You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more. We spend so much time focusing on improving our body; shouldn’t you also focus on learning how to train your brain?
When you train your brain, you will:
- Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
- Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
- Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Think dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Keep reading to learn how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills, as well as your short and long term memory.
1. Work Your Memory
Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer, has come up with the following memory workout:
When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.
If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book, The Creative Habit, she says that most people cannot remember more than three.
The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies. Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.
Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.
What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.
For example, say you just met someone new:
“Hi, my name is George”
Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you.” Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.” Then, try to sneak his name into other parts of the conversation: “I also really loved that movie, George!”
2. Do Something Different Repeatedly
By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster by improving specific cognitive functions.
Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.
It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does. And with enough repetition, you made that happen… Read More >>>
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