The brain is the biggest muscle in our body – this is not true. However, that should not prevent us from exercising our brain with mind (or brain) games. How to play games to exercise your mind? The link between brain/mind games and the improvement of cognitive function is quite complex, but regardless of that, we can improve our brain functions. For example, mind games help in enhancing memory, analytical thinking, response time, etc. Furthermore, it helps us to channel our focus on work.
Brain games can not only help us pass the time but help in boosting our brain functions, albeit not in a superhuman manner. While mind games will not make us into the most intelligent beings in the world, they will help retain and train certain skills resulting from combined brain functions.
Here are the games to exercise your mind-
- Chess and Checker:
Perhaps the most ancient game on the list, chess and checkers, helps boost strategy-making skills. It also hones skills like analytical thinking, prediction, and pattern recognition in gameplays.
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by research-scholar, JT Coyle, adults over 75 years who played these games are at a lower risk of developing dementia or Alzheimers compared to those over 75 years who did not play chess or checkers.
These games also promote quick decision-making. Furthermore, this game improves concentration and boosts short-term as well as long-term memory and its growth. Planning over moves and strategy also stimulates real-time intelligence.
- Other board games:
Board games other than chess and checkers, like Monopoly, Scrabble, Dungeons And Dragons, Clue, Battleship, etc., offer several ways to improve brain functions, do play board games to exercise your mind.
These games enable you to improve concentration, strategizing, and reduce anxiety. Board games like scrabble improve vocabulary, while D&D, Clue as well as Battleship require interpretation, logical deductions, and reasoning while managing time as well.
While in most of these games, memory utilization is also stimulated. Furthermore, some of these games also make us play in teams which increases interpersonal communication levels. These games also help with efficient communication for strategizing and decision-making regarding the gameplay.
Games like Sudoku enable us to observe and recognize, analyze and strategize based on prediction. Furthermore, this also requires pattern recognition and logical reasoning while predicting the upcoming and probable future.
This game makes kids familiar with numbers, while for adults, this improves pattern recognition (as mentioned before). For adults, these games also help in utilizing this number pattern recognition while doing budget or tax audits, and sales and marketing.
Sudoku, the game for playing with numbers, is also known for its affordability and reducing stress. Moreover, the game improves concentration and factors.
Lumosity is available as a free-to-play App in the PlayStore and AppStore. The app provides several types of games to improve cognitive skill sets, memory, concentration, problem-solving, and attention span. With several games and puzzles to improve brain function, Lumosity is one of the best apps in the market that helps with exercising your mind during leisure hours. It becomes the perfect game for adults and teens to play.
The game developed by neuroscientists on board can improve mental skills , processing power, and response time.
Users can also use this app to improve their cognitive abilities compared to others. This may motivate users to concentrate further.
- Card Games:
Games like poker, bridge, UNO, etc., which are played with groups, are a fun way to spend your leisure time and a good engagement for the brain. Some research shows that these types of games are beneficial as they can reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s; even though this may not be accurate, card games are known to reduce anxiety and boost critical and analytical thinking.
Card games also require strategizing, prediction, and improving our ability to read certain tells and facial cues. It increases our ability to read people.
Hence, it is believed that card games can also help people on the autism spectrum feel better.
These puzzles improve our vocabulary and increase our ability to predict words after pattern recognition and analysis. In crosswords, we also have to use the clues to go through our long-term memory and use logical reasoning to deduce the word. Short-term memory is also utilized in the game. Crosswords are also an easy, convenient and affordable way to pass the time and improve brain function.
Puzzles can help us learn pattern recognition and prediction based on that analysis as well. Even though puzzles do not utilize many logical deductions, they can help in sharp visual identification skills. Puzzles are a fun juvenile way to spend leisure time.
- Strategy Games, FPS Shooters:
Modern-day 3D FPS shooters and strategy games with hyper-realism prove to have better ways to learn about certain cognitive functions.
FPS shooter games like CSGO and Valorant require strategy and knowledge about human psychology. These games improve brain-hand coordination, interpersonal communication as well as response-time. Furthermore, these games improve concentration as well as boost patience. However, these games can have the side effect of causing anxiety.
While strategy games require acute concentration and vision and tactics, some players utilize actual combat tactics in these games.
- MENSA Brain Training:
This app from Mensa High IQ society is undertaken to improve concentration, logical reasoning, etc. The app offers exercises to boost focus, response time, memory, and perception (sensory inputs and registration). MENSA also boasts about its alumni, and users can compare to what they have scored. Furthermore, the MENSA app can motivate to compete, as it has statistics to be shown to the user comparing their strategy.
Developed by a high-IQ society, the app’s exercises offer legit research-backed content and tasks.
All these games are perfect for adults to stimulate their brains. Although no games can allow brain development, they can, however, have an impact on the brain functioning skills like memories, reasoning, and response time.