A quote from a John Lennon song, this post does not speak about the kind of mind games we associate with manipulating others, but rather with mind games and activities that stimulate the brain. You may have heard the expression, “Use it or lose it”, mostly referring to physical fitness. The same holds true regarding the brain.
There are varying opinions as to whether brain games actually prevent dementia, but even if they do not, exercising the brain with mind games, learning a new language or musical instrument helps the brain make new connections which are beneficial in keeping the brain “sharp”, especially as we age.
Crossword puzzles are good, but there many others that engage the brain in a positive way. There are brain game apps that are great for exercising the brain and keeping brainwave connections strong. Many of them will show your progress and are actually a lot of fun. Give them a try and find the ones you enjoy. Just make sure you are challenging yourself and not just doing the easy ones!
When we engage in these activities and add social interaction with it, such as healthy competition, we promote a sense of connection and comradery which in turn enhances our mood and self-esteem.
It is worth noting that engaging in only one game or mind activity, limits the overall benefit. We should attempt to participate in areas that not only enhance our math/sequencing skills, but also our curiosity, reasoning, and artistic aptitude.
This is not only for those who are aging. Young children all the way up to adulthood benefit tremendously from exercising the brain in this way. Since children’s brains are very flexible and still developing, introducing a variety of activities and mind stimulation prepares them for life’s challenges. They do receive this in school, but should never stop there.
There is much controversy surrounding the benefits of computer-generated games… it depends on the game and the length of time a child is allowed. We certainly do not want to encourage overuse of these games, creating an addictive behaviour, and they should never replace face-to-face social activities.
I do not infer that I am an expert on any particular game or puzzle, and it is always imperative that you do your own research and find the activities that best suit you and your family. The “brain teaser” type games can be fun, especially when you take up the challenge with others!
This article is to simply encourage you to use your brain in a fun way to keep it tuned up!