Dealing with Change: Tips for Training Your Brain
Spring is officially here! And last week we talked about change – changing seasons, changing jobs, changing habits. The brain doesn’t love change, but getting your brain out of its comfort zone has some big benefits to your cognitive health.
How can you get your stubborn brain out of its comfort zone? We’ve put together some tips you can use to train your brain to be more open to change.
Tip #1 – Try Cognitive Rehabilitation Exercises
Cognitive rehabilitation exercises are basically like taking your brain to the gym. Memory, visual, and spatial exercises can work out your brain. And remember, if you get frustrated with the activities, that means it’s working. It’s similar to how your muscles become sore when you start working out again.
Tip #2 – Learn a New Language or New Skill
Learning new skills that are outside of your comfort zone can also help train your brain to better deal with change. Learning a new language in middle age is a great way to shake things up and tax your brain. Picking up a new skill that’s very different from what you normally do also helps, and it’s been shown to help ward off age-related cognitive decline. It’s like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for your brain.
Tip #3 – Simply Try Something New
Just trying something new that you’ve never done before or never thought you would or could do can also get your brain used to change. It builds confidence and makes your brain more receptive to other types of change. Many people don’t try new things because they fear failure. But when you see that you can actually overcome the fear and do something new, it makes your brain more receptive.
Change can become more difficult as you grow older. But your brain is like a muscle – you have to train it regularly to help it get used to dealing with change. When you do, it pays off with some great brain health benefits – boosting memory, reducing cognitive decline, and making you more confident in trying new things.
Try these tips this week and give your brain a workout. And stay tuned. Next week we’re starting a new series on humor and brain health. Don’t miss it!