Maybe you’ve seen a family member suffer from Alzheimer’s and you’re afraid the disease might be in your future. Or, maybe you’re just tired of losing your keys and forgetting to go to your niece’s ballet recitals. Whatever the motivation to increase your brain power, it’s not a bad idea. So where do you start?
1. Challenge your brain. You may love crossword puzzles, but after years of doing them they probably don’t offer much of a challenge. Try other puzzles you are less familiar with, such as Sudoku. But don’t stop there—try a totally new hobby, such as taking up a new musical instrument, a new foreign language, or a radically different craft project.
2. Read. Maybe reading has never been a favorite way for you to spend your time, but studies show it is a great way to increase brain power. Find a book or magazine that is interesting to you (there must be one out there somewhere!) and try to read for at least a few minutes a day.
3. Write. Even if you don’t want to write the next great American novel, writing will help to keep your brain sharp. Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal, or get really ambitious and start a blog on a favorite topic.
4. Get a degree….or just take a class. Being accountable to a teacher (and the deep-seated desire to get a good grade!) is often the motivation people need to read, study, write essays, and do other brain-power-increasing assignments.
5. Meditate. Or, if that whole “meditation” thing just isn’t for you, at least take the time to relax, breathe, and clear your thoughts.
6. Take care of yourself. Eat right, get lots of sleep, and exercise—all of which your brain will love.
7. Avoid the urge to use machines. Sure, it’s easy to use the GPS when you’re figuring out how to get to that restaurant, and it’s easy to take out that calculator when you’re trying to figure out the tip at that restaurant. However, always using these electronics make your brain lazy and less efficient.
8. Be curious and question everything. Looking at simple, everyday things and trying to figure out how they may work is not only a great way to give your brain a workout, but this may also inspire a burst of creativity.
9. Learn when you are at your peak. If you are a morning person, try to arrange your day so that your toughest tasks are tackled in the a.m. This not only means you’ll be more productive at increasing your brain power, but you’ll avoid the frustration of trying to get things done at a time when you are not at your best.
10. Give your memory a workout. Try memorizing phone numbers; work on remembering the names of new people you meet; try heading to the grocery store with your list in your head instead of on paper.
11. Try to challenge yourself everyday. Don’t be satisfied with doing the same old things. Your brain loves new experiences and new challenges
12. Step out of the ordinary. Even a simple act like taking a different route to work can help your brain to grow.
Since you are reading this article, you are obviously inspired to take steps to increase your brain power. However, after trying a few of these tips for a couple of weeks, your inspiration may wane. Don’t give up! Even if you’re not seeing results right away, you will in the long run. It takes time for your brain power to increase. Keep investigating things that interest and inspire you. It will not only make your brain work better, but it will make life a lot more interesting!