When I improvise, I like to be as alert and focused as possible. I know that my job on stage is to react to my scene partner with mindful awareness.. Anxiety, stress, fear, and daydreaming can all create major interference with living moment to moment. A performance can quickly be derailed by brain fog caused by anything from lack of sleep to stress from work.
I'm sure there are many ways to give your brain a temporary tune-up, but here are the tools that have been helping me think clearly. Maybe one of these ideas could work for you...
1. Calm App - I'm a big believer in mindfulness, mostly because I'm a big believer in science. Among it's many benefits, Mindfulness Meditation has been proven to: reduce depression, increase focus, reduces stress, and enhance relationships. I prefer guided meditation, the best of which is Calm, an app that has all the free content a person could need for meditating.
2. Carlson's Fish Oil - This one might be a placebo because the science is mixed on the benefits of fish oil. All I can tell you is that I feel like a spoonful of Carlson's lemon-flavored fish oil makes my brain feel instantly lubricated. I love that Carlson's Fish Oil has been tested and found to be very low in mercury, which you can't say for the cheap capsules made in China. The taste is surprisingly delicious and fresh. If you decide that fish oil is right for you, consider the benefits of paying a bit more for a higher quality product.
3. Cardiovascular Exercise - No kidding. The evidence that exercise can reduce brain fog and increase cognitive ability is massive. As a science advocate, I often have the benefit of meeting scientists who dedicate their lives to researching and understanding a given topic. Jamie Hale is one of those who knows exercise science backward and forward, which is why I hired him as my personal trainer. Check out Jamie's article on how exercise not only strengthens your body but also your mind.
So, that's what works for me. What do you do to keep your brain in peak performance for a show?