Just like our bodys, our minds benefit from being exercised. We all know we should read more, learn a new language and finish that long forgotten Sudoku but we never seem to get around to it. So in the meantime, here are five simple activities you can fit into your morning routine that claim to have powerful effects on improving the mind's capability.
Everyone has his or her's seat at the dinner table, but new research shows that your brain benefits from new experiences, even minuscule ones, so switch it up. It’ll change more than just your view of the salt and pepper. If you don’t do sit down dinners at home, why not try it out with colleagues on your lunch break who know's you might even make a new friend.
Try doing some yoga or Meditation to increase your concentration abilities. These practices force us to bring attention to our breath which spills into our everyday life and helps improve overall concentration. We all know nothing good comes from being overly stressed.
Research has shown that using the opposite side of your brain results in rapid and substantial expansion of those parts of the cortex that control and process tactile information. Use your opposite hand for simple activities like brushing your teeth or hair, forcing your brain to do the real legwork.
We hardly realise the process our brain undergoes as it links a smell to a particular memory, it’s no easy feat and proves remarkably beneficial. Processing a different smell can spark a new neural pathway, exercising your brain. Keep an extract of your favourite scent near your bed for a week. Open it and inhale when you first wake up, then again as you dress. Soon you’ll begin to associate the smell with waking up in the morning, rather than overpowering coffee. Maybe even try a new odour to evoke unexpected feelings and associations.
Scientific research has repeatedly shown that social deprivation has severe negative effects on our overall cognitive abilities. Use any opportunity you can to converse and make connections with new people. For someone who's not naturally social, this may seem exhausting at first. However, in time you'll find your methods of coping with the dreaded "small talk" have improved dramatically and you might even grow to enjoy it.
Brain imaging studies show that simple tasks increase levels of brain activity in several distinct areas. This activity declines when the job becomes routine and automatic. So mix it up. Get dressed after breakfast, walk the dog on a new route, get the bus home instead of the train, whatever gets you going.
So, here you have it a few simple tricks and tips that can get your brain working in new ways.
As important as it is to stay healthy, sometimes we are too focused on our bodies, here's how to keep your mind active too.
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