For the new year, many of us have set a resolution to “get fit!” While you may be concentrating on the tradmill, you might also want to consider adding a “work out” for your brain in the new year!
Our brains are complex, with different areas and functions that can all be enhanced through mental exercise. We’ve all heard the term “use it or loose it,” and for the brain this is true in many respects. When you “work out” your brain there are both short-term and long-term benefits. Short-term you will see an improvement in concentration and memory along with sustained mental clarity under stressful situations. And long-term studies have shown that exercising your brain can create “reserves” that help protect individuals against potential problems such as Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, you can help improve your listening skills through auditory training. At ESHC we encourage all our hearing patients to enhance their listening skills through LACE, an at home “workout” for your ears. The benefits seen by those who have completed the program are astonishing.
Other tips for enhancing brain power in the new year include;
- For stress management: a 5-minute visualization, combining deep and regular breathings with seeing in our mind’s eye beautiful landscapes and/ or remembering times in our past when we have been successful at a tough task
- For short-term memory: try a series subtracting 7 from 200 (200 193 186 179…), or a series involving multiplication (2,3 4,6 6,9 8,12…) or exponential series (2 4 8 16 32 64…) the goal is not to be a math genius, simply to train and improve our short-term memory. Another way is to try and remember our friends telephone numbers.
- In general: try something different every day, no matter how little. Take a different route to work. Talk to a different colleague. Ask an unexpected question. Approach every day as a living experiment, a learning opportunity.