Building a sense of accomplishment is a difficult thing to do. In the East, many people believe being well-educated is being an accomplished person. As my parents are both Korean, I was raised and taught this too. This is why learning is a big part of my life. I strive to be knowledgeable in every category: history, mathematics, linguistics, sciences, etc. Exercising your brain and improving your mental abilities is essential to feeling a sense of accomplishment. How can you do this? Here are 5 simple ways you can exercise your brain.
1. Read a Book
When is the last time you picked up and read a book? For those people who do not remember, find a book you are interested and read it. Your brain, like every other muscle is your body, will atrophy without constant usage. There are many books out there that target brain exercise such as Brain Building in Just 12 Weeks by Marilyn vos Savants and Brain Builders!: A Lifelong Guide to Sharper Thinking, Better Memory, and an Age-Proof Mind by Richard Leviton. If you don’t know what you are interested in reading, go to a local bookstore and browse through various different kinds of books. There are millions of books out there; one should spark your interest.
2. Do Something Out of the Ordinary
Take a different route to work, wake up at a different time, or do anything that you don’t normally do. Your brain is receptive to changes and when you do something different, your brain responds to that change. There are tons of things you can change that are practical: brush your teeth a different way, change your workout routine, or rearrange your room.
3. Learn Music
Whether it’s singing, playing an instrument, or even learning to read music, the brain significantly increases in both size and activity. Music uses a different part of the brain than most other activities that we do. By using another side of your brain, your brain will be less likely to atrophy or will atrophy at a slower rate.
4. Notice Different Things
Let’s say you’re driving to work. How many traffic signs do you see? What order do you see them? What are their shapes, sizes, and colors? Most people do not actively use their brain. When you watch television, do you just see what happens? Try to notice the props and the backgrounds.
5. Exercise your Memory
Try drawing a pig on a blank sheet of paper. Don’t worry if you cannot draw well, but try to draw the little details. This is a little activity I learned from Brain Age on the Nintendo DS. Drawing little details help you remember things. Another exercise is to try to memorize a license plate you saw in the morning and recall it later in the evening. How many phone numbers do you have memorized (other than your own)? It’s only 10-digits. Try to memorize one a day or every two days. This will improve your memory.