By Raven Fon
Neurobics is defined as “activities or mental tasks designed to stimulate the brain and help prevent memory loss.” Sounds pretty boring, right? Surprisingly, some of the things that give your brain a healthy workout aren’t boring, but strange.
Performing the following 7 exercises on a regular basis will stimulate growth of new neural connections, strengthen nerve cells, and increase the production of nutrients which improve memory.
1. Brush your teeth with your other hand.
Instead of using your predominant hand, use the other one. This goes for opening the toothpaste tube and applying it as well.
Scientific studies have shown that when we use the hemisphere of our brain that isn’t dominant, it brings about rapid and significant expansion of the cortical surface area.
2. Shower with your eyes closed.
Using only your sense of touch, or tactile senses, turn the taps on, adjust the temperature, find the soap and proceed. Remember to be careful with this one, and trust your feelings and memory.
Our sense of touch can trigger various responses within our brains. Strengthening our tactile senses allows for better communication between “what we touch” and “what we feel.”
3. Turn your world upside-down.
Well, maybe not your whole world- just a few familiar objects. Take your wall clock, framed picture, or whatever you have around your house and place it upside-down. Houseplants are probably not a good idea, but anything that can’t spill should be fine.
When we see the same things every day, our brain, specifically our left hemisphere, recognizes the familiarity and passes over them. By switching things up a bit, we engage our right hemisphere and start taking notice of new shapes and tones of the things we see.
4. Breathe scented oil in the morning.
Take a bottle of your favourite scent; whether it is vanilla, cinnamon, peppermint, or sandalwood, keep it close to your bed. As soon as you wake up in the morning, take a nice big whiff. Then get out of bed, and proceed with your morning routine as usual. Do this for at least a week to start reaping the rewards. If you don’t have scented oil, even your partner’s armpits will work. Seriously.
When we link unusual scents to regular experiences, we build new neural pathways and strengthen our resilience against memory-loss.
5. Look at the top and bottom shelves in a supermarket.
Retailers know that when you go shopping, your attention goes to what is at eye-level. Change this up a bit. Start looking at the items on the top shelf and bottom shelf as well.
When we break our usual routine and try new things, we are triggering new responses within our brain. New experiences and learning new things is one of the most beneficial exercises for our brain.