Today is Train Your Brain Day, a day to put on your thinking cap and put your noggin to work! Train Your Brain Day encourages people everywhere to expand their minds with trivia, brain teasers, riddles, thinking games, and puzzles. Many scientists claim that we’ve only unlocked a small part ouf our potential brain capacity. Use today’s holiday as an excuse to discover thinking and reasoning skills that you might not even know you have! Or simply exercise your cerebral cortex to make sure it stays healthy and motivated for continued lifelong learning.
Back in January when we celebrated National Puzzle Day (it seems like it’s been forever already!), I revealed that I can be very impatient when it comes to puzzles. That same character fault often resurfaces with riddles, word problems, and sometimes even trivia. Perhaps that’s why I’m not a giant fan of most puzzles — they just seem like too much work to me (except jigsaw puzzles, which I really enjoy once in a blue moon). Even so, I understand that there are a lot of benefits to be reaped from an active mind. Whether you enjoy philosophy and debate, or trivia and puzzles, a “thinking” mind is crucial for healthy human development. And so, in honor of Train Your Brain Day, I turned to the one puzzle that I can not only tolerate, but enjoy in spite of my lack of patience: Sudoku.
Number games have been around for a long time, but it’s thought that the first modern sudoku puzzle was published in 1979, the same year I was born. Sudoku really took off around 2005 and now people everywhere enjoy the puzzles, which can range from incredibly simple to absolutely frustrating. But one of the great things about Sudoku is that there’s a degree of difficulty for every player. Also, the puzzles are based on logic, so they can help improve your critical thinking skills. Furthermore, they require a lot of focus — I’ve rushed through many puzzles trying to break my record time only to find that my speed caused a careless mistake. Sudoku also requires creativity: when I first moved beyond the intermediate level and had to search for new solving strategies I could actually feel my brain processing the new complex information. And finally, sudoku does require that one skill I really need to work on: patience.