The brain thrives on novel stimuli. It loves to learn, to explore and discover. However, many of us lead lives of routine and pattern that limit how much new stuff our brains are exposed to. If this describes you, do yourself a favor and work to break these patterns and start seeking out new things. In general, new friends and new hobbies are probably the best way to go, but these require a considerable time commitment, so if you are unable to take these large steps you should start off with something smaller. Try this:
Pick an environment or object you are familiar with and regularly exposed to, whether it be your garden, the beach, the woods, your walk to work, or even just a painting in your bedroom. Inspect this environment carefully and try to notice some detail about it you have never seen before. In all likelihood, this will be easy, as our brains routinely filter out information they deem irrelevant. The next time you are taking that walk, working in your garden, or checking out your painting, try to find something else new, and continue with this process. Over time, you will begin to see the environment/object in ever greater detail, and with any luck, that tendency to look closer at things and be more aware will carry over into other aspects of your life.
This tip emphasizes a general trend that emerges in many of these brain fitness tips: don’t be lazy and complacent with your mind. Use it as it is meant to be used, and be sure to take in all the richness of the world around you. Step up to challenges instead of shying away from them, and let what your brain does best: learn, grow and adapt.