You’re doing great physically and mentally. In fact, you’ve conquered many of your major life goals. Quite an achievement, isn't it? Well, you have your brain to thank for that.
Our brains do more than just help us think and store information. They dictate how we live our life. Think back to the last time you made a resolution, came close to bailing on it only for your brain to give you a reason not to. That’s mental fortitude in action. It isn’t something that everyone is naturally born with and it can be developed through certain games and exercises.
Improving Mental Fortitude with Quizzes and Puzzles
Want to develop mental toughness and fortitude? Better brain function can be enhanced with certain activities. One of the key ways to do so is through quizzes and puzzles.
Brain training games, whether it’s pen-and-paper style or through online applications, can improve memory, response time, logic, and help us minimize brain aging.
If you’ve yet to try mental brain training exercises like sudoku, chess, checkers, and crossword puzzles, these reasons may change your mind:
#1. Brain Games Improve Your Memory
Games like sudoku, crossword, and jigsaw puzzles are classic brain training games that help enhance one’s memory. They help individuals access information from different dimensions of knowledge and thereby improve memory retrieval.
Puzzle games work the left and right sides of the brain simultaneously and reinforce visual-spatial reasoning. After all, it requires diligence to determine where individual numbers, words, or pieces fit in the bigger picture.
These puzzles can be found in newspapers, books, and memory training apps. If you think your memory is becoming worse or just want to challenge yourself, it’s worth giving them a try.
#2. They Improve Your Decision Making Skills
Games like chess require a lot of brainpower. You have to analyze the board, take note and anticipate your opponent’s moves, and devise a winning strategy.
Your decision-making skills come into play here. With chess, you’re not only focused on your moves, but you’re also focused on anticipating your opponent’s moves so you can win. It can be very challenging, especially since one wrong move can change the outcome of the game.
Chess relies on short-term and long-term memory. When you play this game, you exercise the part of your brain where memory is stored so you can adapt and adjust as needed.
#3. They Help You Concentrate
Memory games require a lot of concentration. If your concentration slips, so does your chance of succeeding. As our ability to focus declines with age, brain games can be an important tool for keeping our brains engaged and slowing cognitive decline.
#4. They Challenge You
Games keep us interested because they have defined and achievable goals as long as we’re willing to put in the time and effort. Whether it’s verbal, mathematical, or logical reasoning, brain games challenge our attention span, memory, logic, and even verbal skills.
They keep us on our toes and present us with new and different challenges each time to keep us interested. Many of these games require us to recognize patterns, associations between certain elements, and demand thinking and reasoning skills in order to succeed.
Since many of us recognize these games as a sign of mental agility, we carry on and keep playing.
#5. They Help Control Anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world, affecting around 40 million people in America. But did you know that brain games can help control anxiety?
In 2017, researchers discovered that people who had more brain activity in the part of the brain where advanced mental functions took place were less likely to develop anxiety disorders. Since brain games holistically engage the left and right sides of our brain, they may be able to keep anxiety at bay.
Playing brain games also reduces our cortisol levels, commonly called the stress hormone. By acting as a distraction from physical and psychological trauma, they help individuals break the cycle of stress and anxiety through cognitive absorption.
Brain games can help us improve our memory, our ability to focus, strengthen our logical and reasoning skills, and help us make better decisions. They can even help with anxiety and make us mentally tougher.
After reading this article, you’ll never underestimate brain games again. Why not experiment with different games to see which you enjoy the most and which ones are helpful to you? There are so many games out there especially if you enjoy online brain games that you’re bound to find something that works for you.
If you think you may be experiencing mental decline, you can take this “How Absent-Minded Are You?” quiz from brainfall. Whatever the result, remember that brain games are a natural and enjoyable way to keep your mind busy and as sharp as ever.
Author bio: Sue Harper is a Content Strategist who has been dubbed the 'content connoisseur' by her friends, Sue has been actively writing and managing content for almost 10 years straight. Apart from that, she's also a fond reader (audiobooks don't count!) and an avid coffee enjoyer that occasionally 'indulges' in some Earl Grey as well.