11 different ways to keep your mind active
It doesn’t matter what age you are, it’s always a good idea to keep your mind active. Not only will it help keep you sharp, it will provide you with lots of fun things to do in your spare time.
It’s so easy to do meaningless things in your spare time, when you could be doing something productive. There’s plenty of encouragement for people to keep physically active, when staying mentally active is just as important. We all have times where our mind goes blank, and we can’t remember what we set out to do, why we went upstairs to get something or we can’t recall someone’s name. But this is all pretty normal, and there’s plenty of ways you can sharpen up your brain. According to Harvard Health, ‘Challenging your brain with mental exercise is believed to activate processes that help maintain individual brain cells and stimulate communication among them.’ It’s time to find ways to give your mind a regular workout. Here are 11 different ways to keep your mind active.
1. Continue education
Is there a course you always want to do or skill you wanted to learn? Continuing your education is an excellent way to keep your mind active, and it also gives you a new focus and a sense of achievement. It’s never too late to enrol on a course in a subject you are fascinated by. It can help enhance your CV and professional profile, as well as give you something to be proud of. So stop putting off doing that course you have always wanted to do and enrol today.
2. Learn a language
What better way to give your brain a really good workout than to learn a language. When it comes to languages, the sky’s the limit, because once you have mastered one language, you can try learning a new one. This will also help you to communicate whilst you are travelling. If you are going to a new country and you don’t know the language, make an effort to learn some important words and phrases. Not only will this help you to make a good impression with the locals, it’s a great way to keep your mind active.
3. Mental brain games
If you are looking for something to when you are feeling bored, reach for a pen and paper or pack of cards instead of the TV remote. Play mental brain games such as crosswords, cards, checkers, chess or board games like scrabble and monopoly. There are so many to choose from, you just need to find some brain games that you really enjoy. Try and do at least one brain game every day to give your mind a daily workout.
4. Awaken your senses
The more sense you use when you are trying to learn something, the more of your brain will be involved in retaining the memory. According to Dr. Stephen Brewer, medical director at Canyon Ranch, “Using two senses can increase the likelihood of remembering something and smell is the most powerful sense for memory.” Try and use more than one sense where possible or try doing something using a different sense than normal, such as waking up to a new smell or choosing what to wear based on how things feel instead of how they look.
5. Take up a new hobby
One simple way to stimulate your brain is to take up a new hobby. For example, you could take up pottery, knitting, baking or join a book club or historical society. You will also get to meet new people and have something fun to do in your spare time.
6. Read more
Reading can help to increase your vocabulary and also give your cognitive skills a workout. It’s also a very enjoyable pastime and a way to learn about new things. If you are mastering a new skill, don’t forget to stock up on some handy books that can help support your learning.
7. Try a new sport that tests your body and mind
Most forms of physical activity will also engage your brain. Some sports give you more of a mental workout than others. Try a new sport such as golf, dance, orienteering, yoga or even martial arts which requires you to learn complex patterns and movements.
8. Strike up a debate
Feel passionate about a particular topic or issue? Find a channel where you can express your thoughts and engage in a debate. This is an excellent way to awaken your mind and learn how to think on your feet. Join a local debate club or engage in an online debate, there’s an endless selection of topics to choose from!
9. Be curious and notice things
Don’t go through life in a bubble. Try not to let technology distract you from what’s in front of you. Practice mindfulness and really notice things that you come across. Get into the habit of being curious about new things, and researching things you want to learn more about.
10. Stop relying on technology
We have so much technology at our disposal that we often become lazy, and let computers do things we could easily do ourselves. For example, using a calculator for sums we know we can do, using Google Maps instead of trying to read a map and relying on spell check. Stop doing some of these things at least some of the time and keep testing your mind.
11. Listen to music
You may be familiar with the theory that music can boost your brainpower and also make you more productive. Classical music is particularly good and stimulating your brain and there’s rumours that it can make you smarter. Research from the University of Kansas Medical Center showed that having musical training and listening to or playing music can help keep the brain healthy as it ages.
(Article source: Kiri Nowak)