As we get older or settle into an adult routine that doesn’t leave much time for fun, we may feel as if our brain isn’t as sharp as it used to be. And we might be right.
The brain is a muscle. Like other muscles, if you don’t use it, you lose it. It’s important to continue seeking out ways to activate your mind and “sharpen the saw.”
Here are four ways to sharpen your mental saw in 2020.
Get a master’s degree
One of the best ways to exercise your brain is to go back to school. Sure, you may have gone to college and worked your brain regularly, but how long ago was that? Get your brain back into action by going back to school for your master’s degree.
Choose an accredited organization with a good reputation. For example, Harvard offers an MBA project that can teach you about business. Learn more about programs at Harvard by going to your online college resources like CollegeData. This resource is there to help answer your questions and get your application in. Once you receive your degree, you can land a new job or succeed in your own business ventures.
Many people worry they won’t be able to go back to school because of their family and professional obligations. Luckily, with online programs like Harvard’s, you can get all assignments done online on your own time. All you need is a laptop with a secure internet connection and ambition. There are even grants and loans available, so the only thing stopping you is you!
Read one new book each month
Literature is an excellent way to learn about different cultures and periods of time from the comfort of your own favorite reading nook. Not only will you learn more about the world, but you’ll also get the opportunity to expand your vocabulary and improve comprehension skills. Reading will also increase creativity and reduce stress. Plus, you can use your reading time as an excuse to keep the kids quiet.
For all these reasons and more, try to push yourself to read at least one new book every month. If you don’t know what to read, join a book club and read with others. You’ll also have the opportunity to discuss the book with other people.
Not everyone has time to read. If you simply can’t achieve your goal, try listening to audiobooks in the car or while doing chores.
Switch to brain-stimulating mobile games
It’s okay to admit it: You probably play smartphone games during the day. While these games are fun and mindless, they aren’t the best way to stimulate your mind.
Try trading out your current smartphone games for ones designed to increase cognitive functions. You’ll still have a way to kill time while also giving your brain a workout. You may even be able to challenge friends.
Playing on your phone doesn’t necessarily need to be mind-numbing as long as you use it wisely.
Learn a new language
Many schools in America don’t require children to learn a second language. Even in college, many students only need to take a couple of foreign language classes to fulfill a requirement. But learning a new language has countless benefits! Learning a language allows you to speak to a new population of people you wouldn’t have been able to effectively communicate with before. It also helps stimulate the brain.
There are a number of ways to learn a new language. The most effective method is to take classes in the language. You may even be able to study immersed in the culture through a study abroad program. If that isn’t feasible, hire a tutor who lives locally but is originally from your country of choice. Even tutors can get expensive, however. If that’s not an option for you either, read recommendations online to find a free or low-cost language learning app.
It’s important to stay sharp as we get older. However, it requires some effort on your part. Try out the things on this list to keep your brain active if you feel like you need a mental boost.