established as a potent neurogenic ingredient. The seaweed used in sushi rolls is also great for increasing brain power. Seaweeds have healthy levels of chlorophyll, which acts as a natural detoxifier that helps in eliminating waste products from the blood. Chlorophyll also promotes the formation of GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), which also helps in neurogenesis.
The wasabi in your sushi contains Allyl isothiocyanate, known to prevent cancer by inhibiting the transformation of healthy cells to cancer cells.
So, just imagine the poker brain power you can get by downing that sumptuous sushi.
All that sushi is best paired with a warm beverage. In Japan, green tea is a must. Matcha tea is 10x more potent than regular green tea. It’s prepared from young tea leaves that are stone-ground to turn into a fine powder. Matcha green tea helps in making monks stay awake during meditation. It also has high levels of antioxidants, up to 20x more than pomegranates and blueberries. It also has L-theanine, which is crucial for enhancing memory and promoting neurogenesis.
Poker players who want to stay awake during tournaments may benefit from taking a shot of matcha green tea. Aside from staying awake, they can increase their memory – something crucial for players who want to reach head to head.
Meditation has tons of benefits for the brain. Poker players swore in its efficacy to help them stay focused. Meditation has lots of cognitive advantages that poker players can benefit from. Playing poker is not all about luck. Players must have sharp mental faculties to help them strategise better, and meditation helps them through mindful meditation. This meditation will teach them to focus only on what is necessary, such as making profitable calls during a poker game.
If you engage in long-term meditation, your gray matter in the brain will increase. This increase directly affects the hippocampus, which regulates stress. If you can manage your stress during poker tournaments, you are more likely to make smart decisions during play.
Japanese people are known for their dedication to their craft. Many locals dedicate their lives, engaging in a lifelong activity. Research shows that individuals who remain active throughout their lives are less likely to succumb to a cognitive decline. So, if you want to play poker competitively even when you are in your golden years, stay active. Doing regular exercises will help you stay healthy longer. For instance, you can take a 30-minute brisk walking an hour before your poker game. This will stimulate your brain and help you stay active.
Have you noticed how Japan has an aging workforce but low health care expenditure? It’s because most Japanese grow old healthy. Elderly Japanese are actively engaged in activities despite their age. In case you don’t know, Japan has the highest number of working seniors in the world.
Japanese people are enduring individuals. Zen Buddhism teaches Gaman, which means “enduring seemingly unbearable with patience and dignity. It teaches practitioners to stay happy and contented with their life by facing hardships during stressful times. It also teaches self-control and discipline.
Poker players can benefit from this teaching. When they have a bad hand, they can endure this by thinking that this is temporary and that there is always something better that will come later on.
Having a lifestyle like the Japanese may be hard for some. Others are already practising it. Poker players can benefit from these practise not only during their game but in their lifestyle as a whole. Living a Japanese lifestyle may not be for everyone. Some individuals are happy eaters, and they may not appreciate limiting their caloric intake. Some people may not like eating raw seafood or drink green tea. It’s okay. What’s important is that they remain happy and contented with their lifestyle.
Are you already practising any of this Japanese lifestyle? If yes, how did it change your life? Let us know in the comments below!