Content provided by the Health & Wellness Team at GBS Benefits
Why is Intellectual Health Important?
Intellectual health is a key component of a balanced lifestyle. It encourages the active pursuit of conceptual growth by keeping the mind stimulated, promoting creativity, and increasing understanding. Learning new things provides a feeling of accomplishment and confidence in one’s capabilities. It boosts your brain’s ability to problem solve, think critically, and leads to a happier, healthier lifestyle.
How to Improve Intellectual Health
Exercise for your mind is just as important as exercise for your body. The phrase “use it or lose it” certainly applies to the skills and knowledge being stored by your brain. Here are some exercises to keep your mental “muscles” in tip top shape.
Read for fun. Reading improves brain connectivity, increases vocabulary, and reduces age-related cognitive decline. Choose printed books rather than digital, as studies have shown people who read print books remember more than those who read the same material digitally. Find books on an interesting niche topic or new skill you’d like to learn. If pressed for time, devote a few minutes to reading a blog or news article.
Research ways to prevent burnout. Increase overall well-being by studying ways to prevent workplace burnout. Reevaluate your work environment and schedule time for activities that reduce stress. Set goals and make changes to improve workflow.
Learn a foreign language. Learning a new language improves memory and increases the ability to multitask. It also improves concentration and can be a great way to increase career advancement. Download the Duolingo or Babbel apps as a fun, easy way to build comprehension.
Stay Curious. Curiosity can add vibrancy and fun to everyday activities. Stay curious by asking questions, seeking to know and understand people, becoming an expert in a subject, or listening to informational books or podcasts.
Practice Self Reflection. Schedule time in the day to reflect on thoughts and experiences. Try writing in a journal or deliberately using your commute to contemplate feelings. This encourages a level of self-awareness and prompts introspection to identify areas of improvement.
Try sudoku, crossword puzzles, brain teasers, or riddles. Fun exercises and puzzles are a great way to exercise memory and problem-solving skills. Research shows that regularly completing puzzles and mind games can help keep the brain sharp with improved attention and reasoning.
The Mandela effect is a mind game that occurs when a large group of people collectively share false memories. Examples of the Mandela effect include:
- Jif vs. Jiffy: People swear there was a “Jiffy” peanut butter, but the brand is “Jif.”
- “I am your father”: Many people remember the famous line from Star Wars being “Luke, I am your father,” but the actual line is just “I am your father.”
- Febreeze or Febreze? The correct spelling of the air freshener is Febreze.
- What color is Chartreuse? Many recall the color as a magenta-pink color, but it’s a shade of green.
Give your brain a workout by researching more examples of the Mandela effect or by trying to solve the riddles below (*see answers at bottom of article):
- What has to be broken before you can use it?
- I’m tall when I’m young, and I’m short when I’m old. What am I?
- What runs all around a backyard, yet never moves?
Challenge – Practice using your non-dominate hand to stimulate your brain. Try switching hands while eating dinner, writing, or brushing your teeth. This can be an amusing way to strengthen your mind and increase brain activity.
1. An egg
2. A candle
3. A fence