Break Your Routine to Maximize Your Cognitive Potential (Your Brain Benefits From New Experiences)

Photo by Aral Tasher on Unsplash

Anyone can increase their cognitive ability, no matter what your starting point is. Fluid intelligence is trainable.

A study by Jaeggi, Buschkuehl, Jonides, and Perrig on improving fluid intelligence showed for the first time, that it might actually be possible to increase your intelligence to a significant degree through training.

Whenever you learn something new, engage in new activities, or even ponder a new concept, your brain rewires itself in response to these activities.

Anything that makes you very comfortable is not really good for your brain development. If what you do doesn’t challenge you, don’t count on it to change you.

All those mentally exhausting activities are exactly what you need to improve your cognitive abilities.

Your brain needs novelty to grow.

Always look for new activities to engage your mind — expand your cognitive horizons. Developing mental strength is a work in progress. Mental strength requires that you continue building new neural pathways by learning new things.

Give yourself something to pursue. Don’t stop looking for answers. If something doesn’t make sense to you, look for ways to expand your knowledge so that you do understand it better.

Force yourself to use your brain more.

The more regularly you pick up a new skill, or study a new subject, the stronger your mind becomes. Try to pick up one new thing every week, then continue working on it as you learn new things.

Focus, strategy, logic, and creativity are just a few of the mental muscles you should be exercising more regularly.

The secret to optimizing your cognitive function can be found in your daily habits and exercises that flex the different hemispheres of the brain. Habits can improve cognitive function and protect against cognitive decline.

Break your routine.

Start a passion project.

Take an art class.

Go to a museum or a historical site.

Share your work.

Take a different route to or from work.

Set a new goal.

Read a book in a genre you don’t usually read.

Take the long way home and use the extra time to think.

Change your sleep routine. Wake up or go to bed earlier.

Answer a question on Quora.

Commit to weekly acts of kindness.

Do the same thing, except double it.

Call instead of text or vice versa.

Watch a TED talk every day for a week. Broaden your mind!

Take a class or seminar you’ve always been curious about.

Make exercise time non-negotiable instead of when-convenient.

Don’t drive to work. Bike, walk or take a train.

Learn to play an instrument.

Switch up your playlists.

Do an art project in a group.

Learn to dance.

Read differently.

Take a nap to enhance your alertness and focus.

Help somebody without being asked.

Ask for help.

Don’t ask for help, figure it out!

Exercise for five minutes longer than you normally do.

Give someone you know a thoughtful compliment.

Learn a new word. Expand your vocabulary.


Try out a new podcast.

Figure out what you’re scared of — and do it for one week consistently.

Read more pages of a book than you normally go for.

Reach out to a mentor and ask for career advice.

Express gratitude.

Switch around your morning activities.

Spend at least 20 minutes reading something that is completely unrelated to your career.

Take a productive pause and go for a walk.

Keep a notebook handy and write about your daily experiences.

Embrace doodling.

Trade your time and effort now for increased knowledge, or better health, and your results can improve how you think.

Leverage your spare time for self-investment.

Find activities that improve your mind and body. Staying sharp has an amazing long-term benefits.

Before you go…

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