Proper exercise should not only be limited to the body, as brain exercises have shown to have many positive effects upon an individual’s outlook and life in general. The best Montreal psychologists are trained to instruct their patients about the advantages of exercising your brain, thanks to its link with sharpening the mind and enhancing intelligence.
Our brain has the ability to change and adapt as a result of new experiences, and this ability is called brain plasticity or neuroplasticity. Neuro refers to the neurons or brain cells, while plasticity refers to the brain’s malleability. As we learn new things, neural pathways and networks are also created and strengthened. This makes our brain stronger, more flexible, and adaptable to change.
So, what activities can provide essential benefits to our brain? There are simple brain exercises that you can do at home that can make you feel cognitively stronger and mentally sharper, especially if you do them on a regular basis.
Exercise Your Body to Exercise Your Mind
Before you begin exercising your mind, you need to take care of your body first – and there is no better way to do it than engaging in exercise and keeping to a balanced diet. Just by adhering to these healthy behaviors, you will be less susceptible to the mental decline that is associated with aging.
According to studies, exercise can make you smarter, and protect your brain from shrinking as you age. Not only that, exercise can also increase neurogenesis, or the formation of new brain cells.
So, to exercise your mind, the best first step is to start working on your physical health. Take a walk, engage in sports, eat healthy meals and incorporate fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Stay away from any bad habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, as these can easily undo all your hard work.
Learn Something New
There is no age limit or any restrictions when it comes to learning something new. In fact, learning a new skill is one of the best brain training exercises, keeping your brain active and receptive to new challenges.
You can try to learn a new language or learn how to play a music instrument. Not only will it help stretch your mind, it will also allow you to continuously learn, expand your skills, and feel more accomplished with what you have achieved.
Studies suggest that if you are socially active, you have a lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is probably because socializing engages multiple areas of your brain. It also helps that most of the time, social activities include physical elements and activities such as playing sports.
Mindfulness meditation has been surging in popularity, triggering scientific investigations and reports to demonstrate its health benefits, – particularly in how it benefits the brain.
Research has shown that meditation can lower your stress levels, while also increase the clarity of your mind and decision making. In fact, the art of clearing up one’s mind has been used in the military, in schools, and by athletes to help them focus on their tasks and goals without any distraction.
Aside from that, meditation can also help improve attention, focus, empathy, and even immunity. It can also help to increase the capacity of your working memory.
These are just some of the things that you can do to strengthen your mind. Try doing one – or a few – and you are likely to find one that works, or even many that seem to fall into place in your life in a truly positive way. By practicing them on a regular basis, you will slowly notice an improvement in your state of mind, and the advantageous influence that this can have on life in general.