Exercise Your Mind

Those little grey cells benefit from stimulation. Few would argue that, but we often risk not providing enough channels for our mental hunger pangs and settle for less taxing and less enriching experiences. Having to think a little is a good start, having to recall or remember is also a practice which helps one to remain alert and feel in control. Being able to take on new information, or that which has been lost from memory is another important faculty. Research is ongoing into the beneficial differences between simply doing what you can already and pushing your capabilities a little – the theory being that if you engage in the latter, certain parts of the brain are less prone to deterioration. One example is the difference between a strategy game like soduku and an investigative activity like orienteering. Both rely upon logic and involve skills that can be acquired and improved upon. However, the latter calls upon other skills to be developed, often in combination with physical consequent actions, which both exercise the brain and can force the learning of new knowledge, however slight.

Creativity manifests itself not just in products, but through actions. One can organise a cake sale in many ways, often with the same result in terms of objectives met (sell the cakes, raise an amount of money) but the route taken to achieve the objective has the potential to be enjoyable and even innovative. Sharing in such an activity can provide much more than simply getting people to part with cash – it can reinforce communal links, challenge individuals, and bring an immense amount of satisfaction into the bargain. Furthermore, it can push one into territories not yet explored or encountered, where things are done for the common good, because they can be done, and not for personal or commercial gain. This is the essence of creativity, where personal limits are transgressed little by little, and help a person develop as, well, a person. However, an important factor in this is the fact that one is on control, and not simply being pushed along in the crowd, as real mental benefit only can be absolutely attained if the brain has been engaged sufficiently. This is not difficult, however, as the majority of activities people can get involved with, are usually more than just passive experiences, but on the other hand, there can be a risk to always take the easy option and this can be viewed, if it is always the case, as opportunity missed.