When was the last time you did something for your brain? Your brain works 24/7, and it receives little to no effort from you for it to work. Doing brain exercises will bridge that gap! We gathered seven fun brain activities that you can try to improve your brain’s health and boost your mental health. Doing the following regularly will improve not just your brain’s wellness but your overall health.
Activity #1: Be Open to New Learnings
Learning something new is beneficial to your brain. It’s a perfect brain exercise because it will keep your brain ever alert and active. Learning something new reinforces new neural connections that will make your brain ever healthier and more robust.
A study revealed that adults who learned new skills from quilting to digital photography have a better memory than those who did not. Data demonstrated that learning new skills improves one’s memory, and what’s impressive is that these memory improvements are retained even after a year.
Things you can try learning:
- A new language
- A musical instrument
- A new hobby like quilting
Activity #2: Draw Something from Memory
Be intimate with your brain by remembering something from memory and drawing it. This is exciting for your brain because it will feel challenged and rewarded simultaneously. Start with the simple challenge of remembering your neighborhood. Take note of all the houses and the streets and witness your brain do its magic. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, try remembering other less familiar things like the map of your country or another country. You can also try to draw familiar faces by simply recalling from your memory. This is an effective brain exercise because it will activate special areas of your brain.
Other things that you could draw from memory:
- The layout of your office
- Your bedroom
- Your kitchen
- Your old classrooms
- Your university
- Your favorite restaurant
Activity #3: Connect with People
Did you know that people who remain socially active are at a lower risk of having Alzheimer’s disease and dementia? This is because the brain loves it when you connect with people. Humans are social creatures, and it’s part of our biological make-up to need and crave human connection. Socializing is notable for all available brain exercises because it engages numerous parts of the brain. You can level up this form of exercise by opting for social activities that will require you to do physical activities. You can look for the Top personal trainer in Carnegie and ask if they offer group workouts. Such activity will be incredible for your brain!
You can also try the following:
- Join a club
- Become a member of a walking group
- Stay connected with family and friends
Activity #4: Use Your Non-Dominant Hand
This brain exercise is one of the most leisurely activities you could consider doing. Neurobiologists even tout that this exercise can keep the brain alive. All you have to do is use your non-dominant hand in instances where you don’t usually use it. As the activity is challenging, your brain activity will significantly increase. You see, anything that increases the brain’s activity is good for it! The more challenging an activity is, the better!
Try the following:
- Switch the hands that you use when eating
- Use your non-dominant hand to write
Activity #5: Play Brain Stimulating Games
Yes, you can use games to stimulate your brain. There are many brain training websites, apps, and games to choose from, and these games are specially catered to keep your brain sharp and flexible. Check out the following games:
- Happy Neuron
- Brain Age Concentration Training
- Chess (Buy Now)
- Monopoly (Buy Now)
Choose games that will allow you to:
- Think carefully
- Solve problems
- Think logically
- Deal with mistakes
If you spend too much time looking at your computer screen or smartphone, then it’s best to consider this as the last of your options.
Activity #6: Meditate
Humans have benefited from meditation for thousands of years, but it’s only now that actual studies prove its potent effectiveness in boosting the brain’s health.
Meditation is highly effective because it gives your brain the chance to be mindful. Mindfulness strengthens the brain because it allows for the access of new neural pathways that enable people to be more mentally flexible. Mindfulness improves one’s ability to observe oneself, which leads to more focus, empathy, attention, and even enhanced immunity. Meditation can also increase your ability to memorize.
Starting with just five minutes of meditation a day can make a whole lot of difference.
Activity #7: Have a Healthy Lifestyle
Having a healthy body is key to keeping your mind healthy. Exercising daily will create wonders for your brain, and this is because exercising boosts neurogenesis. It would help if you always aimed to increase your brain’s neurogenesis as new brain cells are formed when this happens.
Studies also revealed that people who exercise on a daily basis are less likely to develop cognitive diseases like dementia by 30%. Endeavor to practice the following healthy behaviors to improve your health:
- Having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Consuming limited amounts of alcohol
- Not smoking
- Exercising daily
- Maintaining a normal BMI
Woolford, J., Patterson, T., Macleod, E., Hobbs, L., & Hayne, H. (2015). Drawing helps children to talk about their presenting problems during a mental health assessment. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 20(1), 68–83. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359104513496261
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Shuai-Ting Lin, Pinchen Yang, Chien-Yu Lai, Yu-Yun Su, Yi-Chun Yeh, Mei-Feng Huang & Cheng-Chung Chen (2011) Mental Health Implications of Music: Insight from Neuroscientific and Clinical Studies, Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 19:1, 34-46, DOI: 10.3109/10673229.2011.549769
Kawachi, I., Berkman, L.F. Social ties and mental health. J Urban Health 78, 458–467 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1093/jurban/78.3.458
Chételat, G., Lutz, A., Arenaza-Urquijo, E. et al. Why could meditation practice help promote mental health and well-being in aging?. Alz Res Therapy 10, 57 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13195-018-0388-5
This is a team of Biotechnologist who are committed to keeping you healthy and provide the best re-researched pieces of information.