Increase your brain power and vitality with these mental boosters and tricks. Read on to learn more about them.
Brain Power Boost: 11 Fun and Effective Ways to Train Your Brain
1. Get into Puzzles
Puzzles and other brain games you can find in your morning newspaper aren’t only perfect for passing the time, but also for boosting brain function. Crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, and other word or number games help enhance collaborative cruciverbalism.
Cruciverbalism Definition: The ability to think creatively and strategically at the same time
Studies show that engaging in puzzles result in sharper cognitive performance, especially later in life. They help improve accuracy, speed, and problem-solving skills.
You don’t need to religiously seek out and solve puzzles every day to see a difference. Sitting down to solve them once a week can be enough, or playing them passively while on your daily commute.
2. Use Your Other Hand
Experiments show that using your non-dominant hand for as little as 20 minutes a day can result in stronger motor skills. This is because it results in more communication between the dominant and non-dominant hemispheres of the brain.
Improved motor skills can mean improvement in skills like drawing and writing, as well as the use of tools.
3. Learn How to Mind Map
A mind map is a mental diagram one uses to organize visual information. It is a study technique commonly used to improve recall and memory.
Mind mapping helps the brain by cooperating separate skills like logic, rhythm, imagination, comprehension, association and more. By helping the brain’s hemispheres communicate and cooperate with each other better, it exercises and improves cortical and cognitive skills over time.
Regular aerobic exercise is linked to an increased volume of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for speech, learning, and memory. Studies show that even a single round of exercise can already show some cognitive improvements in subjects aged 60-80.
5. Get Good Sleep
It’s a no-brainer that getting a good shut-eye is good for brain health. Studies even show that not getting enough sleep can actually accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by increasing toxic clumps that bring about brain damage.
While getting at least 6 hours of sleep is ideal, it’s often difficult for any modern adult to achieve. The good news is that napping also bodes well for brain health.
People who nap for 30-90 minutes are shown to have improved word recall. They were also shown to be better at drawing, which is also associated with improved cognition.
6. Learn a New Language
Several studies tout the cognitive benefits of bilingualism and multilingualism. Not only does it have multiple benefits from a cultural standpoint, but it also helps with perception, association, and working memory performance.
Learning a new language doesn’t mean limiting oneself to learning the spoken language of other countries. A new language can be programming code, sign language, or even Braille.
Learning a new language can help in forming new pathways in your brain. It can also help develop newer skills such as concept formation, logic, and a wider perception of the world.
7. Build Yourself a Memory Palace
The memory palace, also known as the “Method of Loci” is an ancient Greek technique of memorization. It involves committing a large amount of information for storage in the mind, and experts have even used it to memorize Pi to over 1,200 places.
This technique involves the association of a bit of information to a certain place. Many associate bits of information to specific rooms, hence forming a literal memory palace.
Associating information is especially helpful in the formation of memory, and in so improving memory itself. Many people tend to forget things not because of a failure in brain function, but mostly because certain pieces of information are unrooted or no longer important.
Creating a mind palace helps tie down these information bits in specific landmarks, making them easier to remember.
Frequent meditation helps boost the cerebral cortex, which largely deals with memory, concentration, and learning. Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is held in high regard in terms of brain health, as it helps in the improvement of introspection, compassion, and self-awareness.
As little as 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation a day may be enough to improve information retention and concentration. Studies show that it can lead to an improvement and refinement of the networks in the brain.
9. Learn Stress Management
Stress is the body’s evolutionary tactic in pressuring us to stay safe from predators and other dangerous situations. This is known as the fight-or-flight response, triggered by the hormone cortisol, and can sometimes be essential in emergency situations.
But constant stress floods your brain and body with chemical changes that aren’t good for the body over the long term. This is why learning how to manage stress is crucial.
Differentiating between life-threatening and perceived stressors can help your brain reduce the stress response.
10. Expand Your Vocabulary
Learning new words is linked to better working memory and improved ability to communicate more clearly and efficiently. When we learn a new word, it gets stored in long-term memory for easier access, better information association, and more effortless usage.
Studies also show that those with lower vocabulary scores have a higher prevalence of mild cognitive impairment compared to those with higher vocabulary scores.
11. Explore New Hobbies
Hobbies are enriching, but having the same hobby for a long time may be habit-forming and repetitive. Taking on new hobbies is an encouraging way of learning new things.
Hobbies that help boost brain health include:
- Learning a new instrument
- Cooking and Meal Planning
Brain health is just as important as the health of specific organs. Taking the time to keep it working and running at peak capacity is crucial for its long-term health.
Keeping your brain healthy the natural way is ideal. For professional assistance on improving your brain function, reach out to LIV Health.
We can help connect you to an integrative health specialist.
Which of these brain-boosting habits do you already do? Which of them do you think you’ll include as a daily habit? Let us know in the comments section below!