Do any of the following situations sound familiar to you? You are having dinner with your family and one of your children asks you about the bread you served at breakfast, but you can’t remember even serving it. Or maybe you are in a business meeting and a colleague asks you a question that falls squarely within your area of expertise, but you can’t come up with the answer.
Or maybe you are by yourself, watching television, and you recognize a celebrity on the screen but just can’t put your finger on where you have seen the man or woman before. These kinds of situations are frustrating. You have an answer on the tip of your tongue, so to speak, but you can’t seem to make it materialize.
If you have been having troubles with your memory or you are experiencing other problems that you think are a result of not having enough “brain power,” then you are in luck because there are numerous exercises and trainings that you can do for better brain health. They can help boost your memory abilities, as well as your problem solving skills, and analytical abilities. Below are some good brain exercises to get you started.
Brain Exercise #1 – Sudoku
Even if you have never played Sudoku, you have probably seen other people playing it or heard other people talking about it. It is a numbers and puzzle game. You have a grid that you are trying to fill up with digits, but there are specific rules about exactly how you go about doing that.
You can find Sudoku boards in the newspapers, online, and in books. Facebook has it and there are apps for your mobile phone, too. It is a frustrating, challenging game for people of all ages and in all different professional fields
Brain Exercise #2 – Physical Exercise
You probably already know that you are supposed to exercise more, but maybe you have been lazy about it. After all, getting on a treadmill or an elliptical machine is not most people’s idea of fun. But study after study has shown the positive impact physical exercise has on your brain’s health, so you should find activities that you enjoy and will do. Hiking outside is relaxing and quiet; going for a bike ride can be done solo or with friends; even just taking a walk around the block is better than sitting on your couch.
Brain Exercise #3 – Meditation
There are a lot of different ways to meditate, so you can take the time to figure out which one you think works best for you. Whether it is through sitting and chanting “Om” or doing some intense yoga, meditation reduces stress, making it an important tool for brain health. Nothing is worse for you brain than stress, so find ways to meditate. Make the time, even if it’s while you are commuting or right before bed.
Brain Exercise #4 – Sleep
Yup, you read that one right. Sleep more; it’s good for your brain. The good news is that if you are doing things like exercising and meditating you will find that sleeping is much easier. Your brain can’t be at its best if it hasn’t had the chance to recharge while you are sleeping. Especially if you are working very hard, sleep becomes even more important. So get a good night’s sleep and feel better and sharper tomorrow.
Brain Exercise #5 – Storytelling
Whether you are talking out loud to your family members and friends, or you are just talking to yourself, research has shown that telling stories is good for your brain. It will help you frame events, improve your memory, and can also be a lot of fun.
You can also try writing the stories and you might even find that you enjoy it and that you are good at it. Maybe it will become a favorite hobby or even a new career! Storytelling has been used as a way to treat Alzheimer’s, so it can do a lot more for people with better brain health too.
Brain Exercise #6 – Laugh
It might be an old wives tale that “laughter is the best medicine” but it is actually based in a lot of truth. Spend time with your family and friends and try to really enjoy it. By laughing more, and telling joke and listening to other people’s jokes, you are improving your emotional quotient.
Next time something embarrassing happens, try to laugh it off instead of sulking in the corner or recoiling in humiliation. You will feel better and your brain will work better too.
Brain Exercise #7 – Write, Don’t Type
We all have gotten so used to typing all the time, many of us never have the chance or reason to actually put pen to paper. But using our hands and actually writing is good for our brains. When you write, it triggers your brain to know that it is time to pay attention.
It helps focus. So if you have something important to write, put away your computer and pull out your pen and paper. You will pay more attention to what you are saying, and so you will say it better.