Updated: Mar 20, 2022
If you don't keep your mind active, studies show that your brain loses some of its functionality as you age, which causes memory loss, brain fog, and even Alzheimers. A well-stimulated brain also elevates your mood, which helps you feel better on the inside.
Here are 12 brain-boosting activities:
1. Play games that challenge and stimulate your mind. These include:
· Picture Puzzles
· Strategy Games
· Crossword Puzzles
· Card Games
· Deduction Games (such as Clue)
· Visualization Puzzles
· Optical Illusions
2. Reading stimulates the brain as it activates your imagination. Reading also helps with memory retention and problem-solving, especially if you're reading a mystery. Also, self-help books stimulate your brain by helping you to think for yourself, as well as find solutions in your mind. You may also receive Merriam-daily Webster's vocabulary word emailed to your mailbox if you sign up for it online. Memorize it and practice utilizing it to improve your memory! Our working memory can only contain so much information, according to research. Learning new terms actually aids our brain in developing new ways of retaining data. According to research, learning a new word activates the brain's reward regions, making it a rewarding exercise. A bigger vocabulary allows for more expression while also boosting self-esteem.
3. Exercising helps circulate blood that carries oxygen to your brain. Over the long term, exer
cise is proven to increase brain power and even create new neurons. Practicing new steps and moving to the beat of the music in a social context has many brain health benefits since it activates multiple parts of the brain. The reward areas of the brain are stimulated by music, and the social connection can help to lift one's spirits. Naturally, cardiovascular exercise releases feel-good hormones that help to decrease stress. Learning new dance moves, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can improve your brain's processing speed and memory. It's never too late to appreciate dance. Dance has been linked to a lower incidence of dementia in seniors over the age of 75, according to research.
4. Stimulate your brain with meditation. Meditation has been shown to increase your IQ, relieve stress, and promote a higher level of brain functioning. Meditation also stimulates the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the area of the brain responsible for advanced thinking, ability, and performance. Meditation is a simple and effective brain booster that can be done at any time of day. Simple deep breathing may calm and soothe the body in just a few minutes. According to one study, just ten minutes of meditation enhances focus, making it beneficial for people with ADHD. That could be because, according to studies, meditation increases blood flow, which improves brain function. Even better if you make meditation a regular practice. According to a Harvard study, mindfulness meditation improved cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which governs learning and memory. Also, other parts of the brain are involved in emotion regulation and self-referential thinking, after just 8 weeks. Years of meditation, according to researchers, can truly affect the structure and function of the brain.
5. Deep breathing helps deliver oxygen to your brain. Oxygen helps you be more alert and awake. As little as 10 to 15 minutes a day of deep breathing daily can increase brain functionality. According to a 2010 study, calm, controlled breathing can also dramatically lessen pain symptoms. Patients with chronic pain, particularly those with fibromyalgia, reported less pain when they breathed slowly.
6. Taking fish oil supplements is literally like membrane material for the brain. The two primary components in fish oil, DHA and EPA, strengthen the emotional center of the brain and boost focus. According to a study from UCLA's Brain Research Institute and Brain Injury Research Center, omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in salmon, walnuts, and kiwi fruit, have numerous benefits, including improving learning and memory and aiding in the treatment of mental disorders such as depression, psychosis, and dementia.
7. Studies have proven that listening to music strengthens the right hemisphere of the brain and actually changes its structure of it. Also, people who listen to music are shown to be more emotionally intelligent than those who don't. Music listening engages not only the auditory parts of the brain but also large-scale neural networks, according to the studies. They observed, for example, that the processing of musical pulses activates motor areas in the brain, proving that music and movement are inextricably linked. Limbic regions of the brain, which are linked to emotions, were discovered to be involved in the processing of rhythm and tone. Tonal qualities were linked to activations in the so-called default mode network, which is thought to be linked to daydreaming and creativity.
8. Writing improves memory and thought expression. Writing articles, stories or journal entries stimulates thought processes, which also enhances brain function. This technique may be hindered when typing on a keyboard. Neurophysiologists have looked at data that supports the importance of these differences. Our brain receives feedback from our motor actions, as well as the feeling of touching a pencil and paper when we write by hand. These types of feedback are very different from what we get when we touch and type on a keyboard.
9. Sleep clears out brain clutter and reduces brain fog. When you don't get enough sleep at night, your memory and normal brain function suffer. According to a 2008 study, four days of REM sleep deprivation lowers cell growth in the area of the frontal cortex that contributes to long-term memory in rats. Lack of sleep, which is frequent in anxiety disorders, may also have a role in activating brain regions that contribute to excessive worrying, according to researchers. So get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
10. Starting the day out with a good breakfast has been proven to supply energy to the brain and body for the whole day. When you skip breakfast, you're missing out on a powerful edge, both physically and mentally. Children who ate breakfast on a daily basis had significantly higher full scale, verbal, and performance IQ test scores, according to data from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.
Researchers looked at data from 1,269 children aged six in Asia, where breakfast is highly valued, and found that children who did not eat breakfast on a daily basis had 5.58 points lower verbal, 2.50 points lower performance, and 4.6 points lower total IQ scores than children who ate breakfast regularly.
11. Walking allows you to clear your mind and thoughts. Not only is it good exercise for your body, but walking also gives your brain a chance to wander freely, clearing it of any troublesome thoughts. Researchers from Canada and the United States discovered evidence that a stroll in the park may provide some cognitive benefits in patients with major depression in one of the first studies to look into the effect of nature walks on cognition and mood in people with major depression. In comparison to the urban walk, participants demonstrated a 16 percent boost in attention and working memory after the wilderness walk. This shows that different brain pathways may be involved in the cognitive and psychological changes that occur when people interact with nature.
12. Drink a serving of pure fruit juice. Fruit juice contains nutrients that revitalize and refresh the brain. Juices to drink are pomegranate, blueberry, and blackberries as they deliver more focus and energy. Blackberries, one of the richest sources of beneficial antioxidants and other phytochemicals, were proven to boost memory in one research.
One group of volunteers in their 70s who were experiencing early memory loss drank the equivalent of 2-2 l/2 cups of commercially available blackberry juice every day for two months as part of the study. A control group was given a beverage that did not contain blackberry juice. According to the researchers, the blackberries juice group improved significantly on learning and memory tests.
To get the most out of these brain-boosting activities, mix them up and do a variety of them at different times. Just choosing one won't boost your brainpower, however, combining and alternating them will give your brain the added boost you need now and in the long run.
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