Hey, busy awesome readers! Today I am thrilled to introduce you to my fabulous guest, Christine, who is a writer, avid reader, and lover of all things storytelling.
Today she’s here to talk with us about her top 6 ways to exercise your mind, and I know you’re going to love it.
So without further ado…here’s Christine!
6 Clever Ways to Exercise Your Mind
By: Christine H.
It’s nice not being a college student anymore. There’s no more wild, stressful all-nighters during finals week. You eat a much more balanced diet. And best of all, you actually get paid for the work that you do, instead of paying out for it.
However, there’s one thing that many of us miss after school, and that’s the feeling of expansion and progression that comes when we’re constantly learning new things. Being in that environment of challenge and change encourages us to constantly re-evaluate our ideas and learn about new ones.
It’s said that almost half of college grads never read another book after college. If that number is accurate, it’s truly a shame. Reading is good for your brain, as well as your emotional health. Studies have found that reading decreases your chances of getting Alzheimer’s by 250%. It increases empathy, as well as vocabulary and memory.
Of course, reading books isn’t the only way to get these positive effects! There are lots of ways to keep our brains active. We know that we feel more motivated, energized, happy, and interested in the world when our minds are challenged. So, if you’re craving something good for your brain, try one (or all!) of my favorite tips.
Listen to Podcasts
Radio shows might seem like an outdated media form, but they’ve found new life with podcasts. And while naysayers may believe podcasts are an excuse for loudmouths to ramble, the truth is that there are amazing casts out there with really high quality. Whether you’re into storytelling, history, investigative journalism, or advice, there’s something out there for you. And the audio-only form allows you to tune in while you’re taking care of other things, for example:
A few of my favorite shows are The Moth, This American Life, Radiolab, and Stuff You Missed in History Class.
Choose a Documentary Instead
Thinking of watching a movie tonight? Maybe you should consider a documentary instead of the latest action thriller. Documentaries are a great way to learn about something new and get a slice of life beyond your own. What’s more, it’s also a great night’s entertainment. Documentaries aren’t all dry stacks of facts. Some of the best storytelling and dramatization today happens through documentary formats.
Play Games Together
Even better than a family movie night is a family game night. Games encourage us to strategize and interact. Just recently, I was introduced to the game Timeline, which challenges you to place historical events on a timeline in relation to each other (i.e. what do you think happened first, the invention of the baguette, or the first European colony in Africa?) What was so great about this game was that it put events from history class into perspective and inspired all of the game players to look things up to learn more about them.
(Paula’s note: Looking for a fun, free word game? You got it! Download it here.)
Get Involved in the Community
Take a closer look at local politics and community efforts going on in your area. Chances are, you have some great ideas about what would be best for your own community. So get involved! Learn about local business situations, go to your public community meetings, participate in community volunteering, and get talking.
I know that this one might seem strange. After all, what can sitting by yourself in a quiet room and carefully thinking of NOTHING do to help you learn?
Well, meditation can do a lot of things, from controlling stress to healing addiction. Daily meditation helps your brain focus and retain information better. It also has major impacts on your creativity and flexible thinking, which helps you problem solve and become more compassionate.
Foster Your Own Creativity
Finding a creative outlet is one of the best things that you can do for your brain, as it motivates you to continue learning and challenging yourself.
Unfortunately, even if we’re doing something we enjoy, it can sometimes be hard to make ourselves stick with it. So, whether you’ve decided to improve your dance moves, set aside time for sketching and painting, or start making your own cake recipes, try these motivational techniques to stick with it:
- Set external deadlines for yourself
- Join a class or a club
- Get the proper materials, and use new ones as incentives for yourself
What do you like to do to keep your mind limber? Share your tips below!
Christine is a professional writer and an avid reader who’s passionate about storytelling in any form. At any given moment, she’s in the middle of at least three books on anything from psychology to ninjas. Although she’s a marathon swimmer and enjoys camping in the mountains, she believes there’s nothing better than a carton of ice cream and a Dawson’s Creek marathon. She blogs about marketing here. Follow more of her writing on Twitter @readwritechill.