To be more productive, active and develop the performance of your brain, you definitely need to exercise it. And it is this concern that attempts to answer this article that deals with “How to exercise the brain“.
The brain is built by a cognitive activity throughout life. From early childhood, stimulation allows setting up and develop neural networks. Thereafter, the more the synapses – areas that connect the nerve cells to each other – will be solicited, the more they will form new connections and will be maintained if they are maintained, thus delaying the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.
We only use a small percentage of our neuronal capacity because we do not stress our brain enough; we are too often used to a life routine devoid of challenges and novelties.
It is necessary to vary its activities to mobilize the different regions of the brain, and exercise regularly, acquired skills starting to regress when the cognitive structures are no longer solicited. This is true at any age, and even more so as you get older.
Any activity requires the involvement of two cerebral hemispheres. The hemispheres are each specialized in certain fields.
The Left Hemisphere of the Brain
The left hemisphere is rational, logical. He treats language, words. He attaches importance to details. It calculates, plans, analyzes, interprets.
A lot of things in our way of life make it possible to develop the left hemisphere: reading, writing, listening to a conference, making lists, keeping an agenda, doing logic and math exercises.
The Right Hemisphere of the Human Brain
The right hemisphere is intuitive. He is a generalist and attaches importance to the big picture. It processes images, colors, dimensions. It captures the emotional climate of a communication.
To develop the qualities of the right hemisphere: draw, make collages, create or color Mandalas, meditate, sign up for an artistic activity (painting, music, …).
How to Exercise the Brain by Working on the Main Cognitive Functions?
Cognition is the set of mental processes that relate to the function of knowledge and involve memory, language, reasoning, learning, intelligence, problem-solving, decision-making, perception or attention.
Cognitive functions are the abilities of the brain to communicate, to perceive our environment, concentrating, to remember an event or to accumulate knowledge.
In our lives, we all handle a lot of information. We do a lot of activities thanks to our spirit (we see, memorize, move, talk, etc.). Human cognition is our “thinking apparatus”. This cognition has different roles (memorize, speak, move, etc.): these are the cognitive functions, that is to say, the different major roles of our cognition. This cognition has the function of perceiving, paying attention, memorizing, reasoning, producing movements, expressing oneself.
Cognitive functions are therefore different facets of cognition (of human thought), which each have their role, and which allow us to carry out all our actions. How to exercise the brain by working on the main cognitive functions?
1 – the Memory
Memory is the ability to record and retrieve information. Memory works by the system: short-term memory, working memory, and long-term memory.
Memory, to record experiences. She is solicited at every moment of life. This major cognitive function makes it possible to retain all kinds of information, whether one is aware of it or not, for a few seconds or throughout life: personal memories, cultural knowledge, automatic procedures. Attention and concentration are lost in the various memories, and especially in the work memory, which makes it possible to plan and anticipate.
Developing immediate memory helps the brain to quickly retain new information and quickly become operational.
This cognitive function of the human brain plays a crucial role in many everyday activities, such as reading, reasoning, and mental calculations. To keep a good memory, it must be formed.
Listening to music that you do not know and trying to memorize your lyrics increases the concentration of acetylcholine, the chemical responsible for developing the brain and improving memory. It helps to build separate neural connections.
Music, even electronic sounds and frequencies are foods for the brain. The brain emits brain waves that change depending on the activity. Feeding the brain with sound waves increases one’s mental energy.
The brain works on electricity. Each of the 15,000 million neurons in the brain (minus the 50,000 who lose every day) produces a small electrical current.
The general electrical activity of the brain can be measured with various sensitive recording devices. The state of brain waves can be modified with relative ease and voluntarily through techniques such as biofeedback (a process that allows an individual to learn how to change physiological activity to improve health and safety. Performance), meditation and internal images.
2 – the Attention
Attention is a complex but critical cognitive function in human behavior. The attention corresponds to a process of selection of an external stimulus (sound, image, smell …) or interior (thought) and the maintenance of this stimulus to the consciousness. Attention mobilizes all the senses.
The attention, to apprehend the information, is essential in the daily newspaper. It allows concentrating, as well for the memorization of information, the comprehension of a text, as the search for a given thing. Thanks to the selective attention, one selects the information to be treated in priority, among all the information subjected to the senses at every moment.
One way to exercise attention is by trying every week to break a routine: change directions when leaving work or take the stairs instead of the elevator to a different floor. The simple act of changing habits stimulates brain activity and encourages thinking differently.
3 – Language (Phasia)
Phasia is the ability to communicate through language (because we are in “phase”). Phasia encompasses the activities of [removed]speaking) and receiving (hearing, decoding, and understanding).
This is the reason why we talk about aphasia in case of language disorder.
Language is the human characteristic par excellence. We use the different facets of language every day, whether written (reading and writing) or spoken (comprehension and expression). Our analytical capabilities give us the ability to understand the precise meaning of information and to read between lines.
The diversity of reading is important. Alternate readings: newspapers, news magazines, novels, biographies, etc.
Writing is a good method, forcing one to work mentally to make a text readable and understandable. Language skills tend to be indicators of high intellectual coefficients. It is therefore essential to develop them on a more conscious and voluntary level than orality.
4 – Visuospatial Functions
Here, we refer to gnosis or perception – it covers what I recognize, what I see, what I put meaning on:
– Sensory recognition and identification capabilities (visual, auditory, tactile, taste, olfactory);
– The location in the space of our body (where I am, where are the parts of my body …)
The visuospatial functions make it possible to orient oneself in space, to perceive the objects of our environment and to organize them into a coherent visual scene, to mentally imagine a physically absent object.
Mental imagery, for example, intervenes actively in thought processes, in dreams, in problem solving (such as mental calculation), in anticipation of events (as in chess), in memorization (of itineraries for example), in the comprehension of a verbal description, in the reasoning, in the recognition of objects presented in unusual orientations.
5 – Reasoning or Executive Functions
Executive functions are a set of cognitive processes that allow for flexible and context-specific behavior. To deal with complex situations like solving a problem or organizing an event. To cope with this, sophisticated functions of logic, strategy, planning, and reasoning are used.
The executive functions are several. They serve to adapt to the many variations of our environment.
– Do I have to remember a phone number?
– I want to cross the road but a car tumbles and I have to hold back at the last moment?
– Do I make the effort to stay focused on my work rather than daydreaming?
Executive functions make it possible to control our actions.
The executive functions act like managers whose objective is to use all the other higher functions of the brain and put them in order for a good execution. For example, sending a letter requires knowing what to write and remembering ideas to communicate (memory and aphasia), knowing how to write by hand or typing on the computer (apraxia), finding paper and a pencil (memory and gnosis), to know that a letter is sent in a stamped envelope (memory and gnosis), to stick the stamp (apraxia), to go to the Post office to deposit the letter in a mailbox ( apraxia and gnosis).
Executive functions cover several skills:
– to organize
– to plan
– to judge
– to demonstrate abstraction
– be flexible
– to know how to inhibit his unsuitable actions
– to be self-disciplined
– to keep a coherent reasoning
– to show creativity