The lockdowns and unnecessary stress happening around Europe have a detrimental effect on our brains. While most people would prefer coming home from work and turning on the TV, it’s not a good way to keep your brain active. Mental gymnastics have and always will be the best way to do that.

So what is the best way to prevent the symptoms of a deteriorating mind? Well, there isn’t one best way but a host of ways. As such, here are the six ways to keep your brain active.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Remember jigsaw puzzles? For all of your Gen Zs that have no idea what a jigsaw puzzle is, it’s essentially a puzzle that requires the user to piece together oddly-looking mosaic pieces. It’s the perfect mental gymnastics game that keeps your brain preoccupied and healthy. Not only that but jigsaw puzzles are a great way to slow down the effects of dementia.

Similar puzzle games can engage multiple cognitive abilities and benefit long-term cognition. This is precisely why many people consider jigsaw puzzles as a hobby. It keeps your brain preoccupied, active, and healthy as you get older.

Reading Books

Much like jigsaw puzzles, Gen Zs and even perhaps Millennials have forgotten what books are all about. While the emergence of the internet makes it easy to access any book, it also helps deliver books in many forms. Nowadays, it’s quite popular to listen to audiobooks. Audiobooks are essentially a different format to read books. Quite the contrary, you listen to audiobooks, not read them.

But listening to “Crime and Punishment” and reading it are two different things. It’s not the same when you read the newspaper and watch CNN Morning News. When you listen to something, you’re not challenging your mind. That’s why reading books is far more beneficial than listening to audiobooks.

So if you want to keep your brain active, we suggest you pick up a book you really like and start reading.

Riddles

Riddles, or mind games as some call them, are a great way to keep your brain active. In addition to that, riddles test and sharpen your brain beyond belief. They open the door to new possibilities that would be otherwise unimaginable. Just consider them as brain test games where you test the limits of your imagination. The answers of riddles oftentimes require us to think differently. The answers to riddles lie beyond what the conventional brain would consider.

They’re puzzling, come with varying degrees of difficulty, and tap into your problem-solving abilities. As such, riddles are a great way to keep your brain active. Even more so, there are thousands of riddles out there to challenge you and keep you preoccupied. We suggest you start with basic-level riddles before moving on to higher difficulties. As such, why don’t you give it a try at solving the someone’s mother riddle?

Learning Something New

‘We learn something new every day.’ There is a reason why quote-lovers like to quote this particular quote. Pardon the epanalepsis, but the quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson holds more weight now than ever before.

Some studies suggest that engaging in vocabulary tasks boosts long-term memory and creative skills. One of these tasks is to set your mind to learning something new. This could be a new language, a new word, or any other task associated with vocabulary. But let’s assume that writing poems or learning French isn’t your cup of tea. What then? Well, don’t feel left out as taking up any sort of hobby is an excellent way to keep your brain active.

So if you’re not a fan of Shakesperean poems, why not pick up a guitar and learn how to play it? Other hobbies that you can also pick up on include building Lego sets, gardening, painting, etc. By trying to learn something new, you are making your brain active and keeping it sharp.

Meditation

Meditation is the gateway to insight, natural presence, and self-awareness. People that meditate like to talk big words. While we have nothing against mediating, quite the contrary we support it. Meditation has been found quite beneficial for your brain. One of the most impressive benefits is that it preserves your brain from the effects of old age.

In addition to the age-old method, other methods that keep your brain active include various martial arts techniques. Anything from tai chi to Chinese martial art boosts cognitive functions and slows the progression of dementia.

Exercise

The last addition to this list is something that anyone can do. Unfortunately, what makes exercising so difficult is that very few of us have the will to do it. While most of us are aware of the physical benefits of exercising, are you aware that working out also benefits the mental side? Through the power of “hitting the gym,” you’re not only preserving your physical health but your mental health as well.

Simply said, you are keeping your mind sharp and active, negating the effects of dementia, and maintaining proper brain functions. If you ever need another reason to start exercising, this is the one.