Poker and the Benefits of Brain Exercise

Poker can be described as a battle of wits, and that is definitely one of the aspects that make the game attractive. Mental strength and personal agility are put to the test, and to win, you must be in your best condition mentally. Like in most games, you get better with exercise, meaning that the more you play, the better you get. Your brain becomes more active, and if you can maintain high levels of activity, you’ll be working your way towards optimum mental health.

It is all about learning new tricks, practicing them, and being inventive. One of the reasons why poker is regarded as one of the attributes to the benefits of brain exercise is the aspect of competition in the manner players try to outdo each other. No physical strength is required in poker game like in other games, but rather emotional stability and mental strength.

The power of meditation

In much the same way weight-lifting conditions your physical strength so does meditation to the brain. Routine meditation becomes a habit, and hence significantly impacts on your overall mental performance. Scientifically, meditation enhances alpha brain waves, boosts personal creativity, and lowers the chances of depression by a huge percentage.

Additionally, meditation is also known to increase neuroplasticity, whereby your brain develops new neural pathways to improve your thinking capacity.

Other benefits of meditation include;

  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Improves concentration
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Improves your sleeping patterns
  • Improves the general quality of life

The art of meditation

Meditation can occur in a myriad of forms from what we’ve seen from different ancient cultures, but from a poker player’s perspective, it can take place quite easily. Sit down with your eyes closed, your spine in an upright position, and concentrate on your breathing pattern for approximately 5-10 minutes. The challenge lies in remaining consistent, and most people will not be able to maintain focus for the entire period. While it is only natural to fill your mind with numerous ideas during that time, the worst you can do is trying to suppress them. Instead, acknowledge them and allow them to drift away as naturally as they came.

It takes regular practice to be able to improve on maintaining focus on your breathing patterns, but your routine will need to start slowly with a daily 5-minute meditation spell. A similar approach can also be adopted before every poker game.

Play more

Every move in a poker game is usually a calculated one. While it is impossible to read your opponent’s mind, it is possible manipulate their next move, or at least spoiling their best chance. That brings about too much satisfaction and that is where the fun is; the ability to counter your opponent. It is known as a battle of wits because all the players have similar goals; to outsmart one another. The best part about the game of poker is that there is nothing like luck, and every single move is well thought out. In short, it is brains at work from the beginning to the end.


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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books–written by men–barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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