Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Stimulate Your Mind

Continuing on from yesterday’s post on Follow Your Questions, I find #13 Stimulate Your Mind an interesting one. This is because when you really think about it, it has connection with everything else in the 24 Daily Habits That Will Make You Smarter.

Click on the article to view a larger image.

In this post I’m going to list down some of the ideas of stimulating one’s mind, particularly on brain games or exercises—they’re mostly stuff I’ve tried and tested (#10)—and attempt to link them to the rest of the 23 daily habits from the infographic.

The following exercises will strengthen the brain’s higher functions such as memory, creativity, reaction time, and critical thinking abilities. Brain exercises (help tone and shape your mind) are like physical exercises (help tone and shape your body). The idea is to increase speed, alertness, focus, attention, spatial reasoning, problem solving, and reaction time.
  1. Brain games and training. Luminosity (#17 and #23), Brainist and Games for the Brain. I’m very tempted to sign up for Luminosity’s personalized training program…
  2. Puzzles such as crosswords, word finds, or math puzzles. I’m currently trying out cryptic crosswords and they’re so tough! Bonza! is a great crossword where you arrange the pieces to solve the puzzle. I only started playing Bonza! (#17 and #23) in July this year after being introduced to it by my brilliant-brainy guy, Simon P. (#15 and #21)
  3. Pub Quiz (#21). Go easy on the beer, though! When I’m not participating in the weekly pub quiz, I play QuizUp (#17 and #23), a free and awesome app where you get to either pick your opponent (friends) or any random person in the world. I was introduced to QuizUp only yesterday, again, by my brilliant-brainy guy, Simon P.
  4. Chess. I think it’s a great way to exercise strategic thinking prowess. Many have said it’s fun to play but it’s also something that I’m still having trouble getting started because it’s scary. (It’s time tackle #19!) I’m particularly interested in strategy games because they help develop long-term thinking and make you think many steps ahead.
Come let's play Bonza!

So, all in all, I’m going by the principle that the best way to increase one's intelligence is to stimulate one's mind! Here are more stuff I regularly do.  Pick a topic that I really enjoy (I love the spelling, grammar and Italy quizzes in QuizUp). #20 and #23 – Go for stuff that interests me and would like to learn more about (I enjoy learning languages and Duolingo is a great free app to explore and be exposed to new tongues). #4, #7 and #23 – Set aside an hour a day and read passages from a book on that topic or subject. #20 – Open up your mind to new things! #24 – Don’t forget physical exercise and a nutritious diet for a happy brain and help mind juices flow! Right now I’m doing #8 and #12 by writing this post.

My QuizUp

What’s not in this post but are available elsewhere on my blog:
  • #2: Follow your questions—I do this often, which explains my passion for reading and exploring things. I did a post on this yesterday.
  • #5: Watch educational videos instead of TV—I’m a big fan of TEDTalks. Find me here!
  • #14: Take online courses—I’m a big fan of MOOC and my favorite platform is Coursera. Check out my posts here.
  • #16: Subscribe to feeds of interesting information—My Twitter lists and Facebook are full of interesting and useful stuff. I also share them here and here.
  • #18: Use a word-of-the-day app—Take a peek on my blog’s sidebar for the Italian and Spanish WOTD.
  • #22: Set aside some time to do nothing—Yes, it’s really good for you. I’ve tried it and doing nothing is liberating.

What’s NOT in this post and NEEDS ACTION:
  • #1: Come up with 10 ideas every day
  • #3: Play devil’s advocate
  • #6: Read the newspaper
  • #11: Start a “Stop doing” list