Sitting at home can be creative, can you believe it?!
Try these games that tap your innate genius to build a happy and resilient brain. When we play games, we tackle challenges with more determination and more optimism.
For an Open Mind, play: Palms Up
Hands open, turn your palms to face the ceiling and count to 15. Before you finish, you should start noticing a more open mindset.
Why does it work? Our brains take mental cues from physical gestures. When we offer someone a helping hand, ask for help, or prepare to receive something, our palms are upturned; when we reject something or push someone away, our palms face out. Thousands of years of these human interactions may leave us biologically primed to draw openness from upturned palms.
For more Willpower, play: Muscle Up
Need to resist an impulse? Want to steel yourself to do something difficult? Here’s how to get instant mental resilience.
Squeeze one or more muscles as hard as you can for five seconds. Any muscles will work — your hands, biceps, abs, calves. The more muscles you tense up, the more mental strength you’ll summon.
Why does it work? As with ‘Palms up’, the brain looks to the body for cues here. A strong body cues a strong brain, making it easier to muster the courage or stick to resolutions.
For a Mood Boost, play: Prediction
Make a prediction about something, anything, that you can personally verify the outcome of. It can be big or small, silly or serious. Just make a prediction and see if you’re right! For example, how many footsteps do you need to take from your current position to some other place in your apartment?
Why does it work? Every prediction you make triggers an increase in attention and dopamine. That’s because every time you make a prediction, two highly rewarding outcomes are possible. You might be right — which will feel good! Or you might be wrong — which will give you information that will help you make a better prediction next time. In fact, the dopamine boost is often greater when you learn something new and useful than when you succeed.