Brain games might be fun, but they are unlikely to do a lot to make you smarter or keep you ticking. Instead, try these things to help slow down brain aging.
1. Believe You Can Get Smarter:
It’s possible that believing you can get smarter is essential to building intelligence. One study showed that students who were told it was likely to get smarter significantly outperformed those told they could not.
Just how much did self-belief work? On tested material, the group believing they could get smarter retained 85% of what they learned. The ones told that smarts were static only recalled 54%.
It’s very likely that the brain takes cues from beliefs, so they work cooperatively.
It’s difficult to do these days, but talking to friends and family may help with memory. Talking on the phone or using virtual platforms like Facetime or Zoom can provide some very important communication.
One study that ran from 1998 to 2004 found that people who had higher levels of social interaction scored higher on memory retention tests taken at two-year intervals. Interestingly, what you’re talking about doesn’t matter—just that you’re engaging in a back and forth dialogue with others.
This cognitive benefit is unlikely to occur with social media use. Instead, look to real socialization involving two-way communication.
Daily exercise may also help boost memory and overall smarts. There is evidence to suggest that exercise increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which promotes the growth and formation of new neurons.
This could help with memory retention.
4. Drink coffee or tea:
Daily caffeine consumption may also boost focus and improve long-term memory. This may work by caffeine effect on stimulating and releasing dopamine and norepinephrine while blocking adenosine.
Just be sure to limit consumption in the afternoon and evening. That’s when you’ll want the opposite effects.
These four daily habits could help you get smarter, remember more, and keep your brain healthy into the future.