Coping, Resources

Exercise Your Mind

Exercising tops the list of many people’s new year’s resolutions. Usually the goal is to make your body work (or look or feel) better, but your mind needs exercise too. While it takes the same amount of discipline to get yourself to exercise your mind as it does your body, mental exercise doesn’t require getting sweaty and is usually fun. (Some people will tell you that physical exercise is fun, but no one who says that is trustworthy.)

Even more reason to put your mind to work is that headaches can affect your thinking. Trouble thinking and finding words are little-known migraine symptoms, but any severe pain can have the same effect. Being able to rationalize my foggy headedness doesn’t make me feel any smarter and I imagine it doesn’t help you either.

I’ve found Big Brain Academy and Brain Age, which are Nintendo DS games, to be a great way to challenge my mind, but special gadgets aren’t required. Nor are your options limited to crossword puzzles or sudoku — although puzzle books can be excellent. How to Exercise an Open Mind on wikiHow has a wide range of recommendations, some better than others. Or you can jump straight to the fun (and often free) stuff on MSN Games and Yahoo Games.