How Veterans Can Retain an Active Mind and Develop New Skills


Having spent the bulk of their professional careers in a particularly disciplined field, it’s essential that veterans seek to stay busy outside of the armed forces. Although few activities can replicate the previously-known normality of serving in the military, numerous hobbies can assist in keeping the mind active.

Importantly, the transition from a pressurized, physically-demanding role to civilian life can be somewhat troublesome. In turn, this is why developing new skills through exploring thought-provoking hobbies is of utmost importance. So, let’s consider several activities and their significance in helping veterans to retain a healthy mind.

Learn a New Language

While there are many activities that veterans could look to explore upon leaving the military, few can argue against the benefits of learning a new language. For some, their deployment in the armed forces may have seen them operate around unfamiliar dialects. Because of that, there may be a desire to expand their understanding and develop a new skill.

As a result of the world’s interconnected and interdependent nature within the 21st century, diverse language proficiency is undoubtedly something that should be encouraged. Importantly, this activity has many cognitive benefits. Fundamentally, this relates to the process of knowing and perceiving newly-acquired information. As becoming bilingual is a long-term project, stimulating cognitive processes will strengthen the ability to remember knowledge and mentally process it.

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Lead with Language’s top benefits of learning a new language states that people who are proficient in multiple dialects have improved concentration, memory, problem-solving skills, and more. Furthermore, this activity sharpens the mind, according to Eton Institute. A study conducted in Spain discovered that multilingual speakers better observe their surroundings. Moreover, it’s also stated that learning a new language keeps the brain sharper for longer.

Due to the complex nature of learning a second language, the activity is a long-term commitment. Primarily, this gives veterans something to focus their attention on for a prolonged period of time. As attaining such knowledge won’t happen overnight, the longevity revolving around becoming bilingual can undoubtedly help in retaining an active mind for a sustained period of time.

Consider Poker and Sports Betting

Upon moving to the forefront of the online casino industry following the rise of digitalization, betting-related activities are more accessible than ever before. Crucially, of the available games, there’s a belief that poker is mentally beneficial because of its strategic, thought-provoking nature. Despite the undeniable differences between a military role and the table-based game, the two disciplines perhaps share more similarities than first thought, and this is why poker can be advantageous to veterans.

According to a report by American Drug Discovery, poker can have a positive influence on the human brain in numerous ways. Fundamentally, of course, the traditional casino game requires discipline in order to be successful. Although this won’t be an alien skill to veterans, it undoubtedly adds another layer to their pre-existing mental attributes.

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Furthermore, as per Gaming Today, the article states that games which stimulate all six cognitive areas of the brain simultaneously are the most beneficial. Importantly, poker is able to achieve this intricate level of stimulation. Aside from this, several other skills required in the table-based game will already be familiar to veterans. For example, adaptivity, logical reasoning, and patience are just some of the varied attributes needed for poker success. However, when intertwined with poker strategy, veterans will have learned a new skill by acquiring an understanding of the complex game.

As well as poker, sports betting is also an intriguing method of retaining an active mind and developing new skills. Because of the sector’s sports-specific focus, this potentially adds a more methodical layer to veterans’ active hobbies, such as basketball or soccer. Similarly to poker, this betting market allows people to develop their analytical skills, as well as immersing themselves in real-time sport.

In turn, and because of the heightened accessibility of sports betting operators, veterans in Iowa, for example, can explore numerous markets across a wide array of different sporting events. Crucially, Legal Betting’s guide to gambling in the United States showcases the various regulations throughout US states, with some yet to legally provide a route to sports betting. Although all states don’t currently allow gambling, the evolving acceptance of the market’s benefits is starting to be the catalyst for change. Fundamentally, the widespread legalization of betting opportunities illustrates that Americans do now have the choice to gamble online.

Stay Engaged and Retain a Progressive Focus

While, of course, numerous hobbies can help to pass the time, they don’t all provide the same levels of stimulation. As mentioned above, language learning, poker, and sports betting all have cognitive benefits. Aside from that, each activity, in some way, is centered around aiding self-progression. Crucially, in addition to adopting immersive pastimes, veterans are also developing their skillset as well as engaging in thought-provoking tasks.

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