Simple games to exercise your mind

Here are a few simple games to exercise your mind and improve your memory

Here are a few simple games to exercise your mind and improve your memory

A stimulated brain is a happy brain. While you use it every day to perform simple things like tying your shoe or responding to email, but it requires more than daily tasks to stay in shape. Like the rest of your body, mental muscles need to be challenged and pushed regularly.

Simple games to exercise your mind are relevant to people of all ages. These don?t require expensive technology or special knowledge. With a little time and effort, you can stimulate your brain every day.

Pass it on

Ever notice how helping someone else seems to improve your own skills? Whether you?re tutoring a friend in French, volunteering at an after school program or helping a co-worker understand a new system, the act of teaching focuses the brain on using what it knows rather than simply recalling general steps. Having authority on a subject also frames your concentration so you?re less likely to make careless mistakes.

Play Sudoku

You?ve probably seen people playing this wildly addictive game, or perhaps you already play it yourself. Played regularly, Sudoku improves your mind?s overall health and boosts problem solving skills. The game is available in every medium from paper game pads and mobile phone applications, to Facebook and other interactive websites.

~

Meditate

Meditation works wonders for you. Of all the simple exercises to exercise your mind, this is one you can do right now no matter where you are. Ideally, you have a quiet place, but really all you need is willingness to find time to meditate.

You can meditate while walking, cooking, gardening, running or doing any other familiar, repetitive activity. The goal is to focus entirely on your breath and let everything drop from your mind. Eventually worries, to-do lists and deadlines slip away. Even five minutes a day is beneficial. Set a timer and try working up to 10 then 15 minutes.

This sounds much easier than it actually is, but the more you do it, the more you get out of it. Like every other part of your body, the mind needs to rest, too. Strengthening it means training yourself to turn it on and off. Plus daily meditation reduces stress, increasing your overall health significantly.

Seek new types of information

People tend to read about topics that interest them, things they already know a lot about. A new article on a familiar subject doesn?t count as learning something new. No matter where you live, you?re surrounded by opportunities to learn something random and new. 

Hit the Random setting on Wikipedia, or sign up with Dictionary.com to learn a new word every day. Next time you?re tired and have some time, watch a documentary or stream a Ted Talk online. Ted talks are only 18 minutes long, but the storytelling platform delivers groundbreaking discoveries and fresh perspectives in an accessible, memorable way.

Write by hand

Texting and typing are a quick way to communicate, but these are relatively mindless activities. When it?s time to write something substantial or process new information in a class, break out the old paper notepad and pen.

Writing things out longhand tells your mind to focus. The physical act of writing triggers the mind?s reticular activating system (RAS). You?re not merely recording words on paper. Far from it! A handwritten page of notes represents information fully processed in the mind for later use.

Take care of yourself

You?ve heard the phrase ?Use it or lose it?? Well the phrase applies to both the mind and body. Simple exercises to exercise your mind won?t do you much good if a junk food diet fogs your thoughts while a sedentary lifestyle wears down those mental muscles. 

To stay healthy mentally and physically, head to the farmers market and stock your kitchen with colorful fresh produce. Incorporate physical activity into your mental stimulation. Listen to a Ted Talk while you run. Read about a culture you know little about and try a healthy recipe from that cuisine.