At any age, it is important to continually work on keeping your mind sharp by testing your knowledge daily to improve your memory and cognitive skills. Your brain is wired to thrive when learning new things and receiving new challenges. It keeps our minds young, even as we age.
Studies have shown that people who incorporate brain teasers and games into their daily life can improve multiple cognitive functions.
Perception, motor skills, memory, and focus are different functions that can improve when you test your brain and challenge yourself daily.
Thanks to your brain’s neuroplasticity, you have the ability to learn new things and rewire your mind, in order to make connections in response to learning new things. This allows our brains to stay young and more importantly, defend against neurodegeneration.
This can be defined as the loss of nerve structure and functions which often results in the deterioration of cognitive skills. By taking charge against neurodegeneration you can aid in protecting your brain from Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Brain teasers, games, and illusions are a fun and interactive way to test your brain. You are able to challenge your mind, learn new things, and expand your thinking over time.
Brain teasers and online memory games can be beneficial as a quick way to challenge yourself and sharpen your cognitive skills. There are many websites that offer brain teasers and apps that are available for you to download on your phone.
- Minesweeper. While a classic game, it tests your mental skills. Through the process of elimination, you have to assess where bombs may be using number hints, testing your logical and spatial awareness.
- Reorder. Classified as a tough brain game, it becomes more challenging as you move from level to level. It Involves math skills and concentration which is a great way to test your mind and brush up on some new or forgotten things.
- Ball drop. This teaser uses your concentration and visualisation as you try to focus on which cup the ball drops into on the screen. As you progress the levels become harder which will aid you in improving concentration and memory skills.
- The New One. This is fun for all ages as you test your memory skills. It is all up to your memory if you can win this game.
- Powerblocks. Involving fitting different shapes into a certain size space, your cognitive skills are put to the test as you figure out where each shape goes to perfectly fill out space on the screen.
- Backgammon. This classic game is known to help cognitive function by improving your ability to adjust to what’s happening within the game to win. Things are always changing so you must pay attention and use your best judgement in order to win. If you don’t have a backgammon board or someone to play against, play backgammon here against the computer.
- Riddles. Solving riddles can put the ‘logical reasoning’ part of your brain to the test as you try to figure out the trick hidden within the riddle that is stumping you.
- Puzzles. Doing puzzles is a good way to get your brain flowing and promote the retention of information and problem-solving skills so you can put your brain to the test as you figure out where the pieces go.
- Peg Game. This game involves strategy and focus, paying attention to your opponent’s moves, and figuring out how to win the board simultaneously.
Brain games to put your brain to the test
- Rubix Cube. Widely known around the world, the Rubix cube is a great way to test your brain skills. It can improve your spatial awareness by challenging you to figure out the trick behind the cube. It allows you to continue to practice until you figure out the pattern to get all the colours to their correct side.
- Backgammon. This classic game is known to help cognitive function by improving your ability to adjust to what’s happening within the game to win. Things are always changing so you must pay attention and use your best judgment in order to win.
- Dominoes. Playing dominoes can be beneficial to your brain for many reasons. It can aid you in improving your maths skills, critical thinking skills, strategy, and memory. It can also be a stress reliever for many who partake in the game to relax at the end of the day.
- Checkers. Playing this game can improve your logical thinking skills as you analyse the board to move your piece in a strategic way to win the game. It is also known to be a good way of relieving stress and improving social skills as you play your opponent.
Illusions that can put your brain to the test
Many optical illusions can test your brain by seeing how you perceive an image using different cognitive thinking skills. These illusions typically ask what you see within the image which can analyze your way of thinking and your overall cognitive function.
This image is the Necker cube which is popular for stumping your brain as your eyes attempt to adjust to the difficult to understand the image. It is hard to wrap your brain around the formation of the cube and where the bottom of it actually lies.
There are many other optical illusions that can put your brain to the test and show how you perceive an image and process it. These images are made to play tricks on your mind and alter your perception which can, in turn, increase your attentiveness and strengthen your cognitive skills.
This optical illusion is one that tricks your brain into believing that the image is moving when in reality, it is not. This is also known as peripheral drift vision. When you look at the image as a whole, it looks as if it is moving but when you focus on one specific area, the image stands still. It is all about how you are looking at it.
Keeping your brain young
By putting your brain to the test, challenging yourself with brain teasers, games, and optical illusions you are constantly improving your brain function by using cognitive and memory skills. These things are important to stay brushed up on, especially as you age, to keep your mind sharp and prevent neurodegeneration in later years.
Your mind is such a valuable tool and it should be exercised and challenged every day. By allowing yourself to take part in playing these games you are aiding in improving your cognitive skills each day. For fun at any age and a healthy brain, add these brain teasers and games into your daily routine.
Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.