Every now and then we all get that brain fog where you aren’t able to do anything, really. The slow afternoon after lunch at work, maybe at night before you have to write that paper, or maybe you aren’t able to resist going on to your phone and playing Flappy Bird for a little bit. We’ve all been there at one point or another. Sometimes, I find myself staring at the screen facing writer’s block as well. However, there are a few things that you can do to remedy those. Here are 6 weird tricks to make you smarter!
- Get Your Dance On! When you’re dancing, not only are you sweating off some calories, but you’re actually also activating your cerebellum, which in turn produces a protein that makes neurons communicate more effectively. With increased connectivity in the brain, you’ll find you respond to thinks more quickly, learn things faster, and a whole bunch of other awesome things.
- Learn to Be a Lefty. It’s usually very easy to do things with your dominant hand. However, studies show that trying to do something – even as trivial as brushing your teeth – with your less dominant hand trains your brain to relearn the whole thing in a completely new way. Doing this, you’re activating and engaging many different parts of your brain, which aids in new memories and new wiring in the brain.
- Go Shopping. Have you ever returned home from a long day of shopping exhausted? Shopping involves a number of physical and mental activities. You’re engaging socially, you’re having a good cardio-walk, and you’re doing calculations on how much you’re spending. In the end of the day, it’s like giving your brain an obstacle course to go through. Plus, you’re getting some new clothes as well! Don’t overspend, though. Stress can shrink and damage the brain.
- Learn to Juggle. A 2013 study has shown that learning to juggle can actually activate unique parts of the brain, and furthermore, allow them to grow. Juggling takes not only the physical and mental tasks needed to perform the action, but it also exercises your brain in pattern recognition, spatial orientation, and it involves a lot of motor skill. When you’re done, you have a new party trick as well!
- Play Ping Pong. Ping Pong involves a lot of physical and also mental exertion. You have to keep your eye on the ball, keep moving left and right, and be aware of how your angled strikes can affect where the ping pong goes. Add the social interaction that you get from your opponent, and the doses of dopamine you get while trying to win, and you’ll see how it really exercises your brain.
- Shower with Eyes Shut. Showering with your eyes closed really causes your brain to focus and exercises your memory in you trying to remember which parts of your body to soap, which you already have soaped, and which still needs soaping. It’s a very neat, yet easy trick to refine your focus and memory, and in fact, Ron White, 2-time USA Memory Champion, does so. “It’s a great way to break out of your routine and really engage your senses!”