Four Fun Ways to Improve Your Problem Solving Skills in 2017

January 20, 2017
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Do you believe that people are born geniuses?  Well, research suggests that brain power is more than just genes. It’s a result of hereditary influences and a tremendous amount of mental work.

So if you fancy yourself becoming the next Albert Einstein or simply think daily life doesn’t challenge you enough mentally, there are mental exercises you can do to achieve your dream. From taking up lock picking to playing Star Craft, here are four ways you can improve your problem solving skills in 2017.

1. Exercise your brain with puzzles

Forget about playing chess or solving Sudoku puzzles, there are more interesting ways to exercise your brain.

Lock picking, for instance, has been the go-to mental exercise for hackers and hobbyists alike. To pick a lock, you need to understand how locking mechanisms work and think of ways to bypass them.

Once you’ve mastered the basic tumbler lock, you can work your way up to combo locks. Lock manufacturers are also constantly improving their technology so you’re sure to find newer and more challenging locks to pick.

2. Listen to or learn to play awesome music.

Studies have shown that playing music while working out has improved the participants’ scores on verbal fluency exams as compared to when they work out without music. By simply listening to music while exercising, you can improve your problem solving skills.

What’s more, playing musical instruments helps with motor skills, creativity and analytical skills. It does this by strengthening the “corpus callosum”, a band of nerve fibers that joins the two hemispheres of your brain. Improving your corpus callosum will not only improve your problem solving skills, but will also improve your executive skills, memory and over-all brain functions regardless of your age.

3. Learn a new language

A study from the University of Washington show that babies who grow up bilingual have better problem solving skills than people who speak only one language. Learning a new language also improves your memory and increases your attention span by challenging you to concentrate and recall new words.

So the next time you plan a trip overseas, consider taking up the local language. It won’t only help you meet new people but can also make you smarter.

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4. Play some video games

People still think of video games as only guilty pleasures or an “escapist” activity. However, studies have shown that video games can improve your attention span, improve your mood and increase your cognitive strength.

In fact, a study done by the North Carolina State University and Florida State University show that some popular video games can be effective cognitive training tools for older adults.

Call of Duty, for instance, can improve your spatial in spatial-intelligence skills as well as your visual attention while strategic games like StarCraft can help you formulate and execute strategic plans.

Intelligence may be innate to some but everyone can be a thinker with constant practice. Just like going to the gym regularly, setting aside time to work up your mental muscles will help you become more focused and logical.

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