6 Practical Ways to Boost Your Mental Fitness

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  • 01 Jun 2023
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From morning to night, we are inundated with information. Because there is so much noise from television, social media, radio, and even the Internet, we frequently neglect quieter activities that have a huge impact on our mental fitness – our brain.

Fortunately, the human brain is one of the body's most versatile and responsive organs. It will absorb new problems like a sponge and continue to grow throughout your life. However, it requires specific care in order to accomplish so.

There are numerous activities you may engage in to keep your brain busy, ranging from reading books to playing games. These activities will improve your memory, problem-solving skills, concentration abilities, and much more.

Continue reading to learn about some other ways to exercise your brain.

There are various techniques for brain training:

1. Develop a Consistent Daily Routine

If you want to know what one thing will have the most impact on your brain health, it's regularity.

A steady daily programme of cognitive activities will assist you more than anything else. This entails creating a daily routine in which you devote a particular amount of time to your chosen brain exercises. Start slowly - even 10 minutes a day can make a major effect.

Next, make the most of your time by focusing on workouts that challenge your mind in fresh ways. Reading a novel or listening to an audiobook that you would not normally choose will help you enhance your vocabulary and knowledge of diverse writing styles.

2. Read Books

You've probably heard this advice a hundred times before, but don't dismiss it. Reading is one of the most simple and pleasurable ways to exercise your mind. It's also a tried-and-true way to boost your memory, concentration, and problem-solving abilities.

There are numerous genres to pick from, allowing you to challenge your intellect in a variety of ways. A novel with a lot of descriptive language, for example, can help you develop your vocabulary, whilst a science fiction or fantasy book will put your grasp of new worlds to the test.

Reading also allows you to learn from some of the world's most brilliant minds. You can read biographies of famous persons in any industry or works by philosophers, poets, and novelists - the choice is yours!

Personally, I like audiobooks and usually boost the pace to 1.5x to devour the content faster and, as a result, consume more books altogether. I didn't start with 1.5x speed, but rather 1.25x and gradually increased to 1.75x for specific books and narrations.

If there's one life hack I can recommend to book and audiobook enthusiasts, it's to learn how to ingest information faster. There is a wealth of knowledge available to be absorbed, but it is severely constrained by one's time.

3. Learn a New Language

Learning a new language can be really beneficial to your brain. It will challenge your intellect in new ways as you strive to understand the language's different laws and patterns. It will also push you to broaden your vocabulary and boost your recall.

Learn a new language alongside a friend if you want to get the most out of it. Working with a partner will keep you motivated and push you to your limits. It's also a terrific way to meet new people and share ideas and advice with others who are studying as well.

Don't let the fact that you won't be able to speak the language fluently right away dissuade you. Working towards a goal is an excellent approach to keeping your brain active and engaged. And once you've mastered the fundamentals, you can always move on to develop your skills.

I visited the Spanish-speaking countries of Cuba and Mexico several times many years ago. I was also dating a Latina and was very interested in learning Spanish. Apart from learning a few phrases here and there, I took it upon myself to attend Spanish classes and listen to translation audiobooks while sleeping.

Another life hack I recommend is listening to audiobooks or reading immediately before bed, and you can definitely listen to audiobooks during the early stages of your sleep cycle. Many audiobook apps allow you to set a timer, or you may use your phone's timer to stop playing the book after a specified length of time.

When you sleep, your brain undergoes a process known as "consolidation," in which it moves knowledge from short-term memory to long-term memory. Language learners who listened to language tapes while sleeping were able to retain the newly learned words better than those who did not. This was the case for me, and I awoke the next day knowing a little more Spanish than the night before.

To be honest, I haven't gone to Latin nations in many years, am no longer married to a Latino, and have thus progressively ceased practising Spanish.

4. Play Games

Games are typically associated with children, but they are also beneficial to your brain. They're a fun and interactive way to work out your brain, and they can help you improve your memory, problem-solving skills, and attention span. You can even play games specifically meant to boost your mental health.

There are numerous games that will enhance your brain, including both traditional board games and newer video games. You may also challenge yourself to learn a new skill-based game, such as chess or go, that is known to improve problem-solving abilities.

Games are an excellent choice for a quick and easy approach to strengthening your brain. They're easy to find, inexpensive, and can be played practically anywhere, from the bus on the way to work to your phone during a quick break.

Certain video games can also aid in the growth of the brain. Personally, I like real-time strategy (RTS) games, which are a subgenre of strategy video games in which all players can play concurrently rather than progressively in turns. Defence of the Ancients (DoTA) and League of Legends (LoL) are two of the most popular games in the world today and have been for over a decade. They necessitate swift decisions and a slew of actions in a short period of time.

In a typical DoTA or LoL game, for example, it's not uncommon for a player to have over 1,000 actions (clicks or keyboard strokes) in an hour. APM stands for actions per minute. It primarily refers to the number of clicks and keyboard strokes you make per minute. When evaluating their gaming ability, many professional gamers use these types of insights.

5. Exercise Your Mind with Puzzles and Quizzes

Puzzles and quizzes are excellent ways to develop your brain while also testing your knowledge. You can experiment with various problem types such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, word searches, and number puzzles. These are excellent for increasing your attention span and problem-solving abilities.

There are also many puzzle and quiz books available that can test your knowledge of various subjects. You might attempt a general knowledge book to increase your general knowledge or a general science facts book to improve your scientific understanding.

Quizzes are another excellent opportunity to put your knowledge to the test. You can test your overall knowledge with general knowledge quizzes or find quizzes on specific topics to improve your understanding of certain topics.

When I was a child, I used to watch my grandmother work on large puzzles that were strewn across her dining room table. Looking back with this newfound understanding of brain science, I can see that she was (at the time) maintaining her brain health and assisting in the defence against diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia.

As she got older, she stopped doing puzzles and eventually succumbed to Alzheimer's and died. She stopped doing puzzles after her husband (my grandfather) died, and while I'm not suggesting correlation equals causation, the drop in brain-building activities, along with the trauma of her husband's death, had a significant influence on her mental health.

6. Physical Activity

You've probably heard that cognitive workouts and physical activity are beneficial to your mental health. But did you realise the inverse is also true? Physical activity is one of the best methods to maintain your brain healthy and can help you think more clearly as you become older.

There are numerous types of physical activities you can do to increase your brain function. Try a new activity, join a gym, or go for a run or walk in your neighbourhood park. You can also try dance or yoga if you like - the choice is yours!

Physical activity has been found to increase thinking skills and mental health by releasing beneficial chemicals known as endorphins. These naturally occurring molecules can help you reduce stress, enhance your mood, and feel better.

I've had some difficulties training consistently during the previous three years. It started when I sold my previous home and moved to an interim home before moving into my new home. As a result, my home gym was packed away in storage for months, and when I moved into my new house, I rebuilt my garage before bringing the gym inside.

I've had many gym memberships throughout the years, but I've never gone. Only this year did I resume regular exercising in my new home gym, as well as going to outside gyms like Goodlife Fitness and Planet Fitness. Going to typical commercial gyms gives me encouragement because I see individuals working on themselves and it feels like a community. Though it's not the same as the powerlifting/olympic lifting community I was a part of at Fortis Fitness in Toronto, I've relocated too far away from that speciality gym to warrant the drive (especially since I have my own speciality gym at home).

Bottom Line

One of the most beneficial things you can do for your mental health is to exercise your brain every day. Everyone, young and old, may profit from testing their minds and squeezing every last drop out of them. You don't have to devote hours of your time to it either; just a few minutes every day can make a significant effect.

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