There are 40 daily brain training activities that will seriously improve your brain quite quickly. These daily brain training activities make you smarter, happier, and more likely to succeed.
What do scrabble, fish and QiGong have in common? They’re three extremely effective daily brain training techniques.
Exercising your brain on a daily basis will help to improve your memory, to balance your moods and emotions, to delay aging, and to make you a complete flipping genius… or at least a pretty smart person.
In this list of daily brain training activities, we’ve included exercises in many different areas, ranging from physical exercise to socialising to lifestyle to diet and beyond. You do not have to use all these techniques. However, we do recommend that you incorporate at least a few techniques from each list.
The best way to develop a healthy brain is through a holistic approach. That’s why we recommend incorporating a variety of mental exercise physical exercises, healthy foods, and games.
Also be sure to choose some long-term hobbies. Take a look at this list of the ways that having hobbies helps us. I personally never knew hobbies where that important. So, read the link, and choose some hobbies to compliment the 40 tips below.
The 40 best daily brain training activities
If brain training isn’t working for you, try these instead.
Cognitive brain activities
1. Don’t rely on computers all the time. Computers might be amazing devices, but they’re not necessarily the best thing for your brain. Use your head instead of a calculator and use your knowledge, rather than a search engine. To get started, use these tips to stop screen addiction. And if you use social media a lot, use these Tips To Make Facebook More Relaxing And Zen.
2. Puzzles: There are many excellent free puzzles out there. From crossword to Sadoku, these puzzles offer an opportunity to exercise your brain
3. Word Games: Word games like Scrabble are a great way to exercise your brain with friends
4. News: Take an interest in the world around you. Use a good news source, an intelligent newspaper rather than a trashy one
5. Read: Read a lot of. . . well, everything. Shakespeare, educational books, history books. . . pick a book and read
6. Video Games: Different video games train your brain in different ways. Some exercise your reactions, others your creative thinking. Play a variety of different games
7. Movies: Instead of watching action move after action movie, watch movies that will get you thinking: The Lives of Others and JFK are good examples
8. Learn new things: Simply learn anything new. Literally, anything. This will help your neuroplasticity.
Physical daily brain training activities
You don’t necessarily need to be going to the gym five times a week in order to have a healthy brain. However, keeping a good level of general fitness will be of tremendous benefit to your mental health.
- House Chores: House chores present a good bit of physical exercise. From shovelling the snow to vacuuming the house, these simple exercises get you moving and help maintain a good level of physical health.
- Swimming: Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise and doesn’t injure your muscles. Get in the pool and enjoy a good swim.
- Running: Running is excellent cardiovascular exercise and helps get oxygen to your brain.
- Walking: If you’re not quite up to running, go for a good walk. Then when you feel up to it, start running.
Yoga: Yoga is fantastic for relaxation and helps stretch out your muscles and improve balance.
- Tai Chi: A fantastic exercise for promoting inner calm and relaxation.
- Qui Gong: Much the same as Tai Chi.
- Weights: Weights help to improve your health by offering cardiovascular exercise even after you finish working out.
- Dance: Dancing isn’t just great exercise, it’s also a lot of fun and helps with coordination.
- Aerobics: Aerobics have been scientifically proven to help improve memory.
- Team Sports: Team sports offer a different kind of mental workout, meeting physical exercise with socialising.
Brain activities that involve learning
Learning new things is an excellent way of maintaining neuroplasticity. These exercises will give your brain excellent exercise as well as giving you new things to try out.
- Learning: Learning anything new is an excellent way of improving your neuroplasticity and adding a new dimension to your life.
- Acting: Acting is a fantastic way to both socialise, to become more aware of your body and to improve your emotional intelligence.
- Music: Playing music is relaxing and enjoyable. Pick an instrument and get playing.
- Language: Learning a new language doesn’t just allow you to talk to foreigners but also gives your brain a great workout.
- Art and Art Therapy: Stress is one of the most prominent reasons for poor mental health. If you’re stressed, use art and art therapy for relaxation and stress relief.
- Switch Hands: If you’re right handed use your let hand, and vice versa. This is an extremely stimulating exercise.
- Career: Is your career challenging you? Is it rewarding? Do you enjoy it? Consider how your job is impacting your mental health and if it’s having a negative effect, consider a change.
- Culture: Learn about the culture either of your own area or of somewhere new to you. This gives you a new perspective on the world, is educational, and offers new ways of looking at things.
- Change habits: Spend one entire day doing things you never do. This is fantastic for neuroplasticity, gets you doing new things, gives you a new perspective on life and is also a lot of fun.
- Further Education: Consider further education, which wont just provide more career opportunities but will also give your brain a serious workout.
Your diet has a tremendous affect on your mental health. Consider your general diet and ask yourself whether it is healthy. Consider adding the following:
32: Fish: fish is the number one brain food and is extremely healthy for the rest of your body too, being the number one source of omega 3
33: Antioxidants: These help to promote inner calm, to focus the mind and to improve memory and problem solving skills. Consider using dietary supplements for this.
34: Fruits and Vegetables: You know you need to eat your five a day, but are you actually doing it?
35: Whole Grains: Scientific studies have shown that diets which include whole grains reduce the chance of stroke and chronic disease.
36: Avocado: The mono-saturated fat in avocados increases blood flow to the brain, helping promote good mental health.
37: Power Foods: Learn about power foods like radishes, Goji berries and blueberries and incorporate them into your diet.
38: Olive Oil: breaks up blood clots and improves blood flow.
39: Garlic and Onion: Excellent antioxidants which will help blood flow to the brain.
40: Bad Stuff: You know what the bad stuff is. You know you like it. But you also know you shouldn’t be eating it.
41: Sugar: Refined sugar is a naughty no no; just avoid it.
Note: I’ve intentionally left out meditation because I’ve already written a fully guide to all the ways meditation makes you more intelligent. Take a look.
Another great brain training activity is to try these Techniques To Improve Your Decision Making Skills.
Do Brain Training Games Work?
You have to be pretty sceptical about whether brain training works, don’t you. I mean let’s be completely honest here, some brain training games are so simple that they involve clicking on which piece of text is red.
Now, if you want to get really really good at knowing what’s red and what’s green then yeah, brain training games might be flipping awesome. But really who wants that? Do brain training games truly train your breain in anything meaningful and quantifiable?
I spent Thursday training my brain with Lumosity. I was shooting down birds. Then on Friday I was finding words that began with TO.
I’ve been trying these brain training games for about a month, mostly from a research point of view, trying to work out whether brain training games actually work. And I’ve constantly been question, ” Is brain training real or a fad?”
I’ve done memory testing games, reasoning games, spatial awareness and tons more. According to Lumosity, the place that made these games, spending a few minutes playing makes you “Smarter and brighter”(somehow while real video games make you less intelligent. . . really, are they that different? I think not.).
The idea is that playing games boosts your IQ. Tons of people buy into this idea and thanks to the commerciality of the prospect, major video game developers like Nintendo are doing similar things.
Lumosity has grown 150% year on year since 2005. It has over 35 million players. In January the Lumosity app made $25 million.
Lumosity was cofounded by Michael Scanlon, who left his PHd in Neuroscience at Stanford University. According to Lumosity’s head of communications, Erica Perng “The games are founded on the principles of neuroplasticity, the fact that the brain can reorganise itself to complete certain challenges.” Sounds great, that, reorganising your brain to be good at spotting which words are red.
Brain training games aren’t just used online, either. In the US they are used in schools and there’s some evidence that suggests that brain training games can help lower the chances of developing early onset dementia.
So, do brain training games really work? Is brain training real?
So, are these brain training games really scientifically validated? Or is it just ultra-commercial money-gobbling rhetoric? In 2008 Susanne Jaeggi’s study showed that memory training could indeed raise an individual’s IQ. But then a group of psychologists at Georgia Tech performed a similar study which concluded the opposite. Then there’s Dr Adrian Owen’s 2010 study which showed that games involving reasoning and memory planning improved an individual’s ability to complete these specific tasks but had little affect on anything else. We get better at the games themselves but not at anything else.This explains why the end test results of sites like Lumosity is so positive: the gamers do get better at playing the games (which is what the test is on) but not better at anything else.
So, what are we left with? The scientific evidence suggests that a) people reorganise their brains to get better at specific challenges; b) the challenges we’re getting better at are challenges like spotting which words is red, c) end tests results on sites like Lumosity mean very little and d) people really want to take control of their brains.
Huh. If only there were some scientifically proven ways to train your brain. Oh wait, we just do this complete free thing that actually works.