Lots of us exercise our bodies. But can we say the same for our brains?
There’s actually some good scientific evidence that as you grow older, actively exercising your brain cells does them good. But most of us still slump in front of the TV too many nights running, or spend time doomscrolling (which, by the way, has been linked to depression in teens).
Puzzles are one good way to keep your gray matter working. For instance, while you might think jigsaw puzzles are basic toys for young children, a really big jigsaw puzzle can be a fascinating challenge. The biggest in the world has over 40,000 pieces according to manufacturer Ravensburger. If classical tourist views aren’t your thing you can try a Keith Haring, Banksy or Andy Warhol jigsaw, dip into the world of fantasy or even complete a huge mandala.
You might find sudoku a good wake-up exercise. Sudoku books can be slipped into a purse or backpack for those odd moments on the subway or between meetings. If you enjoy sudoku you can explore further in the realms of kakuro and futoshiki. You can even buy a sudoku board game which lets you make your own sudoku.
If numbers are not your thing, try Scrabble for a similar experience using words instead. Vocabulary counts for a lot in this game, but so does being able to get your highest-ranking letters on squares that offer double or triple scores, so you’ll also need to be cunning if you want to win.
While keeping your brain active is a good thing, sometimes you may need to get it to settle down. If you’re a worrier, stressed, or feeling hassled, try a coloring book. Originally these books were for children, but a whole sector of mandala and meditation coloring books for adults has now developed, designed to help you relax and calm your mind.
Fidget spinners may be yesterday’s craze, but the idea of keeping your fingers busy to help relax your mind goes all the way back to Buddhist and Catholic rosaries. Beads, rubber balls, spinning tops and even Rubik’s cubes and similar toys can all help you conquer worries and stress.
Of course, you’ll want to look on Vipon before you head to Amazon to buy any of these cool gadgets. You might be lucky enough to score a big discount, as well as triple word score in Scrabble!