Improve Your Brain Through Hubbing

Recently, the question “How do I get back my concentration and memory?” prompted the writing of a couple of articles here on HubPages which I planned to turn into a series on improving one’s memory.  Since that time, there has been a new article about concentration and/or memory practically every other day in some sector of the Internet – so much so, that my original resolve to add my own wisdom to the mix has waned somewhat.

At the same time, my research showed me that many of the very specific suggestions for improving brain function are available through the process of participating in the HubPages community. Follow my reasoning.

Improvements to brain function fall into two very (very, very) broad categories: the physical and the mental. Among the physical steps that can be taken, we include things like diet and supplements, rest/sleep/meditation, exercise, social activity, and breathing techniques. All of these are important in different ways.

The mental activities that help to boost memory and concentration include playing games, learning new things, acquiring information on the subject of how the brain develops and works, developing and expressing confidence, lowering stress, choosing what to forget, and developing skills for organizing (both physically and mentally).

New Thinking about Thinking

Years ago, the prevailing wisdom in medical circles was that brain cells could never be replenished after they decayed; therefore we were told to do everything in our power to preserve what we already had. Not only was the thinking (back then) “Use it or lose it”; the idea was more accurately and gloomily stated as “Once lost, always lost.” More recently, studies have contradicted this old way of thinking. Scientists now tell us that the healthy brain continues making neural connections throughout life. Perhaps the operating speed changes; perhaps other changes take place. But we can count on a brain that continues to develop throughout our lifespan, as long as we do our part to keep it healthy, barring severe trauma.

I would love to say here that every single one of the activities listed above, including the physical and the mental steps, can be found here on HubPages. Yep, I would love to say it…. but it actually would be a slight exaggeration. Or maybe slightly bigger than “slight.”

That doesn’t diminish at all the significance of the ways HubPages activity can contribute to better memory and concentration. Of the areas listed above, at least five of them can be practiced here.

 

Interacting Socially

One very important brainpower-boosting activity is social interaction. Areas of the brain’s frontal lobe that are involved in executive function (planning, decision-making, and response control) are activated when people interact with one another. The interaction with other people and the resulting brain activity help to build up a reserve of mental ability. This means that some areas of the brain develop in such a way that they become capable of taking over certain brain functions, when other parts begin to decline.

So, how is social interaction accomplished on HubPages? A better question would be, how is it not accomplished? Look at the comments to Hubs. Look at the Question and Answer section. Look at the number of followers AEvans, Patty Inglish, ripplemaker, and relache, for example, have. And, good heavens………… look at the Forums!!!!!

Writing tends to be a generally solitary practice, and it would be quite easy and even natural for a writer to become closed off, shut off from the world. But on HubPages, it is possible to combine writing and socializing. For one thing, because of the fact that we are not using auditory software here, our communication is actually in the form of writing; that is, the social interaction takes place in the same way that the solitary activity of writing does, but directed towards a known audience with the expectation of a quick response. The writing and socially interacting can and may be simultaneous.

Then too, we can do what IzzyM recommends: we can write for a time, then take a break from writing and dip into the Forums to see who’s there, to make comments, to read the most recent arguments – and certainly to express ourselves.

But the social interaction here is far more powerful than simply sharing opinions, ideas, and knowledge. There is a remarkable degree of real compassion and understanding, encouragement and cheerleading. Look at the response to anyone's 30-Day Challenge. Look at the sympathetic and encouraging response to the admission "I Failed." Look at the gathering around numerous people who say, in essence, "There is a crisis of some kind in my real life, and I need your good thoughts and prayers [even if I myself don't know quite where I stand on the subject of prayer]." One Hubber took time to connect with the community on the very day her partner died, seeking and receiving wisdom, suggestions, insight, and a genuine outpouring of love. All of this from people that we will never meet face-to-face.

Playing Mental Games

Participating in forums also fulfills two others of the experts’ recommendations for developing better brainpower: that is, learning new things (challenges) and playing mental games. Look at the names of these games:

 

A Sentence that Starts with an R and ends with an R

This or That!!                        You are going to war, what would you pick?

The one thing you must have                             Say Anything, in 3 words

New Word Game... This one a bit different!       The Word game begins...

5 alphabets Word Game                              Say anything in 3 words BUT

Describe yourself in 5 words                Another 5 Letter Word Game, but...

Non plussed. Say it here.                                        A-Z of women's failings

What comes to mind when you hear....                        A-Z of men's failings

Write anything but truth...                                            A-Z of noble failures

Word association game................Chicken                          the cyrus game

Word Association Game.............Pork!                       What you really mean

The list will change tomorrow or the next day or the day after that. HubPages is a community of writers, and we play with words and ideas. We create games out of thoughts, and we are always thinking.

Of course, there are also forums in The Sandpit that are not quite games but that are quite playful: games of counting up or down; a game of Fibonacci numbers; Guessing Game (playfully responding to the previous post’s prediction of the next poster's trait, then adding a new prediction); Hub Radio 101, Chatter’s Thread, Wacky advice from us! and Hijack this thread! - varying ways of enjoying one another's playful or serious sides. And of course there is "Last one to post is the Winner! (redux)." What can I say? As of this writing it has over 34,000 posts.

Learning New Things

How does one learn new things in HubPages? One way would be to try to say something in a political or religious forums. There will certainly be an opposing viewpoint, often within seconds, and quite frequently it will be about something you have never heard before. While you try to understand the “bizarre” opposing comment and hold it up side-by-side with your own perfectly reasoned thoughts, and then compose your response in a way that will convince the most unintelligent person (after all, only the unintelligent would hold a view different from yours, right?), you are learning new things and facing new challenges for your brain to sort out. Mental challenge ... learning new things ... improved brainpower.

But for those of us who choose not to participate in the highly charged, highly opinionated forums, or who participate only minimally, there are still new things to be learned within other forums, things that may be perhaps even more puzzling: SEO, keywords, PR, backlinks, RSS. Nearly every day, I learn about something I had never even heard of a few months ago. For some Hubbers, simply filling Hub capsules with text, photos, videos, quizzes, links, and all – even as user-friendly as it truly is – may be a challenge, something new to be learned.

An important point to remember is that playing games every day will lose its effectiveness if it is the same game or the same kind of game all the time. In order to remain youthful, pliable, and constantly improving, our brains need frequently to confront new types of learning - new information, new puzzles, new routes to work, new languages, new ideas.

Acquiring Information

HubPages provides an incredible wealth of information, opinion, advice, and suggestions. Among the nearly one million Hubs that are available, there are many - besides the series I began - that offer ideas on how to improve your memory, concentration and brainpower. You can find advice about nutrients, meditation, recovering from a TBI, how to memorize anything fast – the list goes on and on. There is plenty of information to help make you smarter and better at using your brain, if you will simply read it and follow the advice to the best of your ability.

Raising Confidence and Lowering Stress

Strengthening and developing one’s skills - through writing and publishing Hubs, through discussing and learning in Forums, through reading other Hubbers' articles - leads to greater self-confidence. Positive social interactions can also contribute to a higher level of confidence and therefore a lower level of stress. Both higher confidence and lower stress have been linked to better memory.

For the most part, except in the political and religious forums, Hubbers tend to be helpful to one another. Personalities do surface; some are more direct, perhaps even abrupt – or maybe they are simply concise; others are a bit warmer, sometimes perhaps even a bit too fuzzy-feel-good. But the end result is the feeling of a community, of people to whom one can turn for ideas, suggestions, thoughts, advice – the very warm, comforting feeling of a security blanket, the confidence-building security of a safety net, or the awareness of having a group of well-meaning friends who will give an appropriate kick in the seat of the pants, as needed.

Whenever I have a question about some esoteric aspect of publishing on the internet, all I have to do is to post a question, and usually within minutes there will be an answer from somewhere... maybe halfway around the globe. I’m sitting here at my computer desk in Indiana, USA, and when I ask a question it is answered by a Hubber in Australia or Canada, South Africa or Saudi Arabia, Nigeria or France. What a TRIP!

Developing Skills for Organizing

Many Hubs provide information that will help you to organize yourself and your life; the process of organizing can help your brain develop new patterns that will make it more efficient and effective. Organizing, after all, is a form of observing or creating and using patterns - noticing and grouping similarities - and the use of patterns is one great tool for enhancing the memory.

The HubPages site is arranged in such a way that Hubs within one account can be organized into Groups. When a reader reaches the end of one Hub, they will find a link or links connecting to other Hubs within the same group, likely coordinated by some similarity in content, focus, style or some other trait.

HubPages also permits, and perhaps even encourages, writers to create separate accounts if they wish so that they can organize their Hubs better. Within one account, an author might choose to publish articles on the subject of Children, Parenting, and Family Life; within another account, the writer might publish articles related to Fishing, Fishing Equipment, Traveling to Fish, Fishing as a Sport, and so forth.

These options for organizing are available to HubPages members, and whenever they are used the writers are practicing and developing organizational skills. Improving one’s ability to organize is enhanced by the practice of putting words on paper/computer screen (organizing thoughts); putting a Hub together with text, photos, links, polls or quizzes, and affiliate capsules (organizing resources for the reader); following statistics on each Hub or on the My Account page (observing organized results); following progress with Google Analytics (observing organization of trends); and using bookmarks to keep track of articles of interest by other Hubbers or permalinks to find one’s way back to a forum comment in the future (organizing resources for the Hubber's personal future reference).

The site itself is arranged in such a way that the concept of organization (sometimes "organized chaos") is part of its fabric. There are categories for Hub topics, questions, ideas, forums, Hubbers, ranks, and scores. The practice of organizing is not only recommended and made very user-friendly; it is also modeled throughout Hubpages. The staff seems always willing to consider new ideas for improvements to the organization of the site. Some suggestions are helpful and useful; some are not. That is the nature of sharing creative ideas, whether related to organization or to solving every problem in the known universe.

Among the available wonderful suggestions for improving one’s memory and concentration, there are some that do not precisely fit into the category of Better Brainwork Through Hubbing. But simply by reading the articles here, you may learn all about some other great ideas and find ways to work them into your life.

If you would like to Improve Your Brain Through Hubbing, you can start by signing up as a member of HubPages.

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Comments 21 comments

superpipoy profile image

superpipoy 4 years ago

Writing hubs is a great way to relax during your freetime. And at the same time, you earn while relaxing. Thanks for sharing this great information.


Sunnyglitter profile image

Sunnyglitter 5 years ago from Cyberspace

Interesting hub. I like it.


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 5 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

elayne001 and Dolores, those are excellent points! I may add them to the Hub proper when I make revisions. I really do feel that HubPages is a great place to "go to school." There are so many things to learn here.

Here's a tip for taking notes and organizing them: You can do a lot of notetaking on your computer in notepad (text) documents. But I admit it's easy for those to become disorganized too, if I don't take the time to create different folders for different topics. Still, on the computer, it's easy enough to run a search, if I forget where I have filed a particular notepad.

There are also plenty of times when I actually prefer to work with paper and pen, rather than on the computer. It's nice to have the option of using either one or both.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 5 years ago from East Coast, United States

One of the cool things I feel that I've picked up here on HP is the research. I have often become interested in a subject, read a bit about it, then sort of mentally wandered off. But now, if a topic interests me, I create a hub about it. I look for lots of info online and in books, then organize it, and produce a hub, if not several. My next goal is going to be the note taking and organizing - when I actually write the hub, I am sitting at a table with a pile of paper, just a big mess, terrible to sort through!


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Who knew you could gain so much from hubbing - actually, I have been enlightened time and time again, and hence, I am still around. It takes time and effort to research a topic so that you can write a decent hub also. Thanks for pointing out some things we take for granted here. Just think how smart we will all be!!


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thanks, couponalbum. I look forward to checking out your Hubs. Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting!


couponalbum profile image

couponalbum 6 years ago from Sunnyvale, CA

Well done! It seems you have done lot pf research on this topic. Liked your other hubs too. Joining your fanclub and would like to invite you to join mine. :)


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Hey, thanks, HubCrafter! I have added it to my Hubs-To-Do, and I will try to keep it moving towards the top of the list.


HubCrafter profile image

HubCrafter 6 years ago from Arizona

I hope I can inspire you to curb the "perspiration" you might spend in the forums and shed it on a hub about prayer. hmmm.

Always good for cred to share an honest thought. Right?


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Hi, HubCrafter - Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Whew! I was a bit taken aback (it's a memory problem, you see - oboy, that explains the need for the Hub right there) and had to dig into this Hub to see where I had written that about prayer.

Your second guess is the correct one - that is, I was trying to put words into the mouth or mind of the person with troubles who would ask for prayer (or in some cases "spiritual thoughts") in one of the forums.

But if it raises my "cred" in HubPages (:)), I can truthfully acknowledge that my understanding of what prayer means and what it does has changed through the years, and I hope I will always keep growing and learning. Maybe I can get another Hub out of this. :) LOL. Hmmm.


HubCrafter profile image

HubCrafter 6 years ago from Arizona

Hi Aficionada:

- -"we become like the people we spend time with", huh?

Is that like the old saw that says pet owners eventually grow to look just like their pets, lol?

Bummer, lol. We have three cats and a dog...my life is ruined! ...Mom won't recognize me..Dad will have me fetch the paper...my Sister will start sneezing..ruined! lol.

OK new subject.

Riddle me this Batman...she says she's a Pastor's wife but then she says (quite honestly):[even if I myself don't know quite where I stand on the subject of prayer].

Is that you...or are you quoting the person with troubles?

If you find this question is too...too; then please don't publish my comment. I'll understand.


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

CMCastro, I share your love of learning about the function of the brain and nervous system. It is absolutely amazing, and the more we learn about it, the more amazed I am! I look forward to hearing more about your experiences with neurological changes and alterations - your own and those of other people.


CMCastro profile image

CMCastro 6 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

I have a favorite in the study of anatomy/physiology and that is the function of the brain and its nervous system.

Being in the nursing field I have worked with people with altered neurological states. Then when I had my own encounter with neurological changes I added things to my lifestyle that helped me strengthen my memory, coordination and concentration. My things to do: video games, PacMan or QBert: doing crosswords,word search, and SUDOKU,and any other kind of thinking games.

I give you applause for your Hub. I look forward to more.


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

LOL, bgamall! You and me both! I think my cobwebs get thicker with every passing year.


bgamall profile image

bgamall 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

Gets the cobwebs out. And I have some thick ones. :)


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thank you both, Lamme and AEvans, for reading and making such kind comments. I love being a part of HubPages too! There is so much to learn here, so many perspectives to read and absorb, so many interesting and intelligent people. I could go on and on....


AEvans profile image

AEvans 6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Wow! So informative and listing all of the games on the forums are intriguing. I agree there are a few bizarre responses on the forums and I have sometimes found myself laughing out loud, because they don't always make any sense or making comment and feeling like I was a teenager again or even a mother.

This hub gives you an in-depth look to what makes our minds tick. Being on-line is a social interraction and even though we do not know everyone, as a human we have the compassion to embrace a total stranger when they are down. Great perception! Not only did you make me smile , but I felt your words of humor and compassion in this hub. Excellent wrting! Thumbs up! :)


Lamme profile image

Lamme 6 years ago

I knew there was a reason I liked to hang out on HubPages! LOL


Aficionada profile image

Aficionada 6 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

That is so cool, Pcunix! I have heard of many ways in which we become like the people we spend time with, and it's fascinating to hear that intelligence is among them. And I agree with your last two sentences (in the first comment). :) :)

I look forward to reading your new hub. I'll go read it and see about linking this one to it.


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA

By the way, your hub inspired me to write something in a similar vein and I got so wrapped up in it that I forgot to give you crediit!

I am going to add that bit and a link to here right now.


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 6 years ago from SE MA

Interesting studies of IQ show that your intelligence (at least as measured by those tests) moves toward the norm of the people you associate with.

That's why HubPages is a good place to be - it will make you smarter!

Well, there are some people you need to stay away from, but not al that many :-)

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