When it comes to improving our bodies, there are tons of trainers and programs that claim to make you healthier, whether it be gaining or losing weight. Even if you choose not to participate in any of these or don’t have a gym membership, in our mind we just know this as an absolute certainty that being physically active will keep you in a good shape. But what about our brain? Rarely has this topic talked about on how to enhance one’s brainpower. Well, the answer to that is memory exercises.
What is BrainPower?
When we say the word “Brainpower” we are not referring to the ability of our brain to lift weights, though that might be a great sight. Brainpower is actually considered the ability of our brain to process, memorize, organize, and think about the information that is either being provided or has been given before. Even though our brain is constantly doing the mentioned processes but it is about the complexity of these tasks that ultimately improve the brain’s capabilities. Improved Brain power not only helps an individual process new information efficiently but also it is observed that cognition, creativity, and decision making are also influenced by these exercises.
Exercises to Improve the Brainpower
It should be noted that though these exercises are to enhance the brainpower, alone focusing on the brain is not sufficient to enhance its capabilities. These tasks must be performed along with at least 20 minutes of physical activity or workout to see the optimal results. With that, these are the tools you can use to boost your mental abilities.
1. Visualization: The thing about being organized is that it comes from having the capacity to visualize vividly in your mind. During the research, people who were able to visualize more were seen as organized and better at making decisions. Children have great intensity of visualization, unfortunately, as a child starts growing up when start to rely more on our physical abilities, and during this process, we lose touch with visualization. So in order to enhance the brain’s capabilities, it is essential. Plus, it doesn’t have to be forced, it is as simple as just sitting down and closing your eyes, but instead of meditating and focusing on breathing, simply see whatever you are planning to do next. Going shopping? See yourself buying the products you desire and this can be applied to every aspect of life.
2. Mechanical Puzzles: Though each type of puzzle focuses on and improves certain aspects of brain ability. This specific type focuses on organizational skills and memory along with perception and motor functions. In these puzzles, one constantly needs to readjust, remember their last action, and be able to see the overall solution emerging. Examples of this type of puzzle are Jigsaw and Rubik’s cube. As you can already tell these aspects are essential for brain development, that’s why kids are often encouraged to solve these.
3. Logical Puzzles: As the name suggests, they focus and improve our brain’s ability to logically reason the information and also help in critical skill of decision making. These usually have a unique solution that can only be reached upon constantly solving each step correctly and if one step is wrong, the entire puzzle will be failed. It is often linked with algorithm processing as well. Sudoku is the best example of these types of puzzles.
4. New Skill: If you have ever tried to learn a new skill you must be familiar with the infamous learning curve, where nothing makes sense and you tend to question yourself. However, the magic happens when you cross this phase as our brain learns to process the new information and slowly incorporate it into our memory, we begin getting better at that skill. For instance, when you start learning a stick shift car, in the beginning, it’s a nightmare, but once you get the grip of it, your brain learns it so well that it stays with us for a lifetime. On this principle, if you happen to learn new skills your brain will start to get better at processing new information and retaining that data for prolonged periods of time. Interestingly enough, this doesn’t always have to be one way. It is observed that if you teach a new skill to someone, it has similar effects on the brain.
5. Go to sleep: Yes, sleep, has tremendous effects on brainpower. Throughout various studies, it has been observed that people who slept nicely prior to experiments did way better in the tests compared to people who were not able to sleep or slept for minimal hours. The reason behind it is, that once new information is provided our brain only is able to understand it marginally and the true processing and retention occur during REM (Rapid-eye movement) sleep. As we are not focused on anything during our sleep, our brain automatically integrates the new information which can be accessed later on easily.
6. Explore: Ever moved to a new city feeling all lost and unsure what path to follow? Chances are you took the risk and slowly started learning about the new routes and landmarks of that place and before you knew it you had an entire map of the city memorized, how is that so? Scientists state that when we take a new route our brain develops new neurons for that specific path in order to memorize it. So if you are an adventure-loving person just take a new route each time you are going somewhere, this will strongly enhance your brain’s memorizing power, and who knows? You might find the best restaurant in your area.
7. Mathematics: If you are like me, maths and your brain act something like oil and water. You need a calculator or at the very least a pencil to be able to do the basic calculations. However, according to scientists, it is far better if we enable our brain to do basic calculations without having to use any external medium. It trains our brains to do logical reasoning and get better at decision-making. Thankfully, it is only the fundamentals like addition and multiplication and not algebra.
The bottom line is that we can easily train ourselves to improve our brainpower. Additionally, genes don’t have a huge effect when it comes to memory and processing as once was thought, it is our very own lifestyle that increases or decreases our mental ability.