You’ve done the word puzzles, the Sudoku, the memory games, and those are all great, but why not switch up your brain exercises? Just like physical exercise, switching up your routine can speed up development in areas that may be lagging behind.
Perhaps you should change your thinking about how to give your brain a workout. Neurobic brain exercises are designed to challenge how your brain routinely works, using all of your senses in the process. If you’ve never heard of this technique (or smelled or seen it), then here are six fairly simple neurobic workouts to try…
1. Switch Up Your Hobby
SheKnows.com suggests straying from your usual leisure activity, even if you really enjoy it and are good at it. For example, the source said if you usually like to hit the links for a round of golf, try something completely different (and perhaps out of your comfort zone) – like yoga.
Or, if that’s not going to work for you (it’s because you don’t have a yoga mat, right?) then try something that’s almost guaranteed to stimulate all your senses – gardening. “You can enjoy the great outdoors, play in the dirt, inhale the fragrance of fresh flowers or the aroma of sun-ripened tomatoes and learn new (and useful) skills,” notes the source.
2. Use Your Non-Dominant Hand
This can seem easy on the surface, but it’s really not. You can apply it to writing, but Reader’s Digest suggests trying to brush your teeth with the opposite hand you’re used to.
Apparently by doing this you’ll be using the other side of your brain to perform the task, which “result in a rapid and substantial expansion of in the parts of the cortex that control and process tactile information from the hand,” notes the source. Try opening and closing the tube with your opposite hand as well.
3. Get a Nose for Guessing
You may be an avid cook that regularly uses a number of spices and herbs in your cooking, and know just the right amounts to put in each dish. You know how they taste in different combinations, and you can probably identify most of them by sight.
However, if you want to challenge your brain and really connect with each spice, place the jars in front of you randomly (or have someone else put them in front of you) and then try to identify each by smell alone, suggests Memorise.org. It won’t be as easy as you think the first time (but if it is, kudos to you).
4. Look at Things Another Way
Do you wear a watch? Flip it around. That calendar on the wall? Turn it upside down. Heck, also rotate that novel you’re reading 180-degrees. You may find it relatively easy to read these items in this position, or you may find it challenging – either way, your mind will be working harder than usual.
“When you get used to that, you can graduate to using your phone, or whatever else you can imagine, upside down,” notes the source. If that’s not enough of a challenge for you, try writing backwards – and get quicker at it as you try. Hold it up to a mirror to make sure you’ve got it right.
5. Close Your Eyes to Your Morning Routine
We’re basically on autopilot as we step into the shower, turn on the hot and cold knobs just right, and wash ourselves. Reader’s Digest challenges you to do this entire routine with your eyes closed (taking safety into consideration).
If you’re feeling really confident with your senses without the help of sight, you can try shaving with your eyes closed too. If you have an important presentation to do that morning, it may not be the best time to try it…
6. Take a Different Route to Work
Once you’re (literally) able to shower and even get dressed with your eyes closed, try taking a different route to work (but we don’t recommend driving with your eyes closed). “It doesn’t have to be a longer route – just different,” notes InfiniteMinds.info.
Turn off that GPS so you’re not cheating. Now you’re forcing your brain to map out a new route, without the landmark cues you were using that you may not even have noticed anymore. Try switching it up a few days in a row – assuming there are that many routes to your work from your house – to improve your spatial ability, notes the site.