No matter what degree or experience we hold, sometimes doing the same thing each day can make us feel dull.
If you want to keep that three-pound brain sharp, it’s best to exercise it regularly. To that end, we’ve compiled eight fun and easy ways to train your brain. Not only will they help you concentrate at work, but you’ll also feel healthier and expand your knowledge along the way.
Our brainy boot camp will keep your organ on the tip of its stem, helping you stay in shape for work and enjoy a healthier, vibrant life.
Your brain is an intricate work of art. It has over one billion neurons that team up with trillions of synapses to send signals that make us live, breathe, and feel. As we age, the brain begins to decline just as other bodily functions do.
Learning new information takes longer, multitasking becomes difficult, and strategic thinking flies out the window.
But this process isn’t uniform, and by taking steps to keep the brain healthy, individuals can drastically slow the aging process. Although researchers are still determining specific methods for doing this, most agree that the following tactics are helpful:
- Managing stress
- Eating healthy
- Regularly stimulating the brain
If you want to keep your brain young and sharp, we have several techniques that can help.
How to Train Your Brain
You don’t have to love puzzles to sharpen your mind. Here, we’ll outline eight different methods to boost your brainpower. Consider it your own personal whetstone.
1. Attend Symposiums
If you want to stay on the up-and-up about your profession, attend local symposiums.
Presenting at symposiums forces you to engage your knowledge, organize it, and present it in a creative and compelling manner. Even if you decide to only attend lectures, this is a great way to increase your knowledge and network.
Finding a symposium is easy. A simple Google search or category search at the ADA’s website will return any upcoming conferences.
2. Stay Up-to-Date on Studies
Signing up for a newsletter or reading recent studies is also an excellent way to keep your brain active and focused on your work.
Reading quite literally awakens the brain, heightening the connections to the left temporal cortex. Even in a resting state, this activity continues for several days after reading. It also increases white matter, working memory capacity, and attention span.
While reading in your practice expands your knowledge, don’t restrict your horizons to non-fiction. Studies have found that most advantages stem from fiction novels.
3. Learn a New Language
Not only will it help you with clients, but learning a new language increases brain function.
Studies indicate language learning creates growth in the hippocampus and parts of the cerebral cortex. Individuals who can speak multiple languages have better memories, possess greater concentration, and are more cognitively creative.
Finally, speaking alternate languages also increases native language capabilities, making individuals eloquent speakers with a wider vocabulary.
4. Stay Organized
Staying organized may sound like sheer common sense, but it’s beneficial to the brain. Researchers have found that organized environments increase production output due to this.
When we are disorganized (whether it be in regards to a cluttered room or senseless electronic file-keeping), our brain finds the mess disorienting. Rather than focusing on the task at hand, the clutter competes for our attention.
To compensate, the brain splits its power. Unfortunately, this has several negative results:
- You fail at filtering information
- Individuals become unable to switch between tasks
- The brain’s working memory decreases
When information and articles are arranged neatly, the brain’s power is directed at one task rather than 100.
Therefore, it’s advisable to keep daily chores and settings organized and clutter-free.
We can practically hear the groans and rolling eyes, but exercise will increase brain power and train the organ to stay active.
Aside from the physical benefits, regular aerobic exercise enlarges the hippocampus, which is responsible for verbal memory and learning. However, it ‘s because of those physical benefits we won’t mention that the brain’s chemicals alter, creating a healthier environment within your noggin.
It’s so advantageous that it can encourage the growth of new blood vessels and blood cells.
If you want to train your brain, it may be best to start with your body.
6. Conduct Studies
There is no better way to immerse yourself in your practice than by conducting your own studies.
This process forces your brain to work at its best. Not only must researchers learn, but they’re required to question findings, create unique perspectives, evaluate information, and organize it all into a working hypothesis.
Learning alone reorganizes the brain and makes nerve cells more efficient and powerful. However, the creativity involved in contemplating innovative ideas encourages activity in the default, executive control, and salience networks, the three parts of the brain scientists believe are responsible for creativity.
When conducting research and studies, you’re working more parts of the brain than you might realize.
Whether its articles about your practice or some daily musings in a journal, writing comes packed with a host of brainy benefits. Handwriting is especially helpful.
Writing by hand increases neural activity associated with meditation, and it’s healthy for the brain’s gray matter. It activates parts of the brain devoted to thinking, language, working memory, and healing.
Numerous storytellers have found their voice through writing longhand, including JK Rowling and Stephen King. The act impacts creative parts of the brain that are difficult to stir.
8. Play Brain Games
Finally, consider some fun brain teasers. These come in a variety of forms, ensuring there is something for every individual to enjoy:
- Soduko puzzles
- Escape rooms
- Memory games
Apps offering brain exercises are too numerous to count. These activities promote brain health while reducing stress and anxiety, allowing participants to focus better in other areas of their lives.
Donning Your Thinking Cap
Finding ways to train your brain doesn’t have to be an exhausting endeavor. Once you take the time to do it, you’ll be amazed at how much healthier you feel.
ADA is here to help you on your journey. Our blog offers insightful articles for dentists across America.
Remember the tidbit about exercising? It’s easier than you think. Read our article about finding time to exercise beyond the dental office and get those neurons firing!