Indeed, rewiring your brain is possible.
While you might be thinking your brain only develops once you mature from your adolescence, you might be mistaken.
Throughout your everyday life, new activities, information, and habits are all forming an effect on how your brain shapes itself and develops.
Even techniques to break up your day will help your brain, too.
There are actual exercises you can do in order to strengthen your brain and reduce cognitive fatigue day in and day out.
Once you learn how to use neuroplasticity exercises to your benefit, you’ll be able to work more efficiently and optimize your focus.
Let’s talk about it.
What is neuroplasticity?
Neuroplasticity is defined as: “the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury.”
Basically, it’s the brains ability to learn and adapt.
For a while, we believed that humans were born with lots of neurons, synapses, and other characteristics that died off over time as we age. However, that’s not necessarily true.
We have the power to actually develop our brains in ways that we want to further our cognitive abilities.
It’s significant to understand this so that we can make time to work on improving our brain function to help us in other facets of life, rather than doing nothing about it and hoping for better results.
Let’s get into the 8 neuroplasticity exercises that can rewire your brain.
1. Get meaningful, quality sleep
This is a big one.
It’s important to note the role of sleep in your cognitive function.
“More specifically, when one sleeps, the brain resets itself, removes toxic waste byproducts which may have accumulated throughout the day .
This new scientific evidence is important because it demonstrates that sleeping can clear “cobwebs” in the brain and help maintain its normal functioning.”
Not only is getting sleep important, but the quality of it is even more significant.
Just because you’re in bed for 6-8 hours per night doesn’t necessarily mean you were sleeping for all 6-8 hours.
Frequent trips to the bathroom, tossing and turning, hot temperatures, heavy digestion, and other hinderances can majorly decrease the quality of your sleep and thus, ruin the cognitive restoration process.
Follow these tips to get solid sleep:
- Finish meals 2-3 hours before bedtime
- Avoid caffeine in late afternoon/evening
- Avoid taking naps in late afternoon
- Dim lighting/eliminate blue light 1-2 hours before bed
- Have a consistent sleep/wake time daily
2. Use your non-dominant hand more often
Using your non-dominant hand more often is an excellent way to stimulate the other side of your brain and form new pathways for neurons to travel.
Specifically, the frontal N30 part of the brain gets stimulated when doing activities with your non-dominant hand.
“N30 amplitude increase may be a result of altered sensory gating from motor areas known to be specifically active during non-dominant hand movement.”
Try doing simple tasks such as brushing your teeth, eating, or washing the dishes with your non-dominant hand and see for yourself!
3. Play more chess
We’ve all heard how smart people who play chess are.
The reason is because playing chess is a great way to stimulate your prefrontal cortex in your brain.
The more your brain learns to adapt and see new patterns, the more developed your overall cognitive abilities will be.
Add chess to one of your new hobbies with your friends or play a game of chess online whenever you have some spare time.
Your brain will thank you for it!
4. Expand your vocabulary
Learning new words will not only make you sound smarter, but it will also make you smarter. Seriously.
Experts have claimed that learning new vocabulary will create more neural pathways in your brain and improve both your visual and auditory cognitive abilities.
Simple ways to improve your overall vocabulary will be to read more often and challenge yourself with more difficult reads over time.
5. Healthy diet
Just like everything else in your body, it’s critical to stick to a healthy diet in order to have optimal brain functioning.
Consuming a diet rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, and a variety of vitamins/minerals will ensure that your brain has what it needs to be at its best.
6. Learn a new language
Learning languages can expand the neural pathways and strengthen the connectivity between the regions.
This is a great way to enhance your learning ability and overall neuroplasticity.
7. Creating artwork
Painting or other forms of artwork are perfect ways to target your brain’s development.
“Creating artwork enhances the connectivity of the brain at rest (the “default mode network” or DMN), which can boost introspection, memory, empathy, attention, and focus.”
So join an art class or just do some DIY painting at home and watch your brain blossom!
All in all
These are all super effective activities at developing your brain.
Rather than wasting your time doing activities that cause cognitive decline, replace them with these stimulating hobbies.
Try one, or all of them to see which ones you enjoy!