Keeping your mind active and specifically taking the time to enhance your memory skills has many benefits—from improved performance at work, to retaining a sharper memory as you age. If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in boosting your brain power, but aren’t sure how to do so. Fortunately, there are many different tricks you can try, including these 6 ideas:
1- Do Puzzles
Puzzling isn’t just a fun activity for kids, adults can actually enjoy many benefits from doing puzzles. Not only are puzzles a great way to pass time (especially if you have a lot of extra time on your hands right now during quarantine or are enjoying the retired life), but they help with short term memory performance and mental processing. Puzzles can also help with spatial reasoning, which can help you with your driving skills.
There are all kinds of puzzles to choose from nowadays. From simpler scenic images that only have 500 pieces to 3-D puzzles that are meant to be exceptionally challenging, you can choose your difficulty level. You can even find puzzles that are designed to be framed or kept put together on display.
2- Optimize Your Nutrition
There are even specific foods that have been identified as contributing to better brain health. Try incorporating more of these foods into your diet:
- Dark chocolate
And don’t forget your morning coffee—the caffeine and antioxidants can help boost your mood and alertness. You can also take a daily focus supplement to help with brain function.
If you’re ready to make a bigger dietary change, you may want to research veganism, which has been linked to better brain health.
3- Play Memory-Boosting Games
There are a variety of brain game apps that help improve your memory by challenging different aspects of your brain function including focus and problem-solving capabilities. These computer-generated brain exercises can improve cognitive function in several ways including learning, response speed, and concentration. Many of these apps have a diverse selection of brain games such as matching games, language-based games, pattern-recognition games, visual workouts, brain teasers, and more. With all these options, you can never get bored of one activity.
If you like games but prefer paper-based activities, you can also try crosswords, word searches, and sudoku to stimulate brain activity.
4- Exercise Regularly
Not only is exercise important for your physical strength, but it can also improve brain functioning. Aerobic exercise in particular has brain-boosting benefits. This is because when you exercise, more oxygen is directed to the brain, proteins are produced, and blood flow is increased, all of which can enhance learning and memory capabilities. Exercise can also help reduce your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
5- Pick up a New Hobby
Picking up a new skill-based hobby—like macramé, woodworking, painting, photography, and more—can challenge your brain. One of the reasons learning a new skill is so good for your brain is that it requires it to continuously learn by overcoming different challenges as you refine your technique. Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people and expand your skill set, you never know what you can turn into a lucrative side business or fun social activity.
6- Quit Smoking
This isn’t necessarily a trick, but it’s an important aspect of improving your brain health (among other aspects of your well-being). Did you know that various studies have shown that smoking can negatively impact your memory? This is because it reduces the amount of oxygen to the brain, the opposite effect of exercise. Quitting smoking now can help preserve your memory, and paired with the above tactics, help you improve your brain functioning.
Start Prioritizing Your Brain Health
As you can see, finding ways to exercise your brain can be fun. Strengthening your mind should be a priority, especially as you start to age. However, it’s never too early to start with one or more of these mind-sharpening tactics to get a head start. Simply treat your brain-strengthening exercises as part of your overall regimen to achieve a healthier lifestyle and it’ll soon become a natural part of your day. Your future self will be thankful that you took a proactive approach to keeping your brain active and alert.