Three Proven Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp

Three Proven Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp

Keeping the mind challenged every day is a sure-fire way of keeping your brain in optimal condition. Thankfully, there are ways to do this that don’t include cracking open a textbook or solving quadratic equations. Challenging shouldn’t mean stressful!

Short-term memory, reaction time, processing speed and decision making are all skills that can be sharpened with entertaining mental stimulation games. Your brain is like a muscle – the more it flexes, the stronger it will be.

Here are a few of our top picks to give yourself a mental workout:

Buy some stamps and get writing

Handwritten letters are becoming a lost art in our email-obsessed world. Physically putting pen to paper helps clarify your thoughts in a concrete way – and besides, who doesn’t love getting a personalised letter? Even if your grandson, daughter or friend knows their way around an iPhone, there’s always a sense of excitement that comes from slicing open a personalised message crafted just for them.

This tradition rich in sentiment also has mental benefits. Letters of gratitude have been shown to make people feel happier, more satisfied and even eased symptoms of depression. Modern mailboxes are usually reserved for bills and junk, so why not send some surprise positivity? From the stroke of a pen, you have the power to show your appreciation to loved ones, encourage a friend or even improve your own well-being.

Get your trivia hat on

Think you’re smarter than the average bear? Prove it with some trivia. If it’s geography, Australian history or even The Beatles, you can bet there is a trivia game dedicated to it.

While there are tons of online resources, you won’t have to look hard to find free trivia nights at your local café, bars and community centre. Life experience and wisdom are desired assets in the trivia world so why not give it a try – you might surprise yourself.

If trivia isn’t your forte, Suduko, crosswords and even online chess are all fantastic ways to give your brain a fun mental workout. 

Turn to tech

An endless mine of intellectual stimulation, social connection, and entertainment waits for you behind the elusive worldwide web. And it’s a skill well worth working on. Studies show that surfing the internet prevents memory loss in those over 50 and can reduce the chances of depression by more than 30 percent.

If you can skilfully navigate your way around the internet, chances are you are bound to find something that piques your interest. If you have ever wanted to enrol in a free Harvard course or hear from Barack Obama, now’s your chance.

YouTube is also an incredible free resource for swotting up.It’s not just a space for vloggers, gamers, and talk-show hosts but also an incredible opportunity for learning. If you’re interested in geopolitics, art history, physics, philosophy or want to know how to build a brick wall, rest assured someone has shot and produced their very own video in Netflix-style quality.

So why not dive in? Courses in improving your tech skills are commonly provided freely at community centres, libraries or even tech stores.