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Solving Puzzles Satisfies The Nimble Brain

Math And Music

The ability to solve complex puzzles involves being able to process, match and synthesize a lot of different kinds of information at the same time.

Mathematics and Music are two areas that are different yet have connections in puzzle solving.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Solving Puzzles Satisfies The Nimble Brain

Solving Puzzles Satisfies The Nimble Brain

https://www.npr.org/2010/12/08/131909788/solving-puzzles-satisfies-the-nimble-brain

npr.org

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Key Ideas

Puzzles and Cognitive Abilities

People have loved puzzles since the stone age. It is a phenomenon that is now becoming a craze.

Being able to solve puzzles provides us with an ‘aha’ moment and improves our pattern recognition, memory and other cognitive skills. Puzzles help us in many diverse cognitive abilities and also helps to reverse age-related cognitive decline. The fun, satisfactory nature of various puzzles help us exercise our brains.

Math And Music

The ability to solve complex puzzles involves being able to process, match and synthesize a lot of different kinds of information at the same time.

Mathematics and Music are two areas that are different yet have connections in puzzle solving.

A Playful State of Mind

Paradoxically, the more you get inside a puzzle with seriousness and increased effort, the harder it becomes. Just like the losing chess player who is leaning too close to the board, solving puzzles is not about sheer effort, but a playful, relaxed state of mind.

Being able to be non-serious and enjoying the moment helps form the necessary connections that are hindered if the mind is in stress.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Basic steps to solving any problem
  • Understand the Problem, so you know you're actually focusing on the the real issue at hand.
  • Create a Plan, so you have a series of actionable steps to follow.
  • ...
Understand the Problem

Often the most difficult step, because it's easy to focus on the wrong part of the problem, or look at the problem too broadly.

The first thing you need to do is reduce it to its simplest and purest form so you know exactly what you're dealing with. While you're doing this, you need to ask yourself questions to make sure you're focusing on the right things. 

Create a Plan

You need a plan with actionable steps. Ask yourself what's barring you from moving forward and make step one. Step one will open doors to other steps. 

Consider which steps will open more doors, add them to the plan, and keep doing that until you get to your solution. Things will change as you act on the plan and you'll need to adapt, so it's best to keep your plan somewhat open-ended and try to include steps that involve preparing for trouble you can foresee. 

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Remain objective

Great problem solvers approach each new problem as though it were brand new. 

That way they can apply a specific solution to the problem instead of a fix that may go only partway.

List the obstacles

Great problem solvers take a high-level view of the issues involved and jot down a list of all the potential factors that could get in the way of a solution. 

Identify the opportunity

So many times great opportunities are wrapped up inside simple problems.

The problem at hand may be symptomatic of bigger problems with your systems or perhaps your industry.

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Exhausted In Isolation
Exhausted In Isolation

Due to the lockdown, tens of millions of people are sheltered at home, all across the world. There is a lack of routine, emotional insecurity, poor nutrition and alcohol/substance abuse, leading to...

Sun Therapy

If you can go outside, even for a walk around your home, make use of that. It is extremely important to get some sunlight absorption in your body, as it prevents depression and sluggishness while ensuring a healthy level of melatonin and serotonin in your brain.

Stay In The Routine

Having a new routine can be refreshing for a few days but it gets hard to maintain it.

It is imperative that we stick to a routine, shower, and dress every day, preferably waking up early, and at the same time.

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Deduction and Mindfulness Go Together

Sherlock Holmes observed facts without being judgmental. He would construct a hypothesis about what he believed happened. He would then search for more evidence to logically validate his ini...

All Stories Are Possible — Until They Are Not

Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot encourages everybody to tell their story.  Stories help Poirot comprehend what kind of person the victim was. And to uncover the murderer’ motive.

Storytelling is powerful to uncover insights, not just the truth. Design Thinking — a process for creative problem solving — leverages the power of stories to detect human desires and needs.

Be Relentless

Sarah Linden is the least self-aware television detective.

Her dedication to her work and stubbornness are unbeatable. She never gives up. Even though she fails in many aspects of her life — like being a mother. But, she keeps showing up and trying to do better. She tries again, fails again, and fails better.

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It’s Okay To Wander
It’s Okay To Wander

People’s minds wander, sometimes up to 30 to 40 percent of the time, while doing activities like reading.

A wandering mind is invoking the good brain regions, which are associated ...

A Wandering, Creative Mind

Mind-wandering makes your brain richer and more creative. Like a creativity machine left on its own, it helps to solve problems, enrich our understanding, and process information that is otherwise left unprocessed.

Creativity Happens In Chaos

Creativity by default is a messy process. Doing creative stuff, and letting your mind wander forms new connections and helps us subconsciously compare and contrast our problems and solutions.

Our brain's neural network needs to be fed different kinds of food, at the same time.

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Morning pages

Morning pages are 3 pages that record stream of consciousness thoughts, to help you untangle your mind.

The process is simple: you just have to sit down in the morning with paper and pen a...

Prime your brain the night before
  • Identify your most challenging assignment
  • Get through the tough assignment. Start working on the project at the end of the workday. But don't finish.
  • Sleep. Let the brain do his thing.
  • Wake up and dump your thoughts onto paper.
Stick to it

Writing morning pages is supposed to be simple.

To make sure you stick to your writing ritual, wake up and don’t do anything else. Grab a notebook and write the pages.

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Buying New Books

Lifelong learners are often found browsing for books on Amazon, visiting their local library or book stores. They also ask people for book suggestions, especially ...

Asking Questions During Class

Deep engagement with learning makes the experience more valuable and easier to remember.

You can take notes about the material to ask questions later or even send questions by email or ask for an appointment.

Learning To Earn

Continuing education is vital to maintain your career growth. Lifelong learners view their education as a portfolio with several components.

If you want to earn more, consider learning sales and marketing skills. Those skills are useful even for non-sales jobs.

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Never stop learning

Research shows that people with more education have a greater cognitive reserve and this works as a protection in the face of mental decline.

But there's a twist to it: educated people t...

Crosswords

Cognitive activities like crossword puzzles, reading or playing music may delay memory decline among people who eventually developed dementia.

Stereotype threat

It happens when a person is in a situation where they are anxious that they may conform to a negative stereotype aimed at his or her social group.

Positive stereotypes, or success on previous memory tasks, can help combat this negativity. 

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Keeping Your Brain Healthy
Keeping Your Brain Healthy
  • We can improve every aspect of our lives by keeping our most vital organ, our brain, healthy.
  • Exercise is not only good for your body but helps your brain by enhancing many brain s...
Tea and Brain Health

Drinking tea is good for the brain, helping regulate the age-related decline. It also strengthens the brain connections, the neural network inside the brain, making information processing more efficient.

Even coffee is said to be good to ward off the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Better Heart = Better Brain

Anything that is bad for the heart is bad for the brain, including smoking cigarettes, or having a sedentary lifestyle, or having diabetes.

Your blood sugar, body mass index, diet and blood pressure all contribute to the health of your heart, and your brain.

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Practical ways to use First Principles Thinking
  • If you’re starting a business, use first principles to build a product or service that’s fundamentally better than the competition.
  • If your day is too busy, first princip...