For a long time, we lived with the myth that intelligence is a given. That we have to survive with what nature has endowed us. But lately, there’s a lot of talk about brain plasticity. Here are some choices you can make to tip the scale towards a more agile mind.
1. Read more
The most obvious way to increase your mental activity is to read complex works. The struggle to understand what is being said generates new neurons, increases neuronal connections, and speeds up mental processing.
2. Learn to play a musical instrument
Because it involves mental and physical coordination, playing an instrument is an exceptional workout for your brain. And no, there’s no age limit to it.
3. Speak a foreign language
When you learn a foreign language and you speak it regularly, your brain is forced to work harder, since you switch from thinking to speaking in a matter of seconds.
4. Exercise your memory
Any activity that involves your memory (games, repeating what people say in your mind, memorizing poetry etc) will slow down the process of neuronal degeneration.
5. Adopt a new hobby
Learning how to knit, to dance, to draw will stimulate your brain, because these activities involve cognition and physical coordination.
6. Travel as often as you can
Whether it is trying to figure out how to navigate the local metro system, or just to order a meal in an unfamiliar language, being abroad will help you keep your mind sharp.
7. Exercise, exercise, exercise
Exercising is not good only for your body, but also for your mind. Studies have found that exercising regularly improves memory and boosts attention span and cognitive efficiency.
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