The term neurobics refers to a form of cognitive training that is meant to take advantage of the brain’s plasticity by creating new neural pathways in the brain.
This is most commonly done by getting the brain to work in unconventional ways that go against what it is expecting. That’s accomplished by manipulating all five senses in weird and wonderful ways.
So how exactly do you go about practicing neurobics? Check out these 8 exercises that’ll get you carving new neural pathways in no time.
1. Brush Your Teeth With The Wrong Hand.
An article from the Wall Street Journal cites this method of neurobics as helpful because it uses the non-dominant hemisphere of the brain. This leads to expansion of the cortical surface area.
2. Shower With Your Eyes Closed.
The Guardian lists this one as helpful in getting your brain to think whoa, this is different.
The goal of this exercise is to use only your tactile senses to make it through your shower. It requires you to trust your memory as to where the required objects for your shower are. You might want to use a blindfold if you think you’ll be tempted to open your eyes – Just make sure to take it off when you’re about to get out of the shower so you don’t fall!
3. Break Up your Morning Routine.
Your brain can get very used to the way you carry out your morning routine. That makes that routine another excellent area to harness the power of neurobics.
Lifehacker lists a few interesting ways to change up your morning routine, ranging from diet to time tracking. Don’t be afraid to get even weirder, such as changing your morning radio station or carrying out morning tasks out of order.
4. Switch Seats.
My family has maintained the same seating plan at the table for the past decade or so. Even after moving homes, I still sit opposite my dad on the short end of the table, and my sister and mother sit opposite each other on the long sides of the table.
If that sounds a bit like your home, change things up to throw your brain for a loop.
5. Really look at items in the supermarket.
A lot of thought goes into how products are laid out in the grocery store. There’s money riding on where those boxes and bags sit.
So chances are that during your normal shopping, which the grocer is banking on being very routine, you miss a lot of things. But try to set aside some extra time when you next go shopping so you can take a look at things you frequently miss. Scan the grocery shelves from top to bottom, read the ingredients of random items, etc.
6. Be More Social.
It’s a well-known fact that social connections make your brain stronger. So you can work wonders for your brain by getting out and speaking to more new people than you normally would.
You can do this in very simple ways. There are tons of people around us that we ignore every day. Think about how many people you pass on the subway without any acknowledgement.
You don’t have to become friends with everyone around you, but make an attempt to interact with more people to get your brain working.