Trick your brain into doing what you want with these nine hacks

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To this day, scientists are still investigating why our brains work the way they do — especially when it comes to functions like memory, sleep, and meditation.

Our subconscious can process a myriad of things — say, external factors and experiences that affect how we have dreams.

But it can also play tricks on us, making us believing in something that didn't happen, or making us feel a certain way toward people we don't like.

In an exclusive look below, we'll explore some of the most intriguing ways you can control your brain. There are several techniques to "hack" your brain and start taking control of things, from your productivity to your emotions, and even sleep patterns.

Master these shortcuts, so that you can start to maximize your potential and feel fulfilled every day.

Scroll on to discover the simple tweaks you can make in your life, to help your brain do amazing things. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Brain Hack #1: Feel Rested After Only 2 Hours Of Sleep

Maya Borenstein For LittleThings

With our hectic work schedules and busy home lives, it's not unusual to only get a few hours of sleep each night.

But there's a simple trick you can use to feel refreshed and alert without getting much sleep at all!

It's called the Uberman Sleep Schedule, and it's a way to organize your sleep pattern so that you maximize your REM sleep.

For those who work full-time, try taking a nap late in the afternoon or soon after you return home. So, for example, start napping at 7 p.m., and set the alarm for 7:30. Get up, eat dinner, get some work done, and sleep again at 11 p.m.

REM sleep is crucial because it's the only real stage of sleep that reenergizes you. On a normal sleep schedule, we get around an hour and a half of REM sleep.

This power nap system will help you concentrate and ultimately double up your amount of REM sleep.

Brain Hack #2: Choose Your Own Dreams

Maya Borenstein For LittleThings

We've all had lucid dreams before. This is when you're fully asleep and dreaming — but during this, you realize that you're in a dream.

This realization allows us to control our dreams — and there are tricks for triggering a lucid dream:

Keep a dream journal. After waking up, immediately write down details you can recall from the dream. This will train your brain to notice and retain details from your dreams.

Known when to have a lucid dream. They occur most often right before you wake up, or when you fall back asleep shortly after waking up.

Plan what you want to dream before you go to sleep. This way, when you happen to start dreaming even if you're not fully asleep, the critical part of your brain can still keep functioning.

Repeat "I will know I'm dreaming" as you're drifting off. This will train your conscious mind to stay alert during your dreams.

Brain Hack #3: Filter 'Negative' Thoughts

Maya Borenstein For LittleThings

We all get easily annoyed by things in our daily lives, and end up associating these sources of frustration with negative feelings.

But instead of reacting negatively to stressful people and situations, try to filter mainly positive thoughts through your mind the next time something bad happens.

This can train your brain to approach difficult situations with a positive attitude, rather than a defeated and negative one.

So the next time your grandchild is throwing a tantrum or you feel overwhelmed at work, rewire your brain to find the silver lining in the situation. You'll lower your stress and handle the situation more efficiently.

Brain Hack #4: Feel Happier In An Instant

Maya Borenstein For LittleThings

The trick to feeling happier is not to wish for happiness — but to actually go out and do things that youknow will make you feel happy.

Science has shown that things like taking a walk, window-shopping, spending time with loved ones, helping others, and even smiling can profoundly better our moods.

In addition to making small changes to your lifestyle, remember not to let that one negative incident ruin your entire day.

Store positive, reinforcing thoughts and memories in your mind, and keep going back to them. These will overpower negative thoughts, and help you see the bigger picture.

Brain Hack #5: Feel Like You've Had A Long, Productive Day

Maya Borenstein For LittleThings

No matter how much you get done during the day, it can sometimes feel like there just aren't enough hours in the day.

Luckily, there's a way to turn this around. The key to feeling like more time has passed is to allow your brain to process more information during the day.

To do this, try to constantly give your brain new information: learn new facts, meet new people, or learn a new skill and find a new hobby.

Doing new, exciting things means you have to pay attention. Your brain will be highly alert, and your physical senses intensified.

Your brain will help you feel like you have "stretched out" time by taking in new sensations at a faster rate.

Brain Hack #6: Relieve Pain

Maya Borenstein For LittleThings

It sounds suspicious, but there are interesting ways you can trick your brain into feeling less pain.

Whether you're dealing with a chronic pain, or something more fleeting like cramps, you should face your injury head-on by focusing on the source of pain.

Studies have shown that subjects who either touched or stared intensely at their wounds had a better mental grasp of the pain they were experiencing. As a result, they reduced the amount of pain they perceived they had.

You can also try a type of meditation technique called "guided imagery": close your eyes and sit somewhere quiet. Imagine being in a beautiful, serene place, and conjure up details like sounds and smells. This will help distract your brain from the physical pain and lower stress hormones.

Brain Hack #7: Remember Someone's Name

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The key to strengthening your memory is repetition.

When you meet someone new for the first time, say, at a dinner party or communal event, "practice" saying their name more than just one time.

Say their name when you're first being introduced — "Hello, nice to meet you, Jane" — and then repeat it during conversation. A great way to do this is by asking them questions about their day.

Repetition will improve your attention and help retain the new information.

Brain Hack #8: Become More Focused

Maya Borenstein For LittleThings

You can become more productive by getting more rest. Studies have shown that resting your brain is vital for memory consolidation.

So the next time you pick up a new skill or learn new information, take a break every hour or so. Walk away from what you're doing, and relax your mind. You can even try taking little naps!

And while multitasking is a great ability to have, allowing your brain to rest every now and then will help you focus more strongly on individual tasks — which will help reduce errors and increase efficiency.

Brain Hack #9: Turn An Enemy Into A Friend

Maya Borenstein For LittleThings

When someone has wronged or hurt us, it can be tough to see them in a different light.

But there are ways you can "trick" yourself into liking them, or at least into wanting to engage with them.

According to research done by Lifehacker, working and overcoming challenges with someone can help you bond with them, often in a very effective way.

Dedicating yourselves to a common cause and goal. Experiencing similar emotions and responses will likely have a positive impact on your relationship.

Please SHARE if you love learning about all the mysterious powers of your brain!

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