6 Clever Ways to Exercise Your Mind

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!

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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.

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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Radio shows might seem like an outdated media form, but they’ve found new life with podcasts.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.

(Paula’s note: If you’re looking for even more great podcasts, check out my posts: 4 Podcasts You Need In Your Life and 3 Top Podcasts You Will Love.)

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.)

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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.

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Meditate

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

(Paula’s note: Looking for more tips to stick with your habits? Check out my post, The #1 Secret to Forming Good Habits. Then, download my free habit tracker here!)

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Question:

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.

35 thoughts on “6 Clever Ways to Exercise Your Mind”

  1. These are great tips! I’ve recently joined the podcast bandwagon and LOVE them! I can do so much while listening and expanding my mind.

  2. I started with podcasts a little while ago, but wasn’t able to fully concentrate on them. Need to give it another try! I love the game idea btw. Such a fun way to keep your mind busy!

    1. Thanks Johanne! Yes, definitely give podcasts another try. Maybe you just didn’t find one that is up your alley yet 🙂

  3. I love having a creative outlet. But when I don;t have enough time to get get my creative juices flowing, I have to find other means. I just signed up for Audible (Behind in the times, i know. I was afraid of #buyingallthethings!). It has been a wonderful way to exercise my mind. I have been listening to business and personal development books. I also love to meditate. I am just getting back in the habit, but it really helps me.

    1. That’s fantastic! And welcome to the Audible club – isn’t it great? What books are you listening to?

      1. Thanks! I just finished The 12 Week Year. Trying to nail down my Q2 goals. 😊 I have a long list. I’m not sure what to listen to next. Maybe the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We will see. 😁

    1. Yes, I agree! Fiction, non fiction, young adult, anything! It’s just a great way to think about another story.

  4. This is a great list. A lot of people of recommended podcasts to me and I need to actually check them out. About a year ago, I took of abstract acrylic painting. I have learned so much about art technique by checking our youtube video of how-tos and just vids of people painting. I feel relaxed when I paint, but it adds to my self-fulfillment.
    Great post!

    1. Yes! Definitely check out some podcasts. You could even listen to them while painting 😉
      Also, I love that you sought out instruction on YouTube, what a fantastic idea!

  5. Great tips! I really want to listen to podcasts more. I LOVE reading, so that’s something I do pretty much everyday. I like the idea of finding other ways to be creative as well – I like to go to craft events at my local library. 🙂

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    1. What a fun idea! I wonder if my library has something like that; I need to check it out 🙂

  6. I love this post so much! This is something that means so much to me. My favorite things include listening to podcasts, reading, and delving into new topics every now and then! Thank you for sharing!

    1. I’m so glad to hear it, Stephanie! What are you favorite podcasts right now? I’m always looking for new suggestions 🙂

  7. Seriously, podcasts make me feel so much more intelligent. Ha. But really they are a great way to make the most of my time and sharpen my mind for sure!

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