In an article published by Well+Good, Jennifer Zientz, head of clinical services at Centre for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas, and Professor Christine Gall, Neuroscientist at University of California Irvine’s School of Medicine, provide expert insights into the science of neuroplasticity and how it can benefit our memory and cognition over time.
Professor Gall explains that engaging in critical thinking and staying curious about experiences are two powerful ways to rewire the brain in a healthy way. While healthy behaviours, such as eating nutritious food and exercising do improve brain health, it is equally important for our brains to be cognitively challenged.
In this article we are provided with some simple exercises to boost memory and cognition.
Engage in critical thinking: Take the time to critically analyse a recent book or movie. By deconstructing the themes or reflecting on what you have learned, you are encouraging your neurons to adapt and reconnect.
Encourage healthy dinner table conversations with your family and children: Mealtimes are an excellent opportunity to strike up intellectual conversations with your spouse or kids. For example, a ‘word of the day’ activity is a great way to get those creative juices flowing.
Channel your inner reporter: Summarise your day into a concise headline. Make your headline catchy by using creative words and descriptive adjectives.
Get a different perspective: To avoid ‘status quo’ thinking, engage in conversations with people whose views are different from your own. This exercise is not intended to change your mind, but rather to exercise cognitive flexibility.
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