Human beings are constantly trying to find new ways to boost their brainpower. Fortunately, there are countless ways to achieve this, some of which cost next to nothing and don’t require high-tech equipment.
According to Dr. Joel Salinas, a behavioral neurologist at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, mentally stimulating activities, especially challenging ones, help our brains develop new connections. These connections increase the paths that information can use in the brain. This can effectively improve cognition overall or in specific aspects.
Affordable brain-stimulating exercises
Brain training activities force you to do some cognitive exercises because they require some effort to process information. Here are a few examples of low cost mentally stimulating activities:
Learning a new language: Multilingual people have better mental agility and flexibility than people who only speak one language. They are also less likely to develop dementia. Learning a second language after childhood could even slow cognitive decline. It is also relatively easy to learn a new language nowadays. You can listen to recordings, download a translator app or take an online class.
Enjoying music: While listening to music may not seem like a mentally stimulating activity, music can activate almost all parts of the brain, including those that deal with memory, emotion, and physical movement. To achieve the best mental benefits from music, you can try listening to new types of music or by learning an instrument. You can discover other countries’ playlists on streaming apps like iTunes and learn how to play an instrument on YouTube.
Traveling: Exposing your mind to new sights and sounds can enhance the brain’s plasticity, creating new connections. Although you might not be able to visit a new country because of the pandemic, you can try traveling to nearby areas that you’ve never been to.
Playing board games and cards: Board games like chess and Monopoly are already known to strengthen mental skills. Apart from increasing your ability to retrieve memories, it helps in sequencing and visualization.
Watching concert films and museum tours: Cultural activities are very beneficial to the brain. While you cannot enjoy most of them indoors right now, you might be able to find them online.