Brain Games: 5 fun activities to keep your mind sharp
The mind is like a muscle. It requires exercise to keep it healthy. A mental workout can be an excellent tool for ensuring that your mind remains sharp and you retain the abilities of information retention, attention to detail, recall, and more. As such, here are five ways that you can keep your mind sharp while offering a little more fun in how you while away the hours of the day.
The highly popular number placement game sees you filling in grids, making sure that you get every number from 1 to 9. You have to manage lines and columns of numbers while making sure that each of the nine larger grids also contains all of the single digits. This can help a lot with short-term memory, as well as concentration.
A perennial favourite, a crossword involves filling in a grid with letters to find the words that best fit the clues, while being mindful of which letters are shared by words that intersect with each other. Crosswords are a great exercise for your ability to recall information. It helps you keep your vocabulary expansive, helping you to learn and remember the definitions and uses of words, even if you don’t use them every single day.
A well-loved board game that has a similar ruleset to the crossword in that you’re trying to recall words but, in this case, you can make any word that you like, you just need to create it from a random set of tiles at your disposal. This is great for helping your mind’s ability to sort data into patterns and find solutions out of chaos. Just like crosswords, Scrabble also helps you maintain a wide vocabulary and tests your recall abilities.
While these toys may be an intimidating sight for those who have never solved one, at first, Rubik’s Cubes are very easy to pick up and very good at stimulating the brain. There are 43 quintillion possible moves, so it can take a while to solve, but it’s great for testing your ability to focus on a task and a much better use of downtime than watching TV. Once you get it solved, you can start to learn some pattern identification that allows you to beat it in shorter times in the future, too.
Hidden object games
There are plenty of smartphone apps that you can use that offer “find the hidden object games” that ask you to find unique objects in larger landscapes or collections of images. It might sound relatively simple (and it is) but it’s also very relaxing and tests your ability to focus and to ensure attention to detail, especially when looking amongst shapes and colours that can look very similar.
Aside from proactively caring for your mind, mental exercises can also play a key role in helping to prevent or stall the symptoms of cognitive decline conditions, such as dementia. As such, it’s always a good time to give your brain a workout.