Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Free Resource for Our Blog Readers to Empower Your Mind to Learn

 

Last month, we introduced a new resource that can set you up for success as a learner.   This resource remains available for free for our blog readers for the next ~60 days.  If you haven’t accessed the EMindful website yet, let me tell you a little bit about what you’ll find there.

 

First, you’ll fill out a 4-question survey to establish a baseline of how you emotionally cope with stressful situations.  Next, you’ll indicate your familiarity with mindfulness (in 3 simple steps).  After that short-and-sweet get-to-know-you introduction, the website’s many resources are revealed.

 

EMindful’s resources fall into 38 categories, including stress, Covid-19, sleep, relationships, anxiety, focus, happiness, performance and effectiveness, communication.  I selected these three:  resilience, leadership, wellbeing.  Fascinating material, providing relevant and practical strategies.

 

Exploration of the website starts with a 2-minute video called “What is Mindfulness?”  I would give a summary, but I think you should watch it for yourself!  A tour of the website reveals that there are many live programs, with a daily schedule of guided mindfulness practices.   

 

There are many live programs (multi- and single session) on topics such as weight balance for life; stress less, live more; social eating and holiday weight loss (a single session happening next week on 10/29).  If you don’t want to be tied to someone else’s teaching schedule, there are also on-demand programs on topics such as enhancing performance, emotional intelligence, avoiding burnout, purposeful decision-making.

 

So, how will these mindfulness resources help someone become a better learner?  I have an example of something that just happened today.  One of my ESL (English as a second language) students came to our one-on-one session today emotionally upset about events happening in her home country (far from here) that she cannot change.  She was so distracted that she couldn’t concentrate on her schoolwork.  Luckily, she is familiar with mindfulness and we were able to use some mindfulness strategies to re-focus her brain away from the emotional drama and toward today’s lesson plan.

 

I encourage you to visit the EMindful website today to make the most out of the remaining free trial period we’ve arranged for our readership.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Improve Your Brain Function With Riddles, Puzzles, and Games

 

Yes, your brain is plastic; it changes, it grows, it shrinks, it works better, or worse, all depending on what it is up to at the time.

 

The acquisition of knowledge, all kinds of knowledge, builds the structure of a child’s brain.  The more the child learns, the more it is able to learn.  This process continues all the way through life, though at a slower pace for grown-ups.  Actually, for some of them it may go in reverse, like for Alzheimer sufferers.  That’s why it is truly a staying-alive necessity to exercise one’s mind and keep on learning.  For most adults this needs to be a conscious effort, for otherwise the brain will shrink and its performance will be diminished.  

 

This becomes most important at the onset of aging and further on into old age, for otherwise decline is going to be rapid and possibly irreversible.

 

So, what are the easiest ways to keep your mind active, flexible, plastic, and functioning well?  Well, here are a few ways:  Riddles, Puzzles, and Computer Games

 

Wikipedia in defining Brain Training, points out that puzzles are one of the main categories of mind games for self -improvement.

 

Here is an article on “10 Best Free Online Puzzle Games” that was published in March  2020 by Cianna Garrison.

 

Learning is a process that does not judge what you are learning, as long as you are acquiring new information. So never mind if you are a beginner or an expert, as long as you are exercising your brain.

 

While challenging your brain functions, try having fun with it.  For example:

 

Whenever I have a free moment or am stuck in a waiting line, I am using “Jigsaw Puzzle,” available from the App Store. It has free daily puzzles you can use. Depending on the difficulty level of your choice, you can choose the number of puzzle pieces.  It surely keeps your mind working, happily.  

 

You can do a google search for riddles, puzzles, and games which are free or may cost little.  Amazon has a wealth of books on the subject, including “Which is not true?” (ideal for quiz lovers) by Nayden Kostov, which is free for Kindle users in Prime, otherwise $9.49 in paperback.

 

Have fun!

 

Guest blogger, Meredani Straube, worked 15 years as Finance & Administration Officer for Deloitte & Touche.  She is now the Director for Finance and Human Resources of the Straube Group companies.