Fun brain games are becoming more and more popular these days, and there is a good reason why.
Today, our brains are working faster than ever but unfortunately, not nearly as efficiently as before. Multitasking and super-fast flow of information that came with the golden age of IT brought us some problems our ancestors didn’t have to deal with. Most of us are working several things at once, which is detrimental to our cognitive functioning.
The study conducted by Stanford University shows that multitasking affects our task performance and the ability to memorize information. Modern life and juggling between numerous tasks also increase the levels of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
Luckily, most people are aware of all the consequences that such busy life has. This is why there are some fun brain games that have become quite popular nowadays.
Let’s see how we can empower our brains and keep them in best possible shape!
Board and card games
Board and card games are an excellent way to exercise your imagination, creativity and improve social skills. It’s proven that brains react positively to new experiences and playing these games may give you the “food” that your brain craves for. They include almost everything that our brains love – learning through adopting new game rules, an intellectual challenge, effort to think creatively and meaningful social contact.
There are many games you can play and train your brain. One of our favorites is Dixit, a card game that lets you be a storyteller and inspires your creative side. To increase your IQ and brain’s ability for strategic thinking, you can always opt for the proven games and play Chess. For a stunning tactile and visual experience, try Discworld: Ankh-Morpork, the more beautiful and creative version of Risk, the famous strategy game we’ve all heard of.
Games for exercising your memory
Experts agree that certain activities can indeed boost our memory and prevent the negative effects of aging. Besides playing fun brain games and doing memory exercises, you might want to think about changing your daily routine as well. Getting enough sleep and eating veggies and fish are good ways to start. Experts recommend activities that won’t cost you a dime but that will keep your brain working like a clockwork.
Most of these “games” are in fact trying to survive the old fashioned way: without your smartphone apps. Instead of saving people’s phone numbers, try to memorize them. Do the math without a calculator and navigate through the town without a map to improve spatial and visual intelligence as well.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try to memorize a deck of cards. The current world record is 43 seconds, set by Ed Cooke, the author of “Remember, Remember: Learn the Stuff You Thought You Never Could” and the “Grand Master of Memory.”
Mobile apps and computer games
There are many apps for all mobile platforms, both free and available for purchase that are advertised as cognition and memory training tools. However, their magical effects on human brains have been slightly exaggerated. For example, Luminosity creators (a team of neuroscientists) faced a lawsuit because of the claims that their product can delay cognitive impairments. Most experts will rather recommend the fun brain games we listed above.
However, this doesn’t mean that apps and computer games can’t help. Just make sure that they require creative thinking and problem-solving. One of such games is Crazy Machines, where the player is given a set of components (cranks, gears, levers etc.) to build a machine that will take them to the next level. World of Goo is another unique puzzle game with a great physics system that will certainly stretch your mind. If you want to combine action and the laws of physics, try Portal and Portal 2.
What else can we do to empower our brains?
Researchers recommend two essential activities for boosting your brain abilities. The first of them has nothing to do with “brain games” and problem-solving such as chess or Sudoku. Physical exercises that increase blood circulation and heart rate have proven to be extremely beneficial. They feed the brain with oxygen and other necessary nutrients so all your brain regions can work properly.
Swimming, running, hiking, aerobics or riding the bike – whatever makes your heart work faster will help. The Mayo Clinic experts recommend 150 minutes of cardio workout per week.
Also, any new and challenging activity can keep your brain sharp – from learning how to eat with chopsticks to studying a new language, as long as you get the brain off the autopilot. The key is in the mental stimulation and feeling truly motivated for learning.
What do you do to keep your brain in good shape? Try the fun brain games we recommended and share your favorite ones with us!