Just like it is possible to improve physical health through exercise, exercising the brain can increase your ability to complete cognitive tasks. Brain exercises do so by intentionally using cognitive functions like attention, reasoning and memory to help enhance our ability to use these functions.
Brain training was developed as a treatment for brain injuries, since mental exercises helped to improve cognitive functioning, which in turn made it possible to regain abilities that had been lost due to the injury.
Now it’s no longer just a form of clinical therapy, but an option available to anyone looking to fine-tune their cognitive skills and reduce the risks of any decline later life. Combined with physical exercise, balanced diet, and maybe a good brain supplement, the following tricks can help you boost your brain power naturally.
Brain Training Games
Brain training games have become rather divisive, with many claiming that these entertainment based brain exercises offer minimal improvements in terms of intelligence, as some studies highlighted only moderate improvements in score tests for people using brain training games.
However, one area where they can offer considerable benefits is that they allow you to view your brain as it works. This means you can use games to highlight any cognitive strengths and weaknesses you may have, which can then be improved over time.
While this isn’t technically improving your intelligence, it does offer the chance to sharpen important cognitive skills that may help you feel smarter in the long-term.
Brush Your Teeth with the Opposite Hand
When the brain handles new experiences that involve physical senses (such as vison, touch, taste, smell, and hearing) and emotional senses, that increases activity and circulation in the brain and helps improve memory, combat age-related cognitive decline, and increase mental sharpness.
This exercise works well because it forces you to use the opposite side of the brain, which can lead to increases in areas of the cortex associated with controlling and processing information from the hand.
Variations of this include driving home using a new route or rearranging your daily schedule, as this also requires the use of a combination of senses and stimulates the brain to function in a different way than what it’s used to.
Another area that can benefit from mental exercises is your memory, which in turn also helps to fight off risks of cognitive decline associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Recall tests are a really useful exercise that can improve your memory and are simple to do. Simply make a list of anything and attempt to memorize it. After around an hour or so, attempt to recall all the items. This will help to stimulate the part of the brain associated with short-term memory and should make it easier to recall memories in the long run.