For a long time, scientists have believed that the brain’s abilities are hardwired and finite but recent studies have shown that the brain doesn’t remain static; it can continually learn, change and adapt by the creation of new neural pathways. This ability is also called “neuroplasticity”.
This conclusion indicates that the human brain can stay sharp, strong and healthy. Just like you exercise to tone your body, exercise your brain to increase its efficiency. To enhance your grey cells, practice these brain fitness activities mentioned below:
1. Practice Art And Craft
This is a great way to perk up your brain. The hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills that you have to put to use to create art, increase your cognition.
Research conducted by the National Endowment for the Arts states that “arts can increase social engagement, improve health cognitive functioning and overall quality of life”.
So, go ahead and practice colouring, stencilling, sewing, painting, photography, and sculpturing.
2. Get Your Game On
Solve puzzles like sudoku, crossword, Rubik’s cube, and chess. You can also download some brain fitness applications from the internet like “eidetic”, which works to improve your photographic memory or “peak”, which works to improve mental agility, memory and attention.
3. Repeat To Retain
If you wish to remember something you have just read, thought, heard or saw, repeat it either loudly or mumble it or write it down and stick it somewhere you can see it time and again. This way, you are strengthening your memory.
For instance, if someone just told you his/her name use it when you speak to them:
“So, Lilian, how is the new burger place you went to?”
You cannot underestimate the effect of food on your brain and body. Some 10 foods boost your memory, some work to protect against brain damage, and some others help you to focus.
These foods are called “brain boosters” like salmon, walnut, blueberries, spinach, beans, and cayenne pepper. Include them in your diet and become smart!
5. Be A Social Butterfly
There is more to intelligence than just cramming stuff up. It is proven that social interaction aids intellectual performance. Invite old friends or acquaintances and spend time with them. Meeting people makes you happy and reduces the chances of dementia.
6. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Intelligence isn’t a gift you are born with, it is a skill that is developed over time with practice. Do things you have never done before. Do things that make you uncomfortable to grow. For example
- If you are a couch potato, join a dance class.
- If you are English-speaking, enrol in a Japanese language class.
- If you are too jumpy, practice sitting in one posture
7. Read And Write
Read books of various genres. Try alternating between reading silently and reading aloud to listening to audiobooks. This practice widens your horizon of imagination. One of the earliest demonstrations of brain imaging proved that different brain regions light up when the same word was heard, spoken or read.
Writing improves memory and communication skills. So shoot an email to an old friend or write a love letter to an old lover (no need to send it though!).