Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tip Tuesday: Develop a Better Sense of Direction

I've never had the best sense of direction. It's not something I'm happy about. When I moved to Michigan State University, for the first time in my life, I truly figured out north, south, east, and west. I new the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. I knew that MSU was just one really big square. I knew that I lived on the east side of campus. By knowing these things and keeping other landmarks in mind I was always able to tell what direction I needed to go on campus. Once I left that scenario, it wasn't quite so clear. 

So if you are at all like me and want to sharpen your sense of direction, if you weren't awarded one naturally, read on. 

Thanks to an article on National Geographic's Brain Games Show website, I have some strategies to advance what doesn't seem to come easily to me. 

1. Stop relying so much on the GPS. When we put all our trust in a device our brain gets lazy and stops working so hard for us. If you have some time to spare and some imagination and patience try to rely on your senses to get you where you are going. One thing to try is to use your GPS to get you to a place, but put it away on the way back. When you are driving to the location take note of things you pass and directions you turn. On the way back rely on those memories alone. 

2. Really take a look at your surroundings. Instead of just tuning out either when you are driving or riding, really look around and what is there. Take notice of where the sun is or other quirky milestones along the road. 

3. Be in shape. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain which makes it stronger. You can even take the opportunity to practice your navigation skills while out walking or on a bicycle, when you don't have the anxiety of being lost in traffic.