Ever feel like you have mental cobwebs, like your brain is dusty, overloaded or can’t think straight? You can’t remember like you used to, you’ve experienced “baby” or “chemo brain”, you aren’t sleeping well or maybe your brain is just working so hard it’s stressed. Numerous things affect our brain and how we think. Whatever the impacting factors, we all should stimulate our brain in various ways and also allow it to rest.
The potential our brain has to learn and grow is astonishing. The old understanding we had a finite number of brain cells has been proven false. We can continue to learn and grow brain cells all our lives. Our brain is at peak efficiency in our young adult years, but that doesn’t mean our brain can’t do amazing things right up until our last breath.
How to stimulate those brain cells to work well and also allow it to rest is the ultimate balancing act. While in school, working or in middle age we use our brain all the time. We may feel we don’t need to stimulate it any more. Not true! The more we use our brain in different ways, the better it will function. The more you use your brain, the more brain you have to use.
We all have a comfortable sweet spot of what we naturally enjoy in life and in our brain. The challenge is to engage the “non-dominant” or less comfortable portion of our brain. A person who loves words or numbers should try more creative endeavors in their free time. An artistic, creative person should work on number or word puzzles. The idea is to use your strengths to help you-when trying to remember for example, but also don’t forget to use the other, less comfortable half of your brain.
Brain dominance is discussed in detail at Memory Minders to assist those we serve identify their strengths to help their memories. Understanding my own brain dominance has been beneficial to me and it can help you. It assists us to identify and stimulate different components of our brain. Stimulating all of our brain makes it more useful in everyday life.
Use your non-dominant hand or try something that doesn’t come naturally. When you try new things and step out of your comfort zone, you are exercising your brain. New brain cells will grow to help you communicate, remember, learn more and keep mentally sharp.
While stimulating our brain is clearly important, so is sleep. It is an integral process for our brain. We typically need 6-7 hours so our brain can process the day. Don’t take it for granted; it’s as necessary for your brain as good blood pressure is for your heart.
Listen to your brain and body. Get enough sleep and exercise that brain in new and different ways each day. See how it will sharpen your mind and clear out those mental cobwebs.