7 Mental Exercises to Strengthen Your Brain Functions

7 Mental Exercises to Strengthen Your Brain Functions

The brain is often touted as the most powerful and complex organ of every living organism. Powerful in the sense that it serves as the command center of the human nervous system and complex because it produces our very own thoughts, ideas, memories, and actions.

Since the brain has to perform all these various functions, it needs to be in great condition. And like a pencil that needs to be sharpened or a muscle that needs a workout, there are mental exercises that you can do to train your brain.  

Mental exercises or brain training are various forms of structured cognitive techniques and activities that aim to improve or develop brain functions. According to several types of research and health experts, brain training should be regularly done even by older people to keep the brain more active and sharp. By performing these exercises, new neural pathways are created, making more of your brain cells active and healthier.

Why Mental Exercises are Good for You.

While physical exercises have always been the rage of the seasons, brain training has its own avid advocates who rave about its benefits. So why are brain exercises good for your overall health?

  1. Sharper memory. Constantly doing mental exercises can definitely make your mind sharper and prevent memory loss. This is especially true for brain exercises that require critical thinking or analysis. Apart from a sharper memory, neuroplasticity through brain stimulation can also improve your brain processing speed.
  2. Better mental health. Both physical and mental exercises have been said to be great ways to deal with stress, anxiety, and even depression. The endorphins in the body interact with brain receptors and help to ward off pain and stress. By keeping the brain active, neural growth is promoted that is in one way or another, bringing calm and peace to the mind. Ultimately, this can lead to a more positive disposition in life.
  3. Improved IQ and EQ. While doing these exercises may not necessarily make you a genius like Einstein, it definitely can improve how your brain processes stimuli or information. Likewise, the way you cope or react to emotional challenges in life can be influenced by doing training activities.

Girl in silhouette exercising | Fitness Expo

7 Mental Exercises Fit for You

  1. Mind Games. Playing mind games can improve your brain functions such as memory and logical thinking because they stimulate the brain. The sky’s the limit in choosing a game fit to boost your memory or sharpen your mind. Whether offline or online, you can have a lot of choices such as crossword puzzles, scrabble, sudoku, online quiz games, among many others.
  2. Physical Exercises. While you train your mind, you should train your body too. By working out, whether lifting dumbbells or running on a treadmill, you are learning muscle skills regularly. People who have a physical fitness routine often say that they feel better even mentally after finishing their sets.
  3.  Meditation. Meditation may not seem to be an obvious mental exercise but it’s actually a great activity. Training your mind to be silent and at ease sometimes will bring a lot of benefits such as an improved focus and attention. Meditation is also a way for you to reduce stress and anxiety.
  4.  Learning New Skills. You can make the brain active by learning or exploring new skills. There are a lot of online learning sites you can visit to find an interesting topic for you to study then master. Perhaps, you can learn how to code and make a mind game of your own?
  5.  Learning a New or Foreign Language. In every article you read about brain training, this is probably always on the list. While this may be hard to do especially for older age, learning a foreign language is a great way to rejuvenate your brain. Having a richer vocabulary through reading, listening, and hearing will definitely keep memory loss at bay. Likewise, you probably won’t get lost when visiting the country of origin or of the practice of the language you studied.
  6.  Tell Stories. Telling stories, especially your own lived experiences, is great training for recalling. Remembering details about your past experiences may or may not be hard but when practiced often, will boost your memory even more.
  7.  Do something new. By doing something new from time to time, you are creating new neural pathways in your brain. These neural pathways, like how your muscles act when you work out regularly, are harnessed when your brain is stimulated to do concepts that are foreign to it, repetitively.

 Keeping your brain active through these exercises will definitely give you rewards you are not expecting.