Psychiatrist Questions Mental Health

Are there any exercises for the brain?

I am 29 years old and I have a high tension job which keeps me booked for almost 20 hours. Is there any form of exercise that I can do for my brain since I can feel the stress and pressures eating into me?

10 Answers

Yes! The best exercise for the brain is exercise. With time pressure there is 10-minute, high intensity workouts. You can also do quick yoga breathing.
There are a lot of exercises for the brain, such as deep breathing, puzzles, meditation, or even just simple reading.
Yes, there are many brain exercises; the better exercises seem to focus on improving ones capacity for categorizing objects and ideas. Games like checkers and chess also seem to be helpful. Improving categorization seems to help memory. Memory facilitation seems to directly improve brain function.
Any form of meditation, deep breathing and relaxation techniques will help ease some of the stress and tension you are describing. I recommend downloading one of the free apps for mindfulness meditation such as headspace, 10% happier (I don't get any commission from these companies) or any one of the other forms that appeal to you. I also recommend yoga and exercise and sun exposure early in the morning. Improving your sleep will also help.
Please see therapist to manage stress.practice relaxation and sleep hygiene.
All the best.
Not really exercises as such. Hobbies serve that function, anything you can get distracted in - even collecting pokemon cards. But don't spend money to buy anything that promises to increase your IQ, or such. They don't work.
I think one of the best things you could do is to learn about mindfulness meditation - probably Jon Kabat-Zinn is the best place to start. This should give you a skill to "destress" wherever you are.

Tony Stanton MD
If you are in a high stress level job then you need frequent breaks to relax your self to regain your mental functioning. Doing a 5 minutes meditation or any exercise or recreational activity will be helpful.
The brain requires many things: 1) sleep 2) emotional release (deep conversation about your actual experience of your work and life 3) exercise (any physical exercise will do) 4) replenishing activity and engagement, such as, music, art, love making, pleasurable reading, etc. 5) meditative practices, such as, #4, formal meditation, relaxation exercises, etc. Your body, mind, heart, and brain will thank you. If #2 is difficult, consider finding a good psychotherapist (which means someone with whom you actually connect).



Neal S. Kass, MD
In order to relieve some of the pressure you are putting on your brain is to consciously take breaks from straining. that is, the best exercise for a stressed brain is take breaks from the work and stress. Take ten minutes off every hour, like we did when I was in the Military. Go to the bathroom; take a 5 minutes stretch period by getting up and doing some physical exercise. During 10 or so hours, take at least 2 or even 3, 20-minute naps (no more than 20 minutes or you'll go into deeper sleep which will not be restful).
Believe it or not, taking breaks will make you more productive and reduce the stress on your brain and the rest of you.


Good luck.

Henri Parens, MD