Depending on what you do for work, there’s a chance your brain is not stimulated as much as it should be. I don’t know if there’s a statistic on how much you should challenge your brain per day and I don’t care to do any research, but still. My retired father recently asked if he could use my old Nintendo DS to play Brain Age and Brain Age 2. He doesn’t play every day, but I respect that there is an attempt to stimulate learning and brain activity.
And it got me thinking about what I do to keep my brain active, even though I’m young and it’s not a huge concern for me (yet?). Aside from work, blogging and any writing I do is certainly good, but I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of complicated things going on here that require focus and critical thinking. I just kind of pour out words on whatever I want and click publish.
I think the biggest thing I do that keeps my brain active is playing Words With Friends. I’ve been playing nearly every day for several years, mostly against random people online. Trying to maximize points by strategically using bonus tiles or big words does force a level of thinking that challenges me to some degree. I can’t just do it on the side while talking to someone or while half asleep.
I’ve also been playing Mario Kart Tour every day for over a year, though there’s nowhere near the same amount of brain activity going on, so as much as video games can certainly be great for thinking and puzzle-solving and all that, some games really aren’t the best, even if you have fun playing them. In related news, I also got a Nintendo Switch this month and have been enjoying a higher caliber of gaming once again.
And not everything needs a screen. My mother does crosswords in the newspaper and sometimes I do the sudoku, and those are also good brain activities, provided you’re working at an appropriate skill level. Doing a puzzle or a Rubik’s Cube can also be good.
Currently, Ontario is in a second total lockdown, and since this is now our new normal and we’ve adjusted, I think having things to do that not only pass the time safely or amuse you, but also help you stay mentally healthy and active is important, and will continue to be important even once this pandemic is over.
What do you do to keep your brain active?