To lead a healthy and well-balanced life, it’s not enough to engage in physical activity; we need to make sure we remain mentally sharp as well.
How brain exercises sharpen the mind
The brain is made up of various areas that control specific bodily functions and shape how we think, act, and feel. When we challenge parts of our brain, it expands its capacity. This results in a phenomenon called neuroplasticity, which helps you become more focused, alert, and positive.
Brain exercises are also believed to stave off age-related memory lapses and alleviate the symptoms or delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Here are 10 of the many ways you can sharpen your mind and boost your brain power.
- Switch up your daily routine
When we do things automatically because of routine, our actions no longer simulate our brain. That’s why altering your daily routine makes a difference. Simple actions such as waking up earlier, eating a healthy breakfast instead of skipping it altogether, taking the stairs, or establishing new behaviors can go a long way in keeping you alert.
- Learn something new
Learning a new language or skill, or taking on a new hobby benefits the brain by stimulating new connections between its neurons. You can also help the process along by eating food that is unfamiliar to you or traveling to a place you’ve never been to before.
- Sketch from memory
Many studies have shown that drawing maps and items from memory allows us to remember them better. It also improves our overall ability to recall things. If you’re visiting a new area, walk around and then draw a map of your route.
- Go in a different direction
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But if you want to improve your brain power, take the scenic route. When you take the road often traveled, your brain goes into autopilot. Taking an alternative route keeps you alert to exits and landmarks.
- Switch to your non-dominant hand
If you’re used to doing things with your right hand, try using your left hand to accomplish simple tasks like brushing your teeth or using chopsticks. Switching to your non-dominant hand increases your brain activity because it forces you to concentrate on mastering the unfamiliar. The challenge stimulates the cerebral cortex, the part of our brain associated with memory, attention, and awareness.
- Listen to different kinds of music
Everyone has their favorite type of music, but switching up your playlist helps you step out of your comfort zone and positively impacts how you go about your daily life.
- Keep a gratitude journal
When you list down all that you’re thankful for on a daily basis, it compels you to look at areas in your daily life you may have taken for granted – and makes you realize the good they do to you. Researchers have found that the more grateful we are, the less prone we are to insomnia, anxiety attacks, or bouts of depression.
- Do simple tasks the hard way
When it comes to simple computations, directions, and spell-checking, don’t let your apps do the heavy lifting. Figure out these simple tasks by yourself. Compute by longhand, turn-off the autocorrect function on your phone, ask someone for directions and figure out the streets or landmarks that will help you get to your destination.
- Play brain games and solve puzzles
Brain teasers and brain puzzles are a fun and challenging way to stimulate the brain. Spend a few minutes every day solving a Sudoku or crossword puzzle. Scour the internet for brain teasers. Play chess to give your brain a workout.
Meditation has plenty of health benefits, including reducing stress, improving focus, and increasing mindfulness. Begin your day by meditating and end your day the same way.
Enhance your brainpower with the help of WholeBody Solutions. Learn more about the different holistic services that we offer by calling 617.328.6300 today.