The reality is that your brain needs just as much workout and stimulation, if not more, than your physical body. Since the brain can atrophy just like a muscle, it’s very important to get that mental workout as well. (image source)
Don’t worry, no one is talking about impossible mental exercises here! Just putting your brain into action when doing small tasks already helps greatly. For example, you should avoid opening the calculator app when facing a simple arithmetic problem while shopping.
The best way, however, to challenge your mind is by learning and experiencing new things every day.
Here are 13 easy ways to give your mind the exercise it rightly needs:
- Crosswords. If you get daily newspapers, answer the crossword for the day. You may end up with an incomplete one but what’s important is that you were able to rack your brain.
- Scrabble. Play with friends in person or play online. Playing scrabble is a classic way to stimulate your mind.
- Read. Newspapers, books, magazines — anything works, really. Keep your mind pumping and learn new things at the same time.
- Puzzles. Even matching colors and shapes can greatly stimulate your brain. The problem-solving skills needed in jigsaw puzzles help your mind stay sharp.
- Movies. Level-up movie night and watch a thought-provoking film or documentary instead of your usual genres.
- Word puzzles. Brainteasers like anagrams and logic problems are also a fun way of racking your brain for answers.
- Video games. They are a great way to improve and enhance thinking techniques, hand-eye coordination, motor skills, concentration, and more! Don’t get too addicted, though.
- Hobbies. Start a new hobby or pick up an old one to make your creative juices flow.
- Travel. Even taking a trip that allows you to explore and experience different cultures can sharpen your mind.
- Chess. One of the best games that promote strategic thinking, chess can be fun to play especially with friends in person.
- Look things up. Look it up when you hear an unfamiliar word or see a thing that you don’t recognize. Instead of just dismissing them, search for the answers to the simple questions that pop into your head.
- Learn something new. Learn to play an instrument or restart practicing a forgotten one. You can also study a foreign language or practice a new art form such as photography, painting, or pottery.
- School. Go back to school for the degree you never got or pursue another one.