[AdSense-A]Big ol’ biceps and 12-pack abs are all well and wonderful, but when’s the last time you gave your most important muscle some exercise? We’re referring, of course, to your brain. Without that glob of grey goo operating at 100%, you’d be a drooling invalid at best, dead at worst.
But you’re not going to keep your brain up to snuff by focusing exclusively on the gym. You need a good mental workout as well, and you need one as often as possible. Think of your brain as a shark inside your skull — keep it moving, or it will quickly die. Also, as an aside, a brain with the appetite of a shark would make an AWESOME horror movie. Attack of the Man-Eating Brains, coming soon to SyFy, probably.
Hey, it’s more believable than Sharknado.
Back to the real world now. Want to bulk up your mental toughness along with your physical prowess? Here are a few sure-fire ways to do so:
Take Academic Trivia Quizzes
Trivia is everywhere, both on and offline. If you don’t have the time or energy to join a pub trivia league or some similar deal, then open up another tab on your computer and browse for some online trivia games. They’re everywhere, and playing just a few per day can definitely increase your mental toughness. But they have to be academic. As much fun as testing your knowledge about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles might be, it’s not going to do much for your intelligence.
Just because Donatello does machines, doesn’t mean you can.
Take a science quiz, even if you suck at science. Actually, take a science quiz ESPECIALLY if you suck at science. Because then you’ll want to learn more about what the many, many questions you got wrong, so you’re not as wrong the next time you delve into science trivia. This could only help to boost your mental toughness, not to mention sharpen your research skills.
Take Free Online College Courses
College is expensive, as everybody knows. The cost alone keeps many a person from going back to school, even though a new degree could very well help boost their career. But who has five figures to blow on more education when you already owe the student loan people five or possibly six figures for past education?
“Aw crap, must be my due date again.”
Luckily, there are a slew of online college courses out there that you can take in your spare time, on your schedule, totally for free. Maybe they don’t count towards a degree (in fact, they almost certainly won’t) but they will help improve your brainpower and get that muscle moving. Plus, there’s a good chance you’ll embrace these courses more enthusiastically than a course you’re required to attend at the same time every day. Learning’s always more fun when it’s on your own terms, after all.
Go Back to the Library
Remember the library? Even though you might not have visited one since High School, they still exist, and are still free unless you’re a horrible person who doesn’t return their stuff in time.
In which case, say goodbye to those 25 cents you’ve been hoarding.
Hit the library every so often, and don’t just borrow a DVD or the latest 50 Shades novel. Hit the non-fiction section, find some fascinating topic you want to learn more about, take those kids home, and devour them. Since you have to return them, take notes if that will help you retain what you read. The simple act of writing what you read might very well help you absorb the info quicker and become mentally stronger than you would ever have thought possible.
Play Puzzling Video Games
Finally, do you love video games? Chances are that you do. Did you know they can help boost your mental strength in addition to just being fun as hell? Of course, you have to select the right game — firing up an old copy of Super Mario Brothers 3 likely won’t do a lot for your ticker.
But Tetris can! Or Portal. Hell, even Doom or Resident Evil could work. Any game where you have to think about what you’re doing and react on the fly to sudden changes (whether it be of the “falling blocks” or “screaming zombies” variety) will help sharpen your reflexes, both physical and mental.
If Super Zombie Brothers were a thing, it could practically get you into MENSA
And there you have it. Four great ways to boost your mental toughness any time you want, no gym membership required. Not if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to pitch Attack of the Man-Eating Brains to Hollywood execs. We’ll make millions!