As we grow older, life tends to hit harder and harder, saddling us with more responsibility up to the point where being an adult becomes limited to the monotonous droning at work and personal care at home. This leaves no space for the whimsy and spontaneity that existed when we were still kids. Then, there was all the time in the world to play, to think, to question and to discover new things without the responsibility of bringing home a check at the end of the month or taking care of anyone. Although these kinds of activities reduce greatly as we become adults, saying that there is entirely no space for one to exercise their mental activities and aptitudes is as fallacious as a statement can get. Life is improvement and cognitive and mental growth doesn’t need to stop once responsibilities and busy schedules hit. Fitting little activities that sharpen our minds into our schedules should be something everyone should do as a saying goes “if you don’t use it, you lose it”. With all these said, here are 3 activities that adults can indulge in to boost their mental strength and cognitive abilities.
Play games like Chess, Scrabble and Sudoku
The beauty of these games is that each one has a different part of the brain that it exercises. Sudoku, for example, improves the individual’s spatial awareness and visual acuity, making the individual better able to spot changes in their immediate field of vision. Chess, on the other hand, teaches strategy and forward thinking. It instills the ability to preempt thought and action and respond proactively. Scrabble, aside from teaching some strategy and language vocabulary, trains memory and thought. The beauty of these games is that they can also be played on mobile.
Randomly practice math problems
How many times do you find yourself reaching for the calculator app on your iPhone to work out the simplest of arithmetic problems? Exactly. We have trained ourselves to be so lazy and reliant on instruments out of college that we have progressively dulled our brains’ ability to solve complex numerical problems. Remember that anything the brain doesn’t use is slowly but surely put away and forgotten and as such, endeavor to do small sums by yourself. The difference is noticeable after a short while as one finds themselves getting better and faster at solving math problems.
Write rather than type.
This sounds stupid I know, but bear with me. I know you might be wondering what cognitive ability has to do with writing longhand and typing but as you will soon understand, it has a lot to do with it. You see, when we are acquiring new knowledge, the brains filtering system (otherwise known as the reticular activating system or RAS) is actively charged with taking note of and processing what we are looking at at a certain moment. Writing heavily triggers the RAS and this lets the brain focus and pay more attention.