Train your brain for improved health, clarity, and creativity

You like to keep your body active, don’t you? But how much time do you spend keeping your mind busy?

Everyone tells us to exercise and keep active to stay healthy, but the same attention isn’t given to brain health. Maybe we think that a little reading here and there will do, yet research shows that varying mental exercises are the key to long-term success.

There are plenty of claims out there about how to train your brain or become more intelligent, smarter, and healthier, and there’s some pretty persuasive evidence for many of them. So, I thought I’d share some mental exercises. They keep me focused, alert, healthy and clear-headed, and maybe they could help you, too.
  1. Think Positive
When you set high standards for yourself, and you believe you can achieve them, they become possible. It’s called the Pygmalion effect.

In one 2001 study, members of an educationally disadvantaged group were trained to believe that they could become smarter. Those children showed improvements in their math skills compared to another group who weren’t encouraged to increase their expectations.

With a positive attitude, I really do believe anything is possible.
  1. Meditation
One of the single greatest things you can do for your mind/body health is mediate every day. Not only is mediation relaxing, but it also works the brain. When you create different mental states, you engage the brain in interesting and new ways while increasing brain fitness. Learn more on the home page of this brain information website.
  1. Learn New Skills
Learning something new, whether it’s taking a cooking class, learning a new way to workout, learning a new language or even learning to drive can work multiple areas of your brain. You learn new movements, you engage your memory muscles and you associate things in a different way.
  1. Keeping Your Brain Active
If you’re a parent, this one’s for you. The more conversations you have with your kids, the more intelligent they’ll be. Simple games like solving puzzles together and naming objects can improve their IQ while keeping you mentally active, too.

You don’t have to be a parent to keep your brain busy, though. Exercising the brain by keeping mentally active can involve fun activities like Sudoku or crosswords, or even those nifty adult coloring books. Even battling to understand a poorly written flat-pack table assembly guide can exercise your spatial matter and reasoning abilities.

You can even keep your brain active by trying to understand other people’s points of views that are different to yours. It’s the best way to open your mind!
  1. Regular Brain Training
Psychologists tell us that fundamental cognitive skills, like how fast we process information, remains relatively stable throughout your lifetime. So, it’s not that easy to improve your basic cognitive levels. Or is it?

Enter brain training.

Brain training promises improvements in your fundamental cognitive skills, like the speed at which you make decisions or improvements to your working memory.

Brain training can happen online in the form of entertaining games designed to stimulate the cognitive activity area of your brain. It’s said that regular practice of the tasks can lead to real changes in cell density in that part of the brain.

The whole idea is that you can boost your brain with the right types of mental exercises. And since psychologists know a fair bit about which areas of the brain are in charge of which skills, they can come up with mental exercises to target those areas.

Mental Exercises for Improved Health

Intelligence isn’t something you’re just born with. It’s something you acquire, and why stop when you leave formal schooling? Why not keep your brain on its toes so you can reach your fullest potential?

Mental exercises have so many benefits. From helping to improve relaxation and enhance the quality of your sleep to improving your attention span, opening your point of view up to a whole different world of opinions and tolerances, to simply motivating you to get things done today instead of putting them off until tomorrow, training your brain is one of the number one things you can do for your health.

Mental health is a massive part of my journey and a massive part of my whole being.

What do you do to challenge your grey matter?

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Image: Freepik