The brain is an essential part of your entire physical and psychological mechanisms; it’s the center of the nervous system and controls every one of your movements, whether it’s physical or mental. Studies show that the brain takes up to 2% of the body’s weight, yet consumes about 20% of the body’s oxygen and energy levels.
Hence, for you to be productive, it’s important to pay special attention to the well-being of your brain. And that’s why there are certain brain training activities that can help you in the process.
Brain training doesn’t have its validity in scientific research, mainly because there hasn’t been a lot of research done in the department. And even though a bunch of apps and games on the internet make huge claims about their effectiveness in battling issues such as Alzheimer’s, ADHD, etc while training your brain, studies show that more often than not, these claims are false.
That doesn’t, however, mean that every brain training exercise is useless or ineffective. These exercises may not help battle mental health issues of a severe level, but when it comes to day-to-day productivity, they can play a significant role.
The Impact of Training Exercises on Your Brain
Even with a lack of research in the field, there is no doubt that there are behavioral patterns, repetitions of which can develop our brains and, as a result, our cognitive abilities. One process that helps with this is neuroplasticity.
In neuroplasticity, as our brain learns to gather new information and get used to new behavioral patterns, it results in the creation of new neural pathways in the brain, physically changing it and making our behavior get further used to the exercise we’re performing. Whether we become more productive or not, depends upon the nature of the exercise we’re performing.
Remember that our brains love challenges; performing different tasks is to our brain what sleeping is to our body, it helps get it refreshed with the ability to become more productive. Therefore, it’s vital to introduce different activities in your life in order to train your brain to perform better.
10 Brain Training Exercises to Perform Better
1) Invest Time in Learning New Skills
One of the most important aspects of improving your performance is to take your brain out of the autopilot mode it’s become used to. For this, it’s necessary to change your routine a little. If the first thing you do as you go home from work is sleep, change that rule. Go home, take some rest but instead of sleeping, read a book or do all those tasks you’ve been delaying due to being busy.
This minor change in schedule will refresh your brain, make it get out of autopilot, and become more focused on performing the new task you’re participating in completing.
2) Be More Active
Being active goes a long way in positive effects, changing not just your physical stamina but also your brain’s ability to perform more creatively. If you don’t have an active lifestyle, your body will likely become lethargic, and your brain will start fighting all the effects of that lethargy, making it less sharp when it comes to mental challenges.
Therefore, for your brain to be active, it’s necessary for you to make yourself physically active as well. Exercising, going for a walk regularly, etc everything helps make you more active and can also end up making you feel more refreshed.
3) Take a Different Route
Another way to refresh your brain and improve its performance is by traveling. I don’t mean packing your bags and going to another city, no. Just take different routes of traveling inside your own city. Going to work? Take the longer route than the usual short one you take. Going to your nearby supermarket? Take a route that’s the farthest yet connects your home and the market, rather than the closest you’re used to.
Learning new landmarks, finding new grocery stores, marts, cafés along the way can go a long way in improving your overall mind-mapping skills, and your ability to recall multiple routes will always come in handy.
4) Join Yoga Courses
If you’re someone who doesn’t have the luxury of practicing a daily active lifestyle, i.e. your job involves spending 8 hours sitting in front of a computer, etc. then yoga might be the thing for you. A few hours of yoga and meditation have scientifically proven to be beneficial not just in improving your mood but also in improving your cognitive functionality.
5) Learn Something Away from your Comfort Zone
Just as with your routine, repeating the same brain training or any other exercise won’t help your mind create new neural pathways. For this to happen, you need to spend time adapting to more unique skills. Preferably those that go out of your comfort zone and make you do something entirely new. As such, learning to play a musical instrument can be of great help.
6) Play Board Games
One important way to train your brain is to indulge in playing board games. These games are mostly based on strategy and proper yet quick planning, challenging your mind to come up with fast ways to make your next move as smart as possible to help you win. Games like Chess, Monopoly, Sequence, etc. are all mind-challenging and require quick thinking on your part, making you focus not just on your own moves but be wary of the opponent’s. This trains your creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
7) Take Time Away from Technology
The digital gadgets we use are a mine full of all kinds of information. And what happens if our brain has unlimited access to all this different information? It gets overwhelmed and overloaded. For this reason, it’s important to take some time away from all your digital devices, including your phone. Use this time to read instead or complete a task you’ve been putting off out of laziness.
8) Learn a New Language
There are a bunch of different apps available at your disposal that can help you learn a new language e.g. DuoLingo, etc. Doing so refreshes your brain and excites it as it learns something entirely new and different from the language(s) your brain has known your entire life. And who knows, it might even make it easier for you to communicate with people of the culture you’re studying the language of.
9) Learn to Cook and Eat Proper Meals
We’ve already established that taking care of your body is essential for your mental health. And therefore, it’s necessary to eat proper meals at the right time. But on a similar note, it’s also essential to indulge yourself in the task of cooking. Why? Because this involves not just learning a new recipe, but also involves all your senses in completing the task i.e. the smell, taste, as well as your learning abilities, all become part of making your cooking experience worthwhile, boosting your mood and your energy levels as a result.
10) Create Mnemonics
Mnemonics are letter or number associations to make it easier for you to memorize lists and other important pieces of information. E.g. to memorize the value of PI, your mnemonic would be “May I have a large container of coffee?”. How? Notice the number of letters each word in the sentence has i.e. May has 3 letters, I 1, have 4, and so on until coffee has 7 letters. This makes 3.1415927 i.e. the value of pi (and we thought math couldn’t be fun).
Mnemonics can help us remember large amounts of information with ease, while also giving our brain an entertaining task of creating phrases that are fun to recall. So try creating mnemonics to memorize your grocery list the next time you go out to buy your essentials.
These are all the exercises you can perform to make train your brain to become more productive. Boosting your brain and its energy levels is a manual task, but once you get used to it, you wouldn’t mind continuing on that path. Yes, there are a lot of games that might help entertain you, but not all of them can train your brain to perform. A lot of those games make huge, yet fake claims to make you invest your time in them because they lack proper scientific research.
Therefore, if you want your mental productivity and performance to become better, it’s more beneficial to do something about it yourself, like doing the exercises explained in this blog. These may not help you tackle the more intense and serious psychological and neurological problems, but they can be of aid when it comes to your day-to-day performance.