mental stimulation

How to keep your mind stimulated and stay mentally active

January 16, 2024
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Maintaining a healthy mind is instrumental in our ability to think critically, learn new things, and remember information. 

In this article, we’ll explore effective strategies and activities to keep your mind stimulated and maintain cognitive skills—no matter your age. So whether you’re a student, young professional , or older adult, these simple techniques will benefit you now and in the future. 

Let's dive in!

Why mental activities are important for brain health

Maintaining mental activity refers to engaging in various intellectual, creative, and social activities that stimulate different parts of your brain. As a result, these activities can help enhance cognitive functions, such as memory, attention, and problem-solving abilities. 

So, whether it's reading a book, solving puzzles, learning a new skill, socializing with others, or engaging in other brain exercises (more on that next!), maintaining mental activity can have long-lasting benefits for your mental well-being.

The benefits of brain exercises

Now that you know about the importance of keeping your brain engaged, let’s explore one of our favorite ways to help you do it: brain exercises. 

Brain exercises refer to activities that challenge and stimulate your brain, promoting cognitive health and overall well-being and reducing the risk of cognitive impairment. 

Scientific evidence supports the importance of regular mental activity, too. In fact, studies have shown that engaging in brain exercises promotes the growth of new brain cells and strengthens neural connections. And all it takes is just a few minutes a day to experience these key benefits. 

7 ways to keep your brain mentally stimulated

So, what are some brain-boosting activities and exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine? Here are a few suggestions: 

1. Engaging in intellectual activities

Engaging in intellectual activities such as reading, writing, and learning new skills exposes your brain to new information and challenges, promoting cognitive growth. 

So set aside dedicated time for reading, writing, or learning, and try to make it a habit. This could be as simple as reading a few pages of a book before bed, writing in a journal during your lunch break, or taking an online course in your spare time. 

2. Solving puzzles and brain teasers

Puzzles and brain teasers require critical thinking, logical reasoning, and the ability to recall information, making them an excellent way to challenge your cognitive skills. 

Crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, and jigsaw puzzles are some examples that can improve memory, enhance problem-solving abilities, and boost brain health. 

Spend some time experimenting with different types of puzzles, and then incorporate your favorites into your routine for maximum cognitive benefits.

3. Exercising for the mental benefits

Physical exercise not only benefits physical health, but it also has significant mental health benefits. That’s because when you engage in physical activity, your brain releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Exercise also increases blood flow to the brain, delivering oxygen and nutrients that support brain health.

To reap the mental benefits of physical exercise, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as aerobic exercises, yoga, tai chi, or other activities that you enjoy and can easily incorporate into your lifestyle. 

4. Socializing for cognitive health

Social engagement plays a crucial role in maintaining mental sharpness. In fact, staying socially active has been linked to a reduced risk of cognitive decline and improved mental health. 

What are some social activities you can incorporate in your weekly schedule? 

5. Leveraging technology for cognitive enhancement

In the digital age, there are numerous tools and apps available that can enhance cognitive function. Fun brain training apps (like the Elevate app), mindfulness meditation apps (like the Balance app), and various memory games can be used to stimulate your brain and improve cognitive skills.

When choosing an app or tool, here’s a tip: find one that’s reliable and evidence-based. For example, the Elevate app was created in collaboration with learning experts and validated by an independent research analyst. Learn more about the study here.

6. Pursuing creative activities

Embracing your creative side provides a unique and enriching form of mental stimulation. Creative activities tap into different parts of your brain, enhancing cognitive functions and fostering self-expression.

Creative expression has been shown to have positive effects on cognitive functions like memory, attention, and problem-solving, encouraging divergent thinking and a flexible mindset.

7. Practicing mindfulness for mental clarity

Curious to learn about other ways to promote mental clarity? Look no further than mindfulness and meditation

Mindfulness and meditation practices can have a profound impact on mental stimulation by cultivating present-moment awareness, reducing stress, and enhancing mental clarity. It’s a great way to promote a deeper connection with your thoughts and emotions, too.

Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine doesn't have to be complicated. You can start by setting aside just a few minutes each day for meditation or engaging in simple deep breathing exercises. Mindful activities like mindful eating or walking can also help cultivate a state of mental clarity and focus throughout the day.

Bonus: There are many beginner-friendly apps available that offer mindfulness exercises. So if you’re looking for a meditation app to try out, we recommend downloading the Balance app. Balance offers 500+ guided meditations, mindfulness exercises, personalized programs, and expert advice, and it’s all free for your entire first year.

Use fun brain games to start stimulating your mind today

As you can see, maintaining a healthy and stimulated mind is essential for cognitive health. And it’s easier (and more fun) than you might think. By incorporating a combination of intellectual, physical, social, creative, and mindfulness activities into your routine, you can supercharge your brain, boost memory, and promote overall brain health. 

And if you want to take the first step toward maintaining a healthy mind right now, start your free trial of the Elevate brain training app on iOS or Android. You’ll get personalized brain training workouts, plus 40+ games backed by science and designed to improve your vocabulary, memory, mental math, and more. 

We can't wait for you to experience the benefits of a sharper mind for yourself! 


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