Easy Exercises That Help Keep Your Mind Sharp at Any Age
It is very common for all of us to be a little forgetful. We have a tendency to forget daily occurrences like grabbing the car keys, picking up a file, or remembering someone's name. But are we doing it deliberately? Certainly not. As we grow old, we tend to lose some of this "gray matter". Want to preserve it for a little longer? This article might be really helpful!
The Bright Side team has always loved bringing you tips and tricks for a happier and healthier you. The following compilation of tips is another page that deserves to be bookmarked.
1. Use your non-dominant hand.
If you are a right-handed person, try using your left hand once in a while for eating, writing, picking things up, etc. It might sound difficult at first, but with practice, you can do at least a minimum of daily tasks this way.
The idea is to use your non-active side of the brain. This will help in fastening the expansion of the parts of the cortex that are responsible for processing tactile information from the hand.
2. Do some of your daily chores with your eyes closed.
What types of things do you do everyday without even thinking about it? How many steps do you take to walk downstairs? Or how many plates are there in your kitchen cabinet? There is a reason why we don't recall these answers right away. We often do our regular, daily tasks inattentively.
This is why it's advised that we do some of our regular tasks with our eyes closed. This includes showering, going from one room to another, and more. You'll touch an object and will then send signals to your brain about the object you're feeling.
3. Shuffle your morning activities.
We all generally have a set schedule starting right from the moment we wake up. However, novelty is the key to a sharper brain. It is important that you give your brain the newness of a fresh routine to keep it active and alert.
It isn't about doing complicated things, but simply shuffling your daily schedule. For instance, get dressed after having breakfast for a change, take a new jogging route, or even watch a cartoon instead of the morning news.
4. Look at daily objects upside down or backward.
You've always looked at things in the manner of which they're supposed to be seen. But have you ever wondered why a kid may hold a TV remote upside down or start pointing at various shapes and colors on it? What if we all did the same?
Not only can you do this with a TV remote, but try putting things like your family photo on your desk, the clock or a calendar on a different wall; or even wear your watch upside down. This way, whenever you'll look at these things, your brain will focus on them to interpret it, thus increasing its alertness.
5. Play with spare coins.
Have you ever seen braille? It's a way for the blind to read and it's hard to see by people who have good vision. However, by touching it you come to know how blind people read from it. They touch and feel the letters printed in it. Thus, instead of using their sense of sight, they ask their brain to read those letters for them.
The idea is to follow the same method to activate our brain cells. Simply take a drinking glass to your car and put some coins in it. Now, at every red light when you stop your car, put your hand in that glass. Every day, try recognizing the denomination of the coins without looking at them.
6. Experiment with different foods.
If you are among those who always order the same cuisine or the same dish every time you go out to eat, it's time for a change. There is a reason behind this. Trying a new dish will ask your brain to smell the new food and send signals to the nose to activate its receptors. This new odor will also give your brain new sensations and feelings. You might also associate some smells with certain things.
Not only should you try this at restaurants, but try experimenting with your daily dishes at home too. Use a different condiment or a new ingredient in one of your favorite meals.
7. Read aloud.
Reading aloud is not always possible. But whenever it is, you must try it. It might take a few minutes longer than usual to finish that read, but it's totally worth it. In one of the demonstrations of brain imaging, 3 areas of the brain lit up whenever words were spoken aloud from a book.
Listening to audiobooks has the equivalent effect on the brain. By reading aloud, we tend to use various circuits of our brain simultaneously.
8. Get used to mnemonic devices.
What is a mnemonic device? It's a creative way to remember lists. Do you remember the phrase to learn planets of our solar system, "My Very Energetic Mother Jumps Skateboards Under Nana's Patio"? The first letter of each word is the first letter of the corresponding planet.
You may also find mnemonic devices helpful today as an adult. This method sharpens your key brain areas and increases your memory too.
9. Feed your brain.
By saying, "feed your brain", we mean eating foods that are known to increase brain functionality. It is essential to include a decent amount of vitamins and fats to nourish your brain.
Foods that are known to increase brain power are walnuts, coconut oil, turmeric, blueberries, eggs, broccoli, and avocado.
Go out, talk to people and help prevent your brain from getting dull. Whenever you get into conversations with people, your brain starts getting pumped up to send and receive information. Interacting with people who are not like you has an even greater benefit, as the brain gets ready to receive new ideas and thoughts through this.
If you are socially deprived, chances are it may be affecting your overall cognitive ability. Simply try to interact with human salespeople and avoid going to a vending machine. Don't just swipe your credit card and leave. Instead, stay and pay the cashier at the front desk and chat with them.
Bonus: Use all of your senses simultaneously.
Try to do activities that require the involvement of all your senses at once. Some of these exercises include traveling, gardening, taking notes in a meeting, handling kids while cooking, etc. Another great activity to take part in is grocery shopping, since you tend to use your senses, especially when buying fruits and vegetables. You generally touch, sniff and at times, taste the vegetables too.
Multitasking is generally done through these daily tasks in a disguised manner. Consider playing a video game to practice multitasking. You'll not only improve your attention span, but you'll also improve your focus and multitasking skills.
Will you try incorporating any of these new activities into your daily routine? Tell us in the comments!