Activities that Challenge and Stimulate Your Brain
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Work Hard, Play Hard. This is the motto you will often hear repeated in the bustling, incredibly fast-paced city of Hong Kong. With house prices and the costs of living skyrocketing, life for many has become much more focused on the former rather than the latter. Having time to relax and pursue some hobbies and interests is, however, very important both for your physical and mental health. They are not just a way to pass the time but also a means to improve the quality of your life. Keeping your mind active by engaging in brain stimulating activities along with adapting other key lifestyle habits has been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
So give yourself some well-deserved downtime, while simultaneously engaging and challenging your mind. Multitasking at its finest! Here are a few suggested activities that will help stimulate your brain:
Play a musical instrument
Boost your creativity, analytical skills, memory, problem solving, and fine motor skills by playing a musical instrument! Playing music strengthens the corpus callosum, the link between the two halves of your brain which is responsible for creating new connections. Musicians also learn how to multitask, pay attention to detail and quickly handle both cognitive and emotional elements simultaneously. All of this helps your brain stay focused and sharp.
The bonus here is that any type of reading material, from the latest Wall Street Journal to a Harry Potter novel, will also be of benefit to you. Reading reduces stress, improves your vocabulary and language skills, and much more. It has been proven that people who read literary fiction show higher levels of empathy and emotional intelligence, which in turn boosts your communication skills. Communication skills obviously play an important role in the workplace.
Puzzles and Games
Give your brain a work out with mentally stimulating activities such as Sudoku, crossword puzzles, board; video and card games. They are all known to increase neuroplasticity, which essentially helps optimize your brain by assisting with a wide variety of changes in neural pathways and synapses. This can help improve your ability to see things from different points of view and become more aware of new patterns, as well as boosting cognitive abilities.
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