No one wants to atrophy, even in old age. We’ve all seen the older person who can’t remember yesterday and is always yelling for you to speak louder. Although we love these seniors, we may not want to become like them.
And we don’t have to! It’s important to understand that while we can’t control WHEN we age, we do have control over HOW we age.
There is some good news, though. These days many people are enjoying healthy, good lives well into their golden years. New advances in medicine and psychology support this process of being the best person you can be throughout your life.
Take note of these four ways developing your mind will help you age better and stave off mental decline.
Always be learning and never stop learning
Our mental performance as we age is enhanced if we have experienced higher levels of education, according to Health.Harvard.edu.
A big reason for this could be that higher education gives you the habit of being mentally active. When practiced as a lifelong habit, educated people never stop learning and their brains stay sharp.
Even if your job isn’t mentally challenging, you might pick up a new hobby and read more. A brain that is challenged is less prone to dementia or memory loss. You’re also more likely to enjoy a more fulfilling life as you continue to meet life’s challenges.
Use your senses to remember later
If you have created a memory and experienced it with a sense, for example your such as smell, it is much more likely that you will be able to recall it later.
Have you ever been somewhere and become aware of a familiar smell? As soon as you experienced the smell, you were almost sent back in time to the the time when you actually experienced the smell before? That’s the power of using your senses and working with your brain to anchor memory.
And it gets better. If you can engage other senses at the same time, the more senses you engage, the more likely you are to remember something.
It’s also a better workout for your brain, which uses different parts simultaneously to work together.
I don’t believe it’s true that we only use ten percent of our brain, but we only use certain parts of it at a time. If we use more of it at once, our brains will stay healthy long after our hair turns gray.
Refuse to allow your brain to age
If you think the mind has no power over the body, consider the placebo effect. People who are given a sugar pill sometimes experience a change in their physical health simply because they believe they have been treated. Nobody knows the reasons why this happens are unknown, but the fact is that it does.
Similarly, older people perform worse on memory skills and tasks when exposed to negative myths about aging. Allowing yourself to believe that it’s all downhill from here on out, or that you don’t have to put in any effort, can lead to a negative placebo effect. However, the opposite is also true!
If you believe that you can be a healthy, valuable member of society at any age, you are more likely to make that dream a reality. So, go for it! Refuse to age.
Use the power of repetition
Practice makes perfect, but practice also makes you. You are what you do on a regular basis. Repeating out loud what you are trying to learn is an effective way to improve your memory into old age. The philosophy branches further into repeating healthy lifestyle habits like exercise, proper nutrition and the other tips on this list. Keep at it and don’t give up!
You don’t need to be afraid of aging.
If you implement the right lifestyle choices, you will empower your mind and body to continue to function well.
You’ll be able to spend plenty of time with your grandchildren and even pick up a new hobby or two. You will be able to continue to travel the world and be the envy of all young people.
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