The more I dig, the more I find out about building a better brain. It seems new research is coming fast and furious. Probably boosted by interested baby boomers wanting to live long and lucid!
Today’s tip is easy and not so new. But it’s power to build and maintain focus and concentrate is well-known and timeless. What is it? Playing games! That’s right, play games like Scrabble or Boggle and you’ll build a better brain!
While playing these games, you actively practice focusing techniques. Unlike video games where your brain eventually goes on autopilot, these games engage your mind in focused work. For instance, playing Scrabble demands that you remember what tiles have been used and what are still available. Plus, you need to recognize patterns and be able to manipulate letters and words, both of which require input from the language areas of your brain.
This is important, as research has shown that low linguistic ability in early life may increase the risk of low cognitive function and Alzheimer’s disease later in life. In other words, build your vocabulary, play with words and build your brain.
Of course, there is one other benefit to playing games. You get to socialize. It may be with your spouse, a group of friends or your whole family. Being with friends and family in a positive, social atmosphere releases specific neurotransmitters that …. wait! That’s another tip for another day.
Here’s something you may find interesting, especially if you are concerned about cognitive decline and brain disorders like Alzheimer’s. A study was conducted in Minnesota with 678 nuns. Initiated by researcher David Snowden, this study followed the women from 1986 to the present date. It’s on-going research that’s looking at brain diseases in the elderly. You can find out more about this incredible study at the University of Minnesota.