As the temperature rises and the days get longer, it's easy to get caught up in the lazy days of summer. While it's important to relax and recharge, it's also essential to keep your mind active and engaged.
Here are 5 fun and challenging summer brain boosters to support brain function and help you stay sharp.
Summer break provides an opportunity to explore new areas of interest or develop existing skills. Whether it's learning a musical instrument, coding, painting, or any other hobby, staying sharp over the summer allows you to pursue activities that enhance your abilities and broaden your horizons. Continually developing your skills can lead to personal growth and open up new opportunities in the future.
Professionals and individuals in the workforce can benefit from staying sharp over the summer. Engaging in professional development activities, attending workshops, or taking online courses can enhance your skills, keep you updated with industry trends, and give you a competitive edge in your career. By staying sharp, you demonstrate a commitment to personal growth and continuous improvement, which can lead to better job prospects and advancement opportunities.
Engaging your mind is also an important way to counteract age-related mental decline or cognitive impairment. While brain boosters cannot necessarily prevent all forms of cognitive decline, participating in mentally stimulating activities throughout life has been associated with better cognitive function and a reduced risk of certain cognitive disorders.
Here are a few ways in which brain activities can contribute to protecting brain health:
Cognitive reserve. Engaging in mentally challenging activities helps build cognitive reserve, or the brain's ability to adapt and function effectively even in the presence of age-related changes or brain pathology. It is believed that individuals with a higher cognitive reserve may experience cognitive decline at a slower rate.
Neuroplasticity. The brain has the remarkable ability to reorganize and form new neural connections throughout life, a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. Mental activities can promote neuroplasticity by stimulating the growth of new neurons and strengthening existing neural connections.
Memory and attention. Regularly challenging your memory and attention can improve these cognitive functions and enhance your ability to process and retain information.
Social engagement. Interacting with others stimulates mental processes such as communication, problem-solving, and emotional regulation. It provides opportunities for mental stimulation and can help prevent social isolation, which is sometimes associated with increased risk of cognitive decline.
Keeping your mind active and engaged over the summer is important for mental well-being. Engaging in intellectually stimulating activities can help prevent mental stagnation and boredom. It promotes cognitive function, creativity, and critical thinking skills, keeping your brain sharp and agile.
Let's check out some fun new activities that double as natural brain boosters you can try out this summer for significant improvement in mental alertness, focus, and memory retention.
Reading is a great way to keep your mind active and engaged during the summer months. Not only is it a relaxing and enjoyable activity, but it also has numerous cognitive benefits.
A 2016 study found that reading an average of 30 minutes per day could reduce mortality by up to 20%¹. So, grab a book and start reading!
Quick benefits of reading:
Increases empathy and emotional intelligence.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
Learning a new language is not only a fun and rewarding experience but also has numerous cognitive benefits. And with online resources like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone, it's easier than ever to learn a new language on your own time and at your own pace.
Quick benefits of language learning:
Improves cognitive ability.
Enhances problem-solving skills.
Could delay the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
Online resources for language learning:
Brain games and puzzles are a great way to challenge your mind and keep it sharp. One study even found that jigsaw puzzling in particular could be a protector against cognitive impairment and age-related mental decline².
Quick benefits of brain games and puzzles:
Increased processing speed.
Enhanced cognitive flexibility.
Examples of brain games and puzzles:
Chess and checkers.
Creative writing is a great way to exercise your brain and tap into your imagination. Research indicates that being creative makes us feel happier by improving our subjective well-being³ and simulating some of the known benefits of mindfulness⁴.
Quick benefits of creative writing:
Improves communication and writing skills.
Improves memory retention.
Reduces stress levels.
Prompts and exercises for creative writing:
Write a short story using fun prompts like: "A mysterious package arrived on my doorstep."
Create a character sketch for a protagonist in your favorite novel.
Write a poem about a summer sunset.
Meditation and mindfulness are great ways to calm your mind and lower stress levels. There's a lot going on in the middle of the summer months. Taking time to yourself to reflect can help you stay grounded and reduce any damaging effects of stress or anxiety to promote better brain health.
Quick benefits of meditation and mindfulness:
Reduce stress levels.
Improve cognitive function.
Increase gray matter in the brain.
Examples of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises:
Try a mindful breathing exercise for five minutes each day.
Do a body scan meditation to help you relax and release tension.
Practice a loving-kindness meditation to cultivate compassion and empathy.
BioNeurix offers 2 brain supplements that support brain health by naturally optimizing your brain's neurotransmitters. If you struggle with feelings of anxiety or maintaining emotional wellness, these options could help work with your natural brain chemistry to improve mental focus and promote calmness.
Remember to always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement routine to make sure it's the safest and best option for you.
Amoryn Mood Booster helps support all three of the brain's "feel good" neurotransmitters. By providing an all-natural boost to serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, the ingredients in Amoryn can help you feel happy, calm, confident, and promote a positive outlook.
All these factors together may help boost brain power and improve focus by combatting the effects of negative moods.
Benefits of Amoryn:
Contains natural ingredients proven to improve mood and reduce feelings of sadness and worry.
Provides sustained emotional support to help you feel great all day, everyday.
Contains only USP Pharmaceutical Grade vitamins to ensure purity, and herbal extracts standardized for maximum effectiveness.
Learn about Amoryn's ingredients:
Hyperforin activates the brain's natural "feel good" neurotransmitters.
5-HTP is used by the brain to make serotonin, promoting a positive outlook.
Rhodiola Rosea increases serotonin activity, providing increased energy and motivation, reduced anxiety, and elevated feelings of confidence and optimism.
Supporting nutrients include B Vitamins, Selenium, Vitamin D3, Zinc, and Vitamin C.
Clinical research suggests that the natural compounds in Seredyn Complete Calm help reduce feelings of worry, stress, and anxiety. By supporting the brain's natural ability to relax, Seredyn restores tranquility to your life gently and naturally.
Like Amoryn, Seredyn may work as a brain booster by fighting back against the negative effects of anxiety and stress.
Benefits of Seredyn:
Designed to quickly calm and soothe the worried, restless mind.
Interacts with your brain's emotional pathways to reduce anxiety and support a calm and confident outlook.
Contains only standardized plant extracts and amino acids to ensure maximum purity and potency.
Learn about Seredyn's ingredients:
L-Theanine produces a pronounced feeling of tranquility.
Passion Flower acts as a natural remedy for anxiety and occasional sleep problems.
Valerian extract, a safe and effective herbal remedy, calms both mind and body.
Niacinamide has anti-anxiety properties without stressing the liver.
Magnesium Taurinate calms the mind and supports mental wellbeing.
So, there you have it, 5 fun and challenging summer brain boosters and 2 potential brain supplements to help you stay sharp and engaged while enjoying the summer sun. Whether you pick up a book, learn a new language, play a brain game, write creatively, or practice mindfulness, these activities are sure to keep your mind active and healthy from the beginning to the end of the season.
Remember, staying sharp doesn't mean you can't enjoy your summer break! It's about finding a balance between relaxation and intellectual engagement, allowing you to make the most of your time while still nurturing your mind.
(1) Bavishni, Avni, et al (September 2016) A Chapter a Day – Association of Book Reading with Longevity
(2) Fissler, Patrick, et al (October 2018) Jigsaw Puzzling Taps Multiple Cognitive Abilities and Is a Potential Protective Factor for Cognitive Aging
(3) Tan, Cher-Yi, et al (July 2021) Being Creative Makes You Happier: The Positive Effect of Creativity on Subjective Well-Being
(4) Devereux, Kim (October 2022) Embracing Uncertainty: How literary writing helps us change our minds