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How Simple Daily Activities Can Enhance Your Cognitive Skills

Taking care of your brain and keeping it as healthy as possible is always a good idea – the fact is that we’ll often think of our physical health and mental health, and perhaps even our emotional health too, but we’ll very easily forget that the brain has to be taken care and strengthened at the same time. 

There are all kinds of reasons why we might not enjoy good brain health as we get older, like dementia and Alzheimer’s, and that can be worrying, but it’s also important to boost your brainpower when you’re younger, as it means you’ll be better at making decisions, you’ll be better at problem-solving, you’ll be generally quicker at thinking, and you’ll even be more confident because you’ll know what you’re saying and thinking is right. So with that in mind, here are some daily activities you can do (and which you might even already be doing) that can help you enhance your cognitive skills. Read on to find out what they are. 


If there’s one thing you can do every day to boost your brainpower and enhance your cognitive skills, it’s puzzles. The great thing about puzzles is there are just so many of them to choose from, and whether you like playing Minesweeper online or you prefer word puzzles from a book – or anything in between – you can do it, and it’s all going to help. 

Puzzles are an amazing way to boost your cognitive skills because they literally make you think in all kinds of different ways, and the skills you’ll use when you’re working on and solving your puzzles are skills you can put to good use in plenty of other areas of your life, from running a business to keeping your home finances in order and much more besides. On top of that, puzzles don’t have to take very long, and you can do them in any spare moment, such as when you’re waiting for the kettle to boil or you’re on the train going to work, so there’s no reason why you can’t include them in your life. 


We all need to eat, don’t we? We all need to eat not just every now and then but at least three times a day, and more if you include snacks (which you should, because they’re really important and can help you stay on track when it comes to healthy eating). 

You’ll more than likely agree with this, but what has it got to do with enhancing your cognitive skills? Can cooking really do anything? The answer is yes, it most definitely can! Cooking might not seem like particularly cognitive kind of activities, but just think about it – you’ve got to follow a recipe, plan out your meals, prepare your ingredients, weigh them, work out timings, taste things to make sure it’s going well, adjust the recipe if need be, and so on. Plus, don’t forget that a lot of the time you’ll have to multitask and do more than one element of the dish at once (the exception might be a one-pot dish, of course), and that’s definitely going to help to sharpen your focus and keep your organizational skills on track. 


Gardening is another activity that can really help and give you a boost when it comes to your cognitive skills, and even if you don’t necessarily do it every day, if you do it at all, it’s going to give you plenty of benefits to enjoy. 

Once again, there’s a lot of planning involved in gardening and you’ll need to think ahead to work out what you want the garden to look like – that’s going to help you work out when things need to be planted, harvested, and anything else you might have to do. There’s definitely a time factor involved in gardening because various tasks have to happen at different times of the year, and if you miss something, the end result just isn’t going to look how you want it to. 

There’s also an element of problem-solving involved in gardening – just think of what you have to do when you’re dealing with pests or other problems that are causing your plants to grow slowly, unhealthily, or not at all. And finally, gardening promotes mindfulness and reduces stress, and you’ll naturally have to slow down in life, and that’s always a positive thing for the brain. 


If you don’t currently read every day, it’s probably time you started – you don’t have to dedicate a lot of time to it (just ten minutes a day is a great way to start when it comes to reading more), and it’s not an expensive thing to do either, especially if you go to your library to get your books for free or use an eReader where you can ‘rent’ the books for a short while for a fixed monthly fee. Plus, you can always visit a thrift store and pick up books for very little money, and you might find some surprising gems that way. 

In other words, there’s no excuse not to read a little (or a lot) every day, and if you can get into that habit, it’s not only going to be a fun thing to do that means you’re no longer looking at a screen (an eReader is designed to be kind to the eyes, so it’s not quite the same as a TV or laptop), but it can help with your cognitive skills as well. 

Reading improves your vocabulary, comprehension, critical thinking, and it can help you get a lot more creative, especially when you’re reading fiction. That’s not to say non-fiction reading doesn’t also have its benefits – that can give you a much broader knowledge base and it might even inspire some new ideas to help you move forward in life, and you just won’t know until you try it for yourself. 

If you really don’t have the time to read every day, what about trying an audiobook instead? Audiobooks can give you a lot of the same skills as you would get from reading yourself, but because someone else is telling you the story, you can do it at the same time as something else, making it much easier to fit into your day and reap the benefits that come with it. 

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