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Memory Spring Monthly

7 Activities to Improve Your Neuroplasticity


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One of the most popular terms in today’s brain health and memory improvement environment is Neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is defined as the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Our brain’s Neuroplasticity allows our body and system to make changes to compensate for injury, disease and respond to other changes in our situation or environment. It also allows us to continue to develop our mind and memory.  Yes, the theory of use it or lose it is true when improving your memory and brain health. 

The increased awareness of Neuroplasticity has created a huge interest in memory improvement solutions.  As a matter of fact, it has created a whole new online gaming industry that is focused on improving your memory and brain health.  In addition, many people have become more deliberate in doing their brain teasers like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and other challenges.  
 
In our Maximizing Your Memory sessions, the one question we most often hear is: ”What else can I do to improve my memory and brain health (Neuroplasticity)?” Here are 7 activities to help you work on your Neuroplasticity. 
 
1) Learn a new skill or hobby - New research is showing that one of the best ways to keep your brain sharp and improve your memory and brain power is to learn a new skill or hobby. The research, using primarily older adults, revealed that those people who learned mentally challenging new skills, such as digital photography, were mentally sharper (memory and responsiveness) than those people who were just doing brain games and puzzles.
 
2) Use your non-dominant hand - If you’re right-handed, use your left hand to eat, comb your hair, brush your teeth, write your name, or try putting your mouse pad on the other side of the keyboard. This practice of non-dominant hand use stimulates communication between the two hemispheres of the brain, helping to improve mental capacity as well as physical balance. Another idea: tai chi and yoga are physical activities that coach people to use the right and left side of the body equally.
 
3) Do things with your eyes closed (besides sleep) – Doing things with your eyes closed forces your brain to depend on other senses (sound, taste, touch, etc.) to make decisions.  This stimulates your brain to increase the sensitivity of those other senses and processes.  Getting dressed, eating, walking, are all things that we take for granted with our site.  Take sight away and those simple tasks become entirely new experiences and opportunities to improve your memory and brain health.
 
4) Doodle - Recent research suggests that doodling helps us maintain focus and remember more effectively. A recent study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology found that subjects assigned a doodling task performed 29 percent better than their non-doodling counterparts on a surprise memory test covering the material they were learning simultaneously. Doodling improves attention, making it more likely that you will acquire things that you later want to recall. 
 
5) Play Games with Time Constraints - Research has shown that we can better maintain intellectual skills critical to our work performance by giving them a good "workout." One of the best ways to keep these skills sharp is to play games against the clock, since timed activities force us to focus, think fast and be nimble in our approach. 
 
6) Wear Your Watch Upside Down - Give your brain a little stretch each time you check your watch by wearing your watch upside down. This subtle change doesn't take much effort, but will force your brain to think out of its comfort zone in making sense of time gone a bit topsy-turvy. These kinds of "neurobic" activities may seem simple and fun, yet are a terrific way to challenge your brain's flexibility and routine.
 
7) Use a Map - Satellite navigation (GPS) has made our lives significantly easier; however, it has also made our brains lazier and less efficient at the same time! Go back to the old school and use a map to navigate every now and then. Working with a map exercises the part of your brain responsible for understanding spatial relationships.
 
 
Take action on implementing some of these activities today and you’ll feel a boost in your brain power sooner than you think!  For more information on developing your Neuroplasticity, contact us at 530-297-6464 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 

 

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