Take on a Daily Mental Challenge This Week
- Complete 10 minutes of whatever type of mental challenge or brain exercise you like. It can be different each day.
- Some suggestions are crossword puzzles, Sudoku, memorization challenges, logic puzzles, or a challenging game with some decent science behind it like Dual N-Back.
- You do not need to be able to complete the puzzle you choose in 10 minutes to get credit for doing the practice.
Watch this video for an explanation of this Well-Being Practice from Whole Life Challenge co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck.
Why Is This Practice Important?
While the brain is not technically a muscle, it does need exercise to avoid going “soft.” Just like your body, your brain responds to challenges with new growth — in learning, ability, associations, and facility with different kinds of information. Voluntarily engaging with things you don’t know how to solve easily flips on your creativity and helps you learn to incorporate new ways of understanding the world.
Even if the link between puzzles and the brain is poorly understood, it is observed over and over that people who engage in puzzle solving can increase their mental quickness and even slow cognitive decline.
The brain is a fantastic organ — the most complex one we have. Just like repetitive daily movement can hinder your body’s growth and health, subjecting your brain to the same kind of repetitive activities day in and day out can result in a kind of mental atrophy. So this week’s Well-Being Practice is about getting your brain to the gym and seeing what kind of weight you can lift.