It is common knowledge that you have to keep your body fit. But not many people realize that you hav to do the same for the brain. It is true that working out the body keeps the mind sharp and fresh, but the mind also needs exercises of its own.
If you want to keep your brain mentally fit and are not sure of the best ways to do that, this article will show you some of the best exercises for the brain. There are only a few activities that qualify as true brain training exercises because many just came up as a result of hype.
There are many benefits associated with brain training exercises. This is because brain training involves stimulation of the mind.
Some of the reported benefits reported from brain exercises include: less stress, a sharper memory, boost in productivity, improves self-confidence, better mood throughout the day, quick thinking, fast reaction times, enhanced creativity and fluid intelligence and improved senses such as vision and hearing.
What makes an activity brain exercise?
Most of live in loops or routines throughout their whole life. Doing this dampens the mind since there is no stimulation of the mind. The mind knows the routine and most times you fill find that you are drained. Fixed life routines limit our decision making but enables us to perform complex tasks such as driving a car effortlessly.
The reason for this is that routines become part of us so much that they are run by our subconscious. The effect of this is that there is no stimulation of the brain at any point. Just like the body without exercises, the mind gets lethargic and slow from lack of physical activity.
For an activity to qualify as brain exercise, it has to follow two criteria: novelty and complexity. The activity to be performed has to be both novel and complex.
It is important to note that lack of brain exercise does not cause a loss of brain cells like many people believe, rather it means that communication between the brain cells is poor.To fully exercise you brain, you have do an activity that engages all the five senses in non-routine ways.
The best ways for brain training exercises
Switching hands is a great way to sharpen your mind. It involves using your non-dominant hand for day to day activities such as brushing your teeth, eating and using a mouse.
By using the less dominant hand, it has been proven and tested that brain activity is increased. You can even try writing with the less dominant hand. The more you practice, the easier it will be as you go on. It can be a difficult process at first but is a great brain workout activity.
Use games such as Sudoku
Today, there are many games that can help you exercise your brain but perhaps the most common and effective game is Sudoku. Sudoku is a number puzzle where you go around filling numbers in boxes ensuring that the number is not repeated in any row and column.
It is a fun addictive game that will get your brain working as you try to figure out where each number fits. Sudoku can be found online as a mobile phone game for any OS and books that are filled with the number puzzles.
Unlike other games that are termed as brain exercising games, Sudoku cannot get routine as each puzzle is different. You can only learn how to play Sudoku but can’t really get used to a certain gameplay since puzzles are different.
Do simple math every day
Math is a great way to stimulate your brain cells and get the juices flowing. If you don’t interact with math in your day to day activities, then it is important that you try and do a few sums a day. Set a timer, say sixty seconds, to solve as many math problems as possible.
At the end of each session, look at how many questions you have done and got right and try to beat your previous scores. Math problems can be found on apps on all operating systems. There are apps such as mad math generator that is commonly used worldwide.
Just a minute of simple math every day will go a long way in keeping he brain sharp and focused. It will also make you far less reliant on a calculator as your brain is trained to do math off the bat.
Write more often
In this digital day and age, it is not every day we get a chance to write down things on paper. We type everything from texts, notes, diaries and more. By tying so much, you find that the brain has developed a muscle memory and you now know where every button is without even looking.
When this happens, the mind has fallen into a routine and needs to be exercised. Buy a notebook and a pen and write something every day from the top of your head. By doing this you break the norm that your mind has developed thereby stimulating it.
Writing triggers the reticular activating system and lets the brain know it is time to focus and pay attention to the activity in hand: writing.
If you work at home in an environment where you could go a full day without literally talking to someone, it is time you try and change this. Studies have shown that socially active people are less likely to develop brain associated problems such as dementia.
This is because socializing engages a lot of brain regions. Socializing also means that there will be some physical activity involved which also engages multiple regions of the brain.
If you find that you are mostly isolated, make a step towards socializing more. It is beneficial for both the short term and long term. Apply for social activities such as clubs, book clubs or join a gym.
Meditation is one of the most powerful ways to train your brain. It is a method that has been in use for thousands of years and has worked effectively for people. It is known to reduce or cure a lot of mental issues such as anxiety and depression.
There are many types of meditation but for brain training we are going to look at mindfulness meditation. This involves quieting the conscious and subconscious mind so that you are in a trance.
Meditation takes a lot of practice but when mastered, is one of the best brain training exercises there is. It will improve your focus, concentration span, empathy and even your immunity.
The importance of brain training can really not be overstated. The brain controls everything and when it is in healthy and fit condition, you will also be in the same condition. Brain activities will improve your mood, thinking and emotional intelligence.
Try to reduce dormant moments such as watching TV for long hours and scrolling through your socials. Instead, opt for more physical activities such as walks or visiting a friend.