Your brain is one of the most important parts of your body. The brain acts as your body’s control center. And it’s in charge of the many voluntary and involuntary functions of your body, such as your breathing and heartbeat. Given the role of the brain, you need to ensure that you keep it healthy.
Benefits of Good Brain Health
Mind games can benefit your brain in many ways.
Reduce the risk of mental disorders
Probably the most notable benefit of playing brain games is that it can reduce your risk of mental disorders. For instance, observational studies suggest that engaging in mental activities, such as playing games, reduces the risk of dementia.
Prevent Memory Loss
Memory loss is a common problem in the aging population. It’s bound to happen to anyone. But you can keep your chances of losing memory lower if you keep your mind active through brain games.
Good brain health is also important for your longevity. If you focus on improving your brain health, you can maintain the sharpness of your mind and your mobility as you age.
Games to Boost Brain Health
One way to improve brain health is by keeping it stimulated. You can do this by playing brain games during your free time.
Word puzzles are great games to challenge your brain. Some popular examples include crossword puzzles, Scrabble, and Boggle. These games can boost your working memory. They can also become learning experiences because the games help you expand your vocabulary.
Some word puzzles are played with others. You can go online to find active communities that play competitive word games online. Or you can just play with your family members.
Sound riddles are often played by children, but adults can have some fun with them too. One person will play mystery sounds that another person will guess. Or one person will narrate a story that the other person must solve in a given time. To successfully play this game, you’ll need to have good hearing and focus. Proper auditory hygiene and a visit to the doctor for an ear microsuction to remove built-up earwax will surely help keep your competitive edge.
Thought-provoking riddles, and other puzzles, can help you produce dopamine and reduce your stress levels. Both of them are important in keeping your brain healthy.
Chess is a two-player game, but if you don’t have anyone to play with, you can go online to battle another user or a computer. You can also download an app on your phone.
As mentioned earlier, mind-stimulating activities can lower the risk of mental disorders. Chess is one of these activities. And aside from being enjoyable, this benefit may be one of the reasons why seniors often play the game. One study specifically found that chess can prevent dementia to some extent.
Sudoku is a popular game that originated in Japan and rose in popularity worldwide in the early 2010s. In Japan, there are over 600,000 Sudoku magazine sales each month. And thanks to this popularity, the game has become more accessible worldwide. For instance, a Sudoku game is published in newspapers, just like crossword puzzles. Sudoku is a number puzzle where you need to insert numbers one to nine in a grid. Each row and column should only have one of each number.
This puzzle was found to help brains stay sharp. In a 2019 study, researchers found that number puzzles improve brain functions of people aged 50 to 93.
A jigsaw puzzle is a classic game that people of all ages can enjoy. There are varying levels of difficulty. You can play alone or play with others. And you can even have your finished product framed if you want to.
Studies found that playing jigsaw puzzles can help improve a person’s short-term memory and problem-solving skills. It’s also a great way to relieve stress. Completing a jigsaw puzzle requires mindfulness and focus. It almost becomes a form of meditation. And during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, jigsaw puzzles became popular in helping people ease their stay-at-home anxiety.
Mind games are very accessible now, thanks to the internet. They’re also not as intrusive. So you can easily sneak a game or two within your day. For example, you can try completing one Sudoku puzzle while you take a 10-minute break from work. At home, you can form a jigsaw puzzle before bed. If you go to the office, download a game app on your phone and consider playing a round or two on your commute to work.