What’s the biggest asset that human beings possess? A brain that’s capable of reasoning and making logical decisions. The human brain is an amazing organ, quite spectacular in every sense of the word. Although not decisively proven but according to research, our human brain is made out of approximately 86 billion brain cells.
But for some reason, human beings aren’t accustomed to training their brains. If you believe that you are born with a certain amount of intelligence which cannot be changed over the course of your lifetime, don’t. A study conducted in 2008 by the University of Michigan, proved so otherwise although it was a more work-oriented study.
Every part of one’s body can be trained. People train to improve their overall performance. And the brain, too, is just another organ which can be trained.
Believe it or not but if you are involved in any kind of physical sport or competition, training your nervous system is just as important as training your muscles.
Brain exercises, in general, have a lot to offer in terms of benefits to the body. Some of these benefits, as proven by scientific research are:
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- Helps reduce stress levels
- Improve memory
- Improve mood
- Enhance thinking and improve thinking speed & reaction time
- Increase in levels of focus and concentration
- Source of motivation and self-confidence
With the groundwork firmly established, let’s actually take a look at 10 scientifically proven ways to train your brain:
Meditation is one of the best brain exercises that helps reduce stress levels. In addition to absolving stress, meditation is a useful exercise to improve one’s focus and concentration. Set aside some time in your daily routine, brief 30-minutes of meditation can do you a whole lot of good.
Switching hands is a simple but effective neurobic exercise. The exercise involves doing your daily chores with your other hand (non-dominant one). For example: if you are right-handed, start doing everything using your left hand and vice-versa. This proves to be a really good workout for the brain.
Undertake Tasks with Your Eyes Closed
Try doing simple tasks with your eyes closed. By doing so, you are forced to focus while doing these tasks and that exercises your brain. This exercise forces your brain to use its neural pathways effectively. Obviously; don’t attempt to do any task that can be dangerous when done with one’s eyes closed.
Adopt New Routes
If you travel by the same route every day, you, yourself become comfortable and accustomed to that route, thereby, limit the exercise of your brain. When you take same route daily, in a way, it’s as though you are operating on autopilot. When you take a different route, two specific regions of your brain namely; the cortex and hippocampus are stimulated, which proves to be valuable exercise for the brain.
Try New Things
Similarly, make a conscious effort to do or try things that you haven’t done before. Look at it from a microscopic level. Travel somewhere new, try some new food so on and so forth. Every new experience that you undertake releases dopamine, the motivation hormone that’s found in one’s brain. At the same time, undertaking new experiences stimulates the creation of new hormones.
Focus on Mastering a Skill
Whenever your learn something new, your brain is stimulated on account of the activity. But the minute you think that you have mastered something or believe that, there is nothing more to learn in that sphere, your brain stops learning and instead, it focuses on ways to become more efficient in performing that activity. Therefore, in order to keep your brain stimulated, setup certain challenges for yourself. The idea is to keep you as far away from your comfort zone as is possible.
Finish Things the Hard Way
There’s more than one way to do anything. If you want to exercise your brain, try doing the easiest of things in the hardest possible way. Some tips: stop depending on technology; try doing certain tasks manually, like calculation for example. Try finding your way home on your own, without using GPS.
Undertake a Creative Hobby
Creative hobbies have the power to stimulate the brain in a manner that’s similar to meditation. They allow individuals to focus on subjects keenly, thereby, stimulating the brain cells. Examples of these hobbies are: knitting, dancing, creative writing, craft hobbies, playing a musical instrument etc.
Get Physical Exercise
Physical exercise is as important for the brain as it is for the muscles. In fact, some researchers believe that getting physical exercise is more important for the brain than stimulating it to think. Physical exercises tend to release serotonin, dopamine and nor epinephrine hormones all of which contribute towards reducing stress levels. At the same time, physical exercise stimulates the formation of new brain cells and neural connections.
Read Books Aloud
Childish, sure but reading books aloud are a great way to train the brain, especially if you have a little one at home. If you have a partner, alternate between reading and listening. While you are doing so, three different regions of your brain are being exercised. Such were the findings from one of the earliest experiments on brain imaging.
Some of these exercises you may find fun, while others may just seem boring. There’s nothing wrong in doing the fun ones. Go ahead, have some fun, use these exercises as excuses and go train your brain!