Write your name. Now write your name with your other hand. How did it feel? You just gave your brain a mini workout.
Novelty – (the flip side of the challenge coin) – is yet another way to give your brain a needed workout.
When you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got. (with apologies to the grammar police).
When you do the same things in the same ways you have always done them, your brain shifts into “auto pilot” and does not have to work very hard. This is not a good thing. I suggest that you find things (that you always do) and do them in a new and/or different way. Here are several ideas to jump start your brain:
- eat a meal with your other (non preferred) hand.
- use your computer mouse with your other (non preferred) hand.
- sit in a different place at the dinner table (or place of worship).
- take a different way home from anywhere.
- brush your teeth with your other hand. (Warning – Be careful! A tooth brush can do damage to the inside of your cheek. Trust me!)
- describe everyday things in great detail – force your brain to take notice.
- try a new kind of food or restaurant.
- walk a familiar route and make at least three discoveries that you never noticed.
- find an outrageous outfit (on sale of course) in a style you never have worn (try it or buy depending on your need for a new you).
- watch a TV show you have never seen before.
Another means of kicking your brain into a higher gear is to concentrate on using all of your senses. Each of your senses is located in a different part of your brain. The more senses you incorporate into your daily routine, the more efficiently your brain will store information. For example, most of us go through our day without taking time to “smell the roses” literally and figuratively. When you eat, take time to look at your food, smell it, experience the texture, before you taste it.
Try finding your way around a (very) familiar part of your home blindfolded. Your brain is so used to depending upon your visual sense, that it will have to work harder using your other senses to find its way around. Very good brain stimulation (as long as you make sure of your safety).
“Trying these activities was fun, but how is this kind of activity good for my brain?” you might ask curiously.
My answer: Your brain was designed to respond to what is different or novel. This novelty nudges your brain to take note and respond. Brain imaging technology has provided information stating that when your brain is engaged in novel or challenging activities, more of it “lights up” or becomes activated. Engaging your brain by responding to new stimuli and situations will help to keep it strong and in good working order as you age. This is a good thing!