Before a baby comes into this world, one of the most important things parents focus on is creating a stimulating environment. As the child grows up, most parents look at different toys and other materials that would boost their baby’s development.
As a human being jumps from being a child and into an adult, the endless need for brain stimulation continues. And even when you reach your later years, your doctors will often tell you how important brain stimulation is for you.
Why all the fuss about stimulating your brain?
Why Brain and Intellectual Stimulation Counts
Your brain requires stimulation because:
- It prepares you for everything you do.
From childhood to adulthood, stimulating your brain prepares you for what’s in store for you. Each day presents new opportunities for learning, and if your brain is not used to being active, you might miss out on a lot. By ensuring constant stimulation, your mind is prepared to process and analyze huge amounts of information any given time.
- It keeps you from getting bored.
Get used to the lack of mental stimulation and you’ll find yourself always feeling bored. Someone who’s used to the mental activity will always find books to read, tasks to do, and things to explore.
- It strengthens your relationships.
It’s not just with your significant other. This also includes relationships between you and your peer groups, your family members, your colleagues, and other people you encounter on a daily basis. Constant intellectual stimulation allows you to share that overflow of learning with everybody around you. This means that conversations with you are never boring and people want to be around you more often because they know that you’re someone who allows for stimulating conversation.
I even use my brain to figure out the next adventure or experience I’ll plan for my friends or husband. It activates my creativity and helps me to push into thought patterns I wouldn’t normally access.
- It motivates you to aim for something bigger.
Learn about eagles now, and you’ll probably want to learn about doves tomorrow. Once you get hooked to the amazing flow of information into your brain, you’ll never want to stop. You’ll crave for something more, something new. Your ability and desire to learn will spiral out of control in such an amazing way.
The good thing about this is that it creates new habits for you. It won’t just apply to the things you want to learn – you’ll also start creating bigger and better targets for yourself, whether it’s about your career or personal life.
- It lessens the probability of mental illness.
Especially for older adults, you’ll understand what the expression “use it or lose it” means. Did you know that adults with very minimal brain activity are more likely to contract conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s when they get older?
These realities should give you a pretty good reason to start thinking about increasing your brain activity on a regular basis. All in all, these reasons show you that your intellectual capacity relies mainly on how much and how often you use your brain. Think of it as exercise. The more you work out, the more muscles you build and the stronger you get. The same concept goes for your mind.
How to Stimulate Your Brain
Now that you understand the importance of stimulating the brain, how do you get started?
Remember that anyone can increase their intellect, no matter where you currently are. You don’t need to go to a fancy institution or consult with an industry expert to get the ball rolling. It’s all about wanting to improve your intellect. The moment you connect with your will to improve your own mental capacity, you can find yourself doing anything.
Here are a few things you can try to help stimulate brain activity:
Don’t just stick to the books that talk about your current interests. Explore other topics as well. Remember that the goal here, ultimately, is to learn something. Sticking to what you already know is not bad – you can read about them as much as you desire. But widening your range is even better.
- Explore a different perspective.
Is there a cause that you’re interested in at the moment? If you already have your own stand about the topic, go ahead and look at the opposite side. You can even try to engage a peer to a friendly debate, taking not the side that you support, but the side you don’t agree with.
Trust me, this is not about torturing yourself. It’s about expanding your attention to things beyond what you already know. Remember that it’s not about disproving something. It’s all about exploring all possibilities.
- Work on puzzles.
This is one of the most common ways to stimulate brain activity, and it remains in lists like these through the years for one reason – they’re amazingly effective. If you’re fond of crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and other similar brain teasers, then exercise your brain by using huge amounts of brain power at a single time. It can also help with stress.
Want some extra challenge? Work on a higher level of difficulty each day that passes.
- Learn a new skill.
Contentment may be a good thing in life. But when it comes to learning, more is always better.
Don’t be content with whatever you know at the moment. If there’s one good thing about each person’s skill set, it’s the fact that this is a very flexible thing. Try learning a new language, or find out more about a skill in a field that’s entirely different from what your current expertise is.
- Do research.
Research is not something that you should only be doing for a school assignment or for a task at work. It can also be something you do for yourself.
Did you come across a difficult challenge? Find out how other people would go around solving it.
If you heard a cool piece of trivia today? Find out more about it. If you saw a cool new gadget? Find out more about what kind of technology was used to make it work.
I once spent a total of 10 hours learning about the best video camera that was on the market and why?
I learned about all its competitors, pros and cons to each camera, which was the best and worst for different price ranges, and why you should choose which camera for which purpose.
Yes, it was different but it activated my thinking in that area of technology. And of course, I learned a ton of things I didn’t know during those 10 hours of research.
Make intellectual growth a part of your daily routine and you’ll be surprised about how far you can actually go. It’s all about forming healthy habits. From there, you can become a smarter and better person in no time.