Once you’re done with school, the opportunities for keeping your mind healthy and active become much scarcer.
Like any muscle in your body, if you let your mind sit without being used, it will start to be less effective. By implementing some regular activities in your life, you can keep your mind at its peak for longer.
The key is making these activities routine by combining them with fun things in which you already participate.
Give Both Sides A Work Out
Your brain consists of two hemispheres, and each side is responsible for different jobs in your life. Your right hemisphere is responsible for processing visual memory and spatial elements; your left hemisphere helps you understand and execute logic and verbal memory.
Working both of these sides at once and forcing them to work in tandem gives your brain the most exercise. Puzzle games, like a Rubik’s Cube, crossword puzzles and Chinese checkers, help stimulate both halves of your brain together, while creating a fun activity that you can enjoy regularly.
You must also ensure that you choose activities that you are generally interested in to get maximum results. Instead of forcing yourself to play a game, take some time to explore and find something you actually want to do.
Do Something New
Think of your brain like a mine. In order to get the most out of it, new paths must be created to find hidden treasures. When our brains learn, “paths” of axons and neurons are created in patterns that help the brain more quickly process information that is used more often.
Learning a new language, for example, forces your brain to develop new chemical paths to understand and process the new information. Similarly, try to take on a new skill, like computer programming or cooking a new type of meal.
Once again, it’s important to choose activities that you are generally interested in and excited about, or else your mind will not make an effort to try to store the information.
Get Out More
Nothing is more dynamic and enriching for your brain than trying to keep up with and understand your friends and family. Making new friends does more than just make you feel good. Expanding your mental horizons by way of new people can help you retain your memory.
Consider joining a group, like a museum, poetry or tennis club, to stay involved and find new friends.
Eat The Right Foods
Foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids help improve brain health by preventing cholesterol from lining your arteries, which can slow blood flow to the brain, and provide other benefits.
Grapes, dark leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, berries and beets have many essential antioxidants, while fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, can get you the fatty acids your brain craves.
Become A Switch Hitter
The halves of your brain are also each responsible for the hand on your opposite side. Learning how to do tasks with your non-dominant hand can providing a surprising level of challenge for your brain.
Start with simple tasks, like stirring a pot or brushing your teeth, and then move on to more complicated things, like attempting to write and play tennis. If you’re a computer buff, try using your mouse with your non-dominant hand.
Move Your Body
Aerobic exercise has been shown to enhance the way your mind operates by nourishing your brain with oxygen and nutrients through increased blood flow.
Your frontal lobe specifically benefits from increased physical activity, as your coordination and movement skills become stronger.