Top 10 Exercises to Sharpen Your Mind
With our lives growing increasingly complex, our brains are getting exposed to numerous sets of data every day. To make sure that we are able to stay on top of things every day, it is necessary to stay sharp and focused. Some people have brilliant memories, but most of us languish at remembering everyday things and resort to our PDSs and phones to keep track. But there are some mental exercises you can perform regularly to keep your mind sharp.
1. Play Brain Games
These are excellent for enhancing memory and attention and problem solving abilities. These can be downloaded to your computer or phone from app stores. Research has shown that the enhancement of skills in playing these games actually transfer to other real world problems.
2. Critical Thinking
Critically thinking about a subject involves going below the surface and turning over an idea in your mind. Think about any topic at every angle will help your brain develop the ability of going deep into the matter. Critical thinking also involves alertness- be alert when you work on a problem.
3. Play Puzzle Solving Games
Puzzle solving games are great for sharpening the mind. Play chess or scrabble or similar games that demand you to think of every move you can make, every counter move that your opponent can make in response to your move and so on. These games, improve your brain power. If you don’t get an opponent, try playing it by yourself.
4. Solve Numerical Problems
Solving mathematical and numerical problems help in boosting your brain’s power of analyzing situations. There are hundreds of books that involve elementary mathematics, try solving these. Logical reasoning problems that involves small numerical are also great in sharpening your mind.
5. Study Difficult Topics
When we are young, school or college keeps our minds busy with new things. Once we are older, we stop learning new, difficult things and our brains lose the sharpness they once had. Pay attention and relate to the new information. Instead of remembering isolated pieces of information, understand the basis of the idea. The brain muscles, like any other muscle of the body, require such workouts to stay fit.
6. Write Essays
Writing essays regularly on different topics is helpful in keeping your brain sharp. Essay writing involves critical thinking and using the words you know to make a powerful piece of writing.
7. Read More
Do not give up on the habit of reading after school or college. Reading helps you relax and learn a lot of words. Juggling with wide vocabulary will give your brain a good workout. The next time you do not know how to kill time, pick up a book and sharpen your mind.
Memorize things instead of making a checklist. You can use different techniques to memorize things you need daily (like shopping lists) such as an acronym (make a word out of the first letters of all the things you need to remember) or visual image (remember a picture which includes all the things you have to remember) or make a rhyme.
9. Use Your Fingers
Engaging in activities that involve extensive use of your fingers (like eating with chopsticks or playing the piano) keeps your mind sharp. The nerves in your finger are connected to different parts of your brain. So using all fingers spurs activity throughout the brain with these nerve endings.
10. Maintain Healthy Relationships
Research has shown that people who maintain healthy relationships with their friends, family and even pets show greater brain activity and alertness. Conversely, depression and stress out of loneliness is harmful for your brain too.
Apart from these exercises, eating brain healthy food like vitamins B, C and E, omega 3 fatty acids, folic acids etc. help in boosting brain activity. Also, sufficient sleep and regular physical activity is necessary to keep your brain sharp.