Exercising is a great way to stay fit, increase flexibility, develop strength and maintain balance. This statement applies to our mental development as much as it does to our physical well-being. Mental qualities like problem solving, memory, focus and attention span change over time, for better or worse.
Brain training exercises can help you increase performance and minimize mental decline as you age. Here are some simple things you can work into your daily life to help boost brain power.
Change your routine
Although routine can help bring structure to your life, research has shown that brain activity decreases for automatic tasks such as those associated with a routine, whilst unfamiliar tasks increase brain activity. This means changing up your routine is an easy way to increase your brain power.
Consider changing the order of your tasks to give your brain a new pattern of thought.
Use your non-dominant hand
Unless you are ambidextrous, you probably use your dominant hand when doing basic tasks such as opening a door or holding your phone. These things become second nature and doesn’t require much mental effort when doing them, and this lack of conscious thought does not challenge the brain.
Switch things up by using your opposite hand, making these basic things a bit more difficult to do and requiring more thought. Practicing this exercise regularly will help you increase your ability to learn, focus and engage in conscious thought.
Play observation games
Playing a daily observation game can improve your focus and memory. Choose one thing to observe during the day and look for it everywhere. This could be the color of people’s clothing, the height of buildings, the number plate of vehicles or anything you find interesting. By giving your brain a stimulus, you are working it out and strengthening it.
Memorize your lists
For most people that have a tendency to forget things, making a list is very handy as it helps remember what to do. Although lists can be a great tool, it will actually be much beneficial if you can learn to remember things without them.
Instead of just checking your list regularly, try to memorize it and perform whatever task you have listed without referencing the list. Doing this regularly will help your memory improve.
Reduce your reliance on technology
Similar to lists, technology is another tool that makes our life easier. In order to strengthen the brain you will need to make it work harder and an easy way to do that is to avoid technology. Try solving simple problems such calculating figures or spelling a difficult word on your own instead of rushing to use a calculator or spell checker.
Memorize phone numbers and try dialling the number when calling instead of relying on your phone book. They may seem simple but doing this can have a massive effect on your brain.
Practice problem solving
Think up an imaginary problem, and figure out how to solve it. This will not only only help enhance your problem solving skills, but also develop your creativity. Challenging your brain to find solutions to problems is a great way to increase brain function.
Alter your perspective
It’s easy to take the orientation of objects for granted. The brain is designed to separate right from wrong in terms of our environment. Looking at something the right way doesn’t trigger the brain as much as a distorted view does.
To activate your brain, turn familiar objects upside down and simply look at them. It could be anything from a picture to a clock or even a labeled bottle. This is one simple way to engage your brain.
When you live your life with intention, you can introduce new experiences in every sense to your brain. These unique sensations will strengthen the areas of your brain that control your memory, emotions, attention span, problem solving abilities, learning and processing.