7 Games That Can Help You Keep Your Mind Sharp

Do you feel distracted, have trouble concentrating, or forgetfulness? If so, you probably need a mental workout. Exercising your brain is important. It can increase mental capacity, improve memory and help delay cognitive decline.

The good thing is that brain exercises are not as difficult as you think. You can easily train your brain by playing games. You read that right, and if you want to boost your brain power, look no further than these seven budget-friendly and fun brain games.

1. Scribble

Scrabble is not just a simple game of vocabulary and memory. It is not enough just to be able to put long words on top of words. You need to strategically place the correct letters in certain fields, which will give you valuable word and letter bonuses and, in turn, higher scores. Also, you need to pay attention to the options you leave to your opponent. It’s even more important to do all these mental tasks in a very short amount of time.

There are also elements of tactics, strategy and concentration that mentally train your brain during the game. It has even been found to benefit people with neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that Scrabble awakens dormant areas of the brain. They suggested that engaging in it frequently could strengthen your mind and possibly delay the effects of Alzheimer’s.

Socializing while playing turnovers can also keep your mind sharp. It forces you to compare your views with those of others and helps you see differently. Having fun with others also reduces your stress levels. This is important because prolonged stress can negatively affect your cognitive performance, which can lead to irreversible changes in your brain.

2. Mix

Another word game to train your brain is Boggle. Like Scrabble, players must form words from a random set of letters to play it. But Bogle has a Scrabble kick. First of all, Boggle is a game where luck plays no part. All Boggle players work with the same letters, so it’s basically a test of wits. Another thing is that Bogle moves faster. It is usually completed within three minutes, while Scrabble is completed in approximately 10-12 minutes.

As a word game, Bogle has the same mental benefits as Scrabble. It generally improves your vocabulary skills, concentration and quick wit. Since it’s a multiplayer game, interacting with others can also relieve your stress. One study found that adequate social support can increase oxytocin levels. This reduces anxiety levels and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system calming responses.

Another mental health benefit that can be seen more in Bogle than Scrabble is the improvement of logical thinking skills. As mentioned, Boggle is faster than Scrabble. For a shorter time frame, playing Boggle forces you to think and make connections between letters to form words faster and more creatively. This practice helps you think more logically and effectively, sharpening your problem-solving abilities.

3. Sudoku

Sudoku is another game that can help prevent and treat cognitive impairment, especially in adults. One study found that Sudoku-based problem solving and decision-making could be a tool for neurorehabilitation and cognitive rehabilitation therapy for Alzheimer’s and other neuropsychiatric disorders. The idea is that activities that require cognitive functions can keep your brain working better and longer, instead of declining with age.

Two other cognitive skills that will help your brain are memorization and deductive reasoning, which we often use in Sudoku. It is a common misconception that sudoku requires superior mathematical intelligence. You need to remember a series of numbers that go in certain places and then analyze which number should be placed to get the correct digit to win. Therefore, instead of mathematical skills, you need memory and logical skills.

Sudoku also strengthens your concentration. Once you’ve decided which number will make your puzzle complete, you’ll likely pay attention to your space and timing and avoid distraction at all costs. You focus on where the numbers are placed, think critically to avoid mistakes, and ensure that digits are not duplicated in a row, column or section. Otherwise, all the fancy algorithms in your mind will probably disappear. This good concentration is another cognitive skill that not only improves your memory, but also slows down cognitive decline.

4. Crossword


If you have mild memory problems these days, crossword puzzles can help you. One study found that people with simple forgetfulness (ie, “missing keys”) had improved cognition and less brain shrinkage after playing crossword puzzles regularly. Another study also found mental acuity, or mental acuity, in older adults who regularly did crosswords and number puzzles.

Crosswords not only stimulate your mind, but also help rejuvenate your brain. Researchers from the University of Exeter School of Medicine and King’s College London found that participants who regularly used crossword puzzles had equivalent brain function ten years younger than their age. Specifically, they have better brain functions on tests of short-term memory accuracy and grammatical reasoning speed.

Playing crossword puzzles can be good for your emotional health. It is an invaluable way to relax. While some may be frustrated when they can’t find the answer, they feel great satisfaction after completing the puzzle. Also, although most people play them alone, others like to play them with family members and friends. Having conversations and having fun not only relieves stress, but can also improve social connections; both are great for the brain.

5. Jigsaw Puzzles

Another puzzle that should include this is the jigsaw puzzle. Like sudoku and crosswords, this puzzle game can give your brain a thorough mental workout because it requires different mental processes controlled by the left and right hemispheres of your brain. Several studies have claimed that jigsaw puzzles can improve cognition (left hemisphere) and visuospatial reasoning (right hemisphere).

Putting puzzle pieces together can improve your concentration, short-term memory, and problem solving in general. It can also spark imagination, increasing both your creativity and productivity. In addition, the puzzle will require you to constantly think critically and analytically, which will immediately increase your ability to solve problems. All of these benefits can benefit other skills, including creativity, memory, and stress management skills.

In addition, researchers at the University of Michigan also claimed that jigsaw puzzles and other puzzles can increase a person’s IQ. They suggested playing puzzles for at least 25 minutes a day could raise your IQ by four points. Since puzzles can improve our vocabulary, memory, concentration, and reasoning skills, it’s no surprise that they can also boost our IQ. In addition, sharpening the mind also means delaying cognitive decline.

6. Rummikub

Rummikub is a game from the 90s, so many people may not have heard of it. This is one of those multiplayer games for people of all ages. Like any board game, this is another fun way to keep your brain active in a mix of strategy and luck.

To play Rummikub, players take turns placing colored numbered tiles, usually in groups (runs or groups) of three or more. It is similar to the classic Rummy card game, except this is a tile spin. All players will create existing combinations to take advantage of their tiles.

Whoever can use every tile on their rack first wins. Although blind luck will get you into the game and the rules are relatively simple for young children to understand, it still requires brain functions to play the game. Since the board is constantly changing, you have to pay close attention to the game.

Rummikub requires you to keep your eye on the tiles and constantly devise ways to rearrange and add tiles to the board. These activities can eventually sharpen your sequencing, pattern recognition, basic math and planning skills, which can sharpen your brain.

7. Online games

When it comes to improving the brain, online games are often an overlooked option. In fact, like any game on this list, online games can also improve your brain by boosting your confidence, increasing social engagement, easing pain and injury, improving your mood, and giving you a sense of accomplishment. Plus, games can do wonders for your memory and concentration.

Online gaming also provides a protective measure against cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. One study found that strategy-based video games can improve cognitive control, intelligence, and higher-order cognitive skills in older adults, thereby preventing cognitive decline.

Specifically, the researchers found the most significant gains in global cognition (a test to detect potential cognitive impairment) and executive functions such as brain organization skills (or inhibitory abilities) and working memory. However, even if an online game is not based on strategy, such as online board games or word games, it can still provide mental stimulation.

When you play, almost every part of your brain is engaged, helping you achieve higher level thinking. Even if you’re just thinking about what to do next, it’s already working with deeper parts of your brain that can improve your development and critical thinking skills.

Final thoughts

Like any workout, brain exercise is something you need to maintain. However, it doesn’t have to be boring. There are countless ways to increase your brain power. The key is not only to find out what works, but also what works best for you.

Source link