7 Brain Games To Make You Smarter

April 07, 2017

Regularly challenging yourself with brain games, mental exercises and new activities keeps your mind running on all four cylinders.
In fact, adults who frequently engage in mentally stimulating activities are 63% less likely to develop dementia than those who rarely do such activities, a New England Journal of Medicine study discovered. A University of Michigan study found that adults who play a mentally challenging brain game every day for several weeks can dramatically improve their memory.

The week’s worth of games and activities that follow are designed to do just that. They were developed as part of a brain-boosting lifestyle program called the Brainpower Game Plan by by Cynthia Green, PhD, an assistant clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and founder of its renowned Memory Enhancement Program.

Playing these brain games, along with eating these certain foods and exercising can boost your brain power by up to 78%!

1. Name your colors
Challenge your ability to stay focused: Quickly read out loud the color that each word is printed in—not the word itself. Try it repeatedly to see if you can improve.

2. In just 7 words
Test your creativity with this verbal challenge. Write a short story—and use only seven words to tell your tale. (Bonus: This will boost your Twitter and Facebook storytelling skills).

3. Opposite day
Build new connections between brain cells by putting your nondominant hand into action. If you’re a rightie, use your left hand to perform daily tasks such as brushing your teeth, combing your hair, and eating. Even try to write with your other hand, too. Does using your nondominant hand become any easier over the course of the day?

4. Find it
This teaser will help hone your visual searching skills. The table features many different symbols. Using 30 seconds for each symbol, count how many times each of the three at the top appear in the table. (Answers below.)

5. Get the picture
Give your visual attention span a workout. Study this photograph for 1 minute. Then minimize your web browser and write down as many of the items in the photo as you can remember. Try a second time, but before you start, take a deep breath and actively focus on the photo. Did you do any better the second time? (Answers below.)

6. Project notes
Get in the habit of taking notes whenever you receive critical information, such as from a doctor or lawyer, or in any circumstance that may cause stress and anxiety—which can cloud your memory. Note taking is always a good idea on the job, too. Try this: staple several sheets of blank paper to the inside of a project folder and use them to take notes during meetings to produce a clear record of what you discussed.

7. Count backward
Here’s a brain game that will help keep your mind on track. Try these three exercises in simple subtraction:

  • Beginning at 200, count backward, subtracting 5 each time (200, 195, 190…).
  • Beginning at 150, count backward, subtracting 7 each time (150, 143, 136…).
  • Beginning at 100, count backward, subtracting 3 each time (100, 97, 94…).

Answer key
Find It game: Number of times the symbols appeared, starting from left: 14, 18, 14

Get the picture: Large window, blinds on large window, white sofa, white ottoman, 2 striped pillows, gold pillow, burgundy pillow, floor plant, coffee table, lamp on coffee table, wooden object on coffee table, small violin, 3 small windows, bookshelf, books, globe, small plant on bookshelf, small lamp on bookshelf, vase on bookshelf, bowl on bookshelf, beige carpet


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