The brain works a little like a muscle. You have to work on those creative and positive thinking processes on a daily basis, or you start to lose some of the progress you’re making. Think back on long summer breaks when you were in school. Study after study shows that kids lose much of what they’ve learned and how well they learn during a long summer break, unless they are encouraged to do a little something to work out their brains.
The same goes for you. Think about the first day back at the office after a two week vacation. You have a hard time getting into the groove, and it takes a while before you’re back to your regular thinking and processing speed. The longer you’re gone, the worse it gets. If you’ve gone back to school after a few years on the job or gone back to work after maternity leave, you have experienced this first hand.
The key then is to keep the mind sharp by actively working it out regularly. Honestly, this isn’t just about positive and creative thinking. It’s about thought processes and keeping your brain working well in general. The more you challenge yourself by reading interesting books, solving puzzles, and learning something new on a regular basis, the better your brain will perform for you in general.
We’ve already talked about the benefits of learning something new on a regular basis. Don’t stop there. Create some every-day challenges to work out your brain. Maybe it’s solving a crossword or Sudoku puzzle each morning. Maybe it’s surrounding yourself with critical thinkers who challenge you in conversation. Maybe it’s reading something uplifting each evening before bed.
Come up with some simple little things you can start to do regularly to make sure your brain stays active and sharp. Find a new hobby that challenges your mind. Make new friends. Learn a new language or skill. Sign up for an online brain training game.
Make training your brain just as non-negotiable as eating a healthy diet and getting in your physical exercise. You’ll be happier and healthier for it for years to come, and it will really pay off big time as you get older. You can do a lot to combat the loss of cognitive function by actively working out your brain.
In addition to working out your brain in general, do as much as you can to encourage yourself to think positively and creatively. Solve some interesting puzzles. Come up with creative solutions to imaginary problems for the fun of it. Practice your daily affirmations, write in your journal, and remind yourself to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. The more you practice, the easier it will become; and you’ll actually be able to reshape your brain towards positivity and creativity.