The brain fitness channel has this good advice for selecting activities that help keep your brain sharp:
1.They should teach you something new. The brain is a learning machine. To keep it strong, you must continually develop new skills.
2. They should be challenging. Activities should command your full and close attention to drive chemical changes in the brain.
3. They should be progressive. You can begin a new activity at an easy level, but continuously challenge yourself to stay on the edge of your performance abilities—at your “threshold”—so that you improve. This goes for old activities you enjoy, too: pushing yourself to improve will help your brain.
4. They should engage your great brain processing systems. Tasks in which you must make fine distinctions about what you hear, see or feel and use that information to achieve complex goals drive the brain to change its abilities on different levels.
5. They should be rewarding. Rewards amplify brain changes, leading to improved learning and memory. They turn up the production of crucial brain chemicals that contribute to learning, memory, and good spirits.
6. They should be novel or surprising. New, positive and surprising experiences exercise the brain machinery that makes you bright and alert.
The state we are in at any time, (alert, relaxed, “in the zone”, dreaming, etc.), correlates directly to our brain’s electrical frequency patterns. You can see this on an EEG or many other monitoring devices, such as the EmWave by HeartMath. Practically speaking, if you can manage your brain’s frequency range focus, you can also manage your state. Tune your frequency pattern and you can improve your performance, attain a relaxed or meditative state (or fall asleep) quickly, sharpen your thinking, etc. So how does one do that?Leila and I have been using CenterPointe’s HoloSynch CDs for the last 5-1/2 years, and seen (felt) the benefits. These programs help tune your frequency patterns in pre-programmed ways, and encourage the left brain and right brain to better synchronize their communication activity levels together. It works.But how do you do it on a book budget? How do you learn to manage this yourself, without special equipment or programs? It’s actually easy, and fun. The best resource so far is Anna Wise. She has recently published a book called THE HIGH PERFORMANCE MIND: Mastering Brainwaves for Insight, Healing and Creativity that I’d highly recommend, along with other books and CD programs. That’s the one to get.Another I’m reading now is called THE OPEN-FOCUS BRAIN: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body, by Les Fehmi. Slightly clinical but helpful too. Brain Wave Management techniques are clearly explained and exercises provided to make your life fuller, more enjoyable, and help optimize your state to resolve any problems you might be dealing with. Go there.