As our body ages and all the parts in it, the same goes for our brain. Our brains only age. Unfortunately, they lose their short-term memories and they gradually lose the executive functions, as the right frontal lobe loses gray matter and gets “mushy.” Now; nonetheless, neuroscience tells us that we could delay this method. By participating in some fairly special actions, most of which we’d consider hobbies in some instances, we can reverse brain deterioration. Here are 7 of them.
1. Read Anything
The benefits of reading are the same whether you are enjoying Game of Thrones or the New York Times. Reading reduces stress, which makes you feel better about yourself, and increases all three types of intelligence — crystallised, fluid and emotional. That helps with problem solving, putting different pieces of knowledge together to better navigate everyday life, detecting patterns, understanding processes and accurately interpreting and responding to other people’s feelings. Some research also points to speed reading as a method to increase synapses (electrical connections between regions of the brain), since the brains must process sensory information quickly. Indeed, for many students, speed reading is a valuable skill.
2. Learn to Play a Musical Instrument
Playing music helps with creativity, analytical skills, language, math, fine motor skills and more. Playing an instrument (the voice is also an instrument), increases gray matter volume and makes neural connections between the two hemispheres of the brain. For this reason, scientists believe that early musical training allows students to be better at both linear math work (algorithms, equation solving) and mathematical problem-solving (modeling, optimization, problem research). Playing an instrument ensures both sides of the brain work together much better.
Taking up a musical instrument helps with executive skills, memory, problem solving and overall brain function, regardless of how old you are, according to researchers.
3. Exercise on a Regular Basis
When exercising regularly the cells are flooded with BDNF, a protein that helps with memory, learning, focus, concentration and understanding. This is also often referred to as mental acuity. One of the most notable experiments was a photo memory test given to experimental and control groups. The experimental group exercised before the test, while the control group did not. The experimental group’s test results were overwhelmingly better. Members were able to focus on the photos and then recall them after a period of waiting.
4. Learn a New Language
Forget solving puzzles to improve your memory and learn a foreign language instead. Research has shown that people who are bilingual have more gray matter in their language centers. They can focus on more than one task at a time because parts of the brain that relate to reasoning, planning, and memory are more developed. Again, scientists began to study this in children first, looking at those in whose households a foreign language was spoken, but in whose schools only English was spoken. Being forced to take in sounds from two different languages and “sort out” which language was being heard forced these areas of the brain into greater functioning. Now, it is also known that learning a language at any stage in one’s life has the same forceful effect on the brain making it smarter.
5. Engage in Cumulative Learning
Cumulative learning is defined as that process by which we take what we already know and layer new information of the same type on top of that. For example, math is cumulative learning. Children first learn basic functions. Then they learn how to use those basic functions to solve word problems. Next, they learn algebra, using basic functions to solve equations. Every layer goes on top of what was learned before. As we age, and especially as we leave the workforce, we tend to cease cumulative learning activities. However, research says if we continue to engage in them we sharpen memory, sequential ordering, problem solving (executive functioning of right frontal lobe), and language. So, go through takeaways from recent books, observations during an important negotiation, or keep a small journal with anything that strikes your attention. Start integrating cumulative learning into your self-improvement program.
6. Exercise Your Brain with Puzzles and Games
We have to think as both computers and muscles of our brains. Sudoku, puzzles, riddles, board games, video games, card games, and similar activities increase neuroplasticity. This encompasses a wide variety of changes in neural pathways and synapses that is basically the ability of the brain to reorganize itself. Brain plasticity is a term that is used to refer to the continually new connections that are made when we take in information, engage in thinking, and force ourselves to remember things. Crossword puzzles, deductive thinking activities, and strategic games such as chess or even some video games, force our brains to take in new information and make new connections.
7. Meditate / Practice Yoga
What research says about meditation is fairly astounding. It permits better control of one’s thinking when not in a meditative state. This control allows better memory, attention, and focus. Students who meditate do better on tests, and grownups who meditate have better memories. Gray matter increases in areas of the mind that control learning and memory. Keep more gray matter than people who do not. For pupils with behavior issues in school, meditation has been proven to improve behavior and school attendance as it reduces tension and worry. It might appear that meditation is a terrific thing for many ages.
All of these hobbies are matters that people can quickly incorporate into our everyday lives. Given what science tells us, they’re going to keep our brains fantastically healthy.