The End Products

The purpose of creative activities for brain health is not to produce a sellable or even a laudable product. These activities creates new neural connections that can preserve your cognitive ability or at least slow down its deterioration.

Also, just as muscle strength takes time to develop after years of idleness, so does improved memory and better reasoning abilities.

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Problem Solving

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Creative acts can grow new neural connections, reduce depression and isolation, enhance cognitive skills, and increase emotional fulfillment.

There are many well-known creative activities one can engage in, such as learning a new language, playing a musical instrument, writing a short story, painting a picture, diagnosing a car’s engine problem, or composing a poem, among many others.

  • Change one element in an activity you do repeatedly. This will require you to learn something new and that will trigger the creative process.
  • Add something new to a routine. For example, when watching your favorite TV drama, pause it every ten or so minutes, and predict what will happen when you resume watching.
  • Engage in an activity that constantly changes. 
  • Begin a new activity. The best example is learning a new language. Everything is fresh: the meaning of words, the syntax, and pronunciation.

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... use combinatory play to give your brain a boost:

  • Participate in creative cross-training to expand your brain’s neural connections.
  • Let your mind wander by doing something mundane, like taking a shower.
  • Go to bed and let your subconscious mind connect the dots during REM sleep.
  • Use another person’s work as a springboard for inspiration and improvement.

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Neuroplasticity

The key to resilient aging is improving neurogenesis, the birth of new neurons. 

This activity occurs in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that lays down memories. And we respond to and store new experiences every day, and cement them during sleep. The more we can experience new activities, people, places, and emotions, the more likely we are to encourage neurogenesis.

Scheduling Your Learning

One approach is to spend an hour every morning studying – dedicating an hour every day to work on your skills puts you into the ranks of top performers. In addition, some people use one lunch hour per week to attend a webinar, read a book or work on another educational activity.

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