Physical stimulation and exercise benefit the body, so it’s no wonder that a regular mental exercise regimen helps the brain. Thankfully, the myth that people only use 10 percent of it has been debunked. Even areas in the brain once thought to be silent show activity. In order to keep your brain engaged, use these enjoyable everyday activities.
Here is a fun verbal challenge that you can play spontaneously and doesn’t take a lot of time: Use seven words and write a short story that tells a tale. As an added bonus, you can post it on social media and involve others in a discussion, or invite them to tell their own.
At times throughout the day, use your non-dominant hand to perform daily tasks. Keep safe, obviously, but some activities like combing your hair, eating, or brushing teeth can be completed with your opposite hand. You can even try your non-dominant hand at writing.
Use these various exercises to keep your mind sharp: Begin at 200, and count backwards by subtracting 5 each time. Start at 150 and do the same, but subtract 7 instead of 5. Begin at 100, and work your way backwards in threes.
Games and Puzzles
Play games that test your memory like crossword puzzles, chess, word search, card games and Sudoku, All of these keep your mind stimulated while having fun.
Reading is beneficial on different levels, but many don’t seem to enjoy it because they find reading boring, time consuming or sleep-inducing. The key is to find an appealing topic and a suitable medium, whether it’s a phone, electronic reader, e-book or print magazine. You don’t have to search out boring scientific articles either, just read what you enjoy.
Learn New Creative Skills
Many people shy away from arts and crafts because they had bad experiences in school. Perhaps they were labeled as not having any talent, or they received other negative feedback. Thankfully, you have choices as an adult. You can attend different classes for activities like drawing, painting, beading, woodworking, knitting and sewing, or learn by watching videos.
Activities that combine physical exercise with concentration skills also benefit brain function. Examples include yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates and dance classes. If you have physical or mobility challenges, look for programs that are designed to accommodate these (check with a health care professional before beginning a regimen).
Engaging your mind regularly reduces stress, relieves boredom and improves decision-making skills. While you can perform some of these activities with the help of a smartphone, and there are even apps to train the brain, make sure to also participate in brain-boosting activities without the aid of technology to help engage a variety of senses.