When we think of working out, we hardly think beyond the physical side of things. It’s time we did. Studies have shown that the brain works like a muscle . The more you exercise it, the better it works for you. So does that mean thinking is now a legit workout? Not so fast, there’s a difference between plain ol’ thinking about what to have for dinner and actually stimulating neutrons. The idea here is to engage in new cognitive activities to create new neural pathways. So here are some simple ways to whip your brain into shape, without even breaking a sweat:
Smash your daily routine
Switching things up every now and then will trigger new connections in the brain, which helps you process information more efficiently. Start with easy stuff like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand or use a different route to work. When you think it’s time to level up, then you try learning a new language. But if you somehow manage confuse yourself to the point of disorientation, that’s called dementia – see a doctor.
Use all your senses
We are blessed with five senses but we seldom use them all equally. Try doing simple chores blindfolded and give your tactile senses a workout. Use your nose instead of your eyes to identify quality produce. Let your sense of touch guide you in pairing up socks after a round of laundry. But please, use your common sense and do not cook blindfolded.
Sleep on it
Getting enough sleep is crucial for our brain. You’ll find that you’ll be able to form new ideas and experience better recall if you’re well-rested. Sneak in a short nap during your lunch break and power through the rest of your day.
Feed your brain well
You are what you eat. And that statement can’t be truer when it comes to nourishing your brain. A diet that is rich in DHA, Vitamins D and B12 can result in a boost in the space between your ears. You can also check out our other article about foods that help boost your brain here.
And last but not least…
Get artsy fartsy
Slow down for a couple of hours (or minutes, if that’s all you’ve got) and indulge in good, classical music. Don’t just have it playing in the background, listen actively to every note to reap the benefits of improved mental focus. Alternatively, join an art workshop. Whether it is pottery, painting, or drawing nude models (Mmmm…), being artsy activates the non-verbal and emotional parts of the cerebral cortex, which encourages you to “think outside the box”.
Although it may be long way before you’re honoured as a genius, a mental workout can only contribute to a better quality of life for you and those who have to put up with you. And that’s a smart way to go about life, don’t you think?