brain exercises (or how to avoid getting dumb)
I like to think that I am thinking -
every second that I spend awake, maybe I’m even thinking when I’m sleeping.
thinking about it though, my smartphone pretty much does all my thinking for me.
I finished university about two months ago, I’m not going to any classes at the moment, so I don’t actually give my brain any proper exercises. I mean deciding what I want for dinner takes up a lot of time in my mind, but unfortunately that cannot be described as brain exercise. and while I don’t miss having to go to classes (yet), I literally can feel myself getting dumber every day. without my phone, I would forget my appointments, my dates, miss my flights, forget which groceries I wanted to buy, get lost on my daily commute, miss my friend’s birthdays… the list goes on. when I want to know what I did last month, I check my instagram to see where I traveled. I was having dinner with my friend last week and she asked me for restaurant tips in amsterdam, because I have recently been, and I literally forgot that I went there a few months ago and had to check my social media. that I would describe as rock bottom.
I live through my phone and I feel like I’m getting dementia. I get lazy with details and often couldn't even remember what I had for breakfast the other day. a few people (those close to me that are actually starting to realise that I’m forgetting half of our conversations) have advised me to meditate in order to help me with my concentration, however, so far that’s just not working for me. I’m not a very spiritual person and I struggle with the idea of meditation. however, in order to not completely forget my life, I have started to do little brain exercises every now and then. I would love to say that I do them every morning, but I FORGET to do them half of the time.
so for over a week now, every morning (I mean almost every morning) after I wake up, I spend a few minutes in bed, trying to reconstruct everything I did the day before, in chronological order. you might think that’ll only take a few seconds, but I wasn't kidding when I said I feel like I'm getting dementia. the first time I tried it, it took me over 10 minutes to reconstruct the day before…things that happened less than 24 hours ago. I kept loosing track and let my mind wander, and was missing so many details about that day. it’s simple questions such as “what did I have for breakfast”, “what was I talking about with so and so”, very easy to answer for someone who doesn't depend on their phone for their memories. however, after a few days it got a lot easier and I’m starting to get used to my little ritual (I’ve alway wanted one of those!) and I highly recommend it. the brain is often described as being “like a muscle”, so the more you use it, the better it works. that is a very oversimplified explanation, but brain exercise can help your mind process information more quickly and more efficiently. taking a few minutes out of your day to just focus on something simple can help your concentration.
and here's to hoping that someday I will also find my love for physical exercise, because so far it's been a no from me.