Make more social connections during your day
Scientific research has repeatedly proved that social deprivation has severe negative effects on overall cognitive abilities. Brain exercise: Thirsty? Buy a drink from a person rather than a vending machine. Need gas? Pay the clerk at the counter rather than just swiping your credit card at the pump. Plus, try your hand at these 19 brain teasers that will leave you stumped.
When we read aloud or listen to reading, we use very different brain circuits than when we read silently to ourselves. Brain exercise: Read aloud with your partner or a friend, alternating roles of reader and listener. It may be slow to get through a book, but as a bonus you’ll spend quality time together. Learn more about why your brain needs you to read every day.
Eat unfamiliar foods
Your olfactory system can distinguish millions of odors by activating unique combinations of receptors in your nose. There’s a direct link to the emotional center of your brain, so new odors may evoke unexpected feelings and associations. Brain exercise: Choose a cuisine unfamiliar to you, and browse the variety of novel vegetables, seasonings, and packaged goods. Ask storekeepers how to prepare some of the more unfamiliar items, but avoid these 9 foods that are secretly hurting your brain.