How to Keep Your Mind As Strong As Your Spirit When Getting Older
If you’re over the age of 40, you’ve doubtlessly started to notice your mind slipping at times. Phrases might not be as readily available as they once were, and remembering where you put something could be a half-hour adventure.
This experience doesn’t have to be your reality, though. You can reverse the effects of ageing on your brain if you start early enough and work at it. Here are some tips on how to keep your mind strong as you get older.
Don’t Believe the Stereotypes
We’ve all heard the stereotypes about ageing brains. As you get older, you become more forgetful than you used to be. Learning new skills gets harder and harder, and eventually, our minds will deteriorate anyway.
Don’t believe it! Instead, believe in your ability to preserve your mind as you get older. If you accept that your brain is only going to get weaker, you’ll undoubtedly fall into the stereotypical category.
Don’t accept a failing mind as an irreversible sign of ageing. There are steps you can take to increase your mind’s strength, even as you get older.
Maintain Your Physical Health
Keeping a healthy diet and exercise regimen is the first line of defence against an ageing brain.
If you exercise regularly and eat healthy food, you probably won’t start to notice a decline in memory and critical thinking whatsoever.
Our brains respond to the activity and nutrition of our bodies. If we eat junk food and sit around all day, our mind isn’t going to be sharp. If we exercise and fuel our bodies with the right ingredients, our brains will be as active as they’ve ever been.
This difference will be especially noticeable in those who haven’t exercised or eaten well for most of their life. It’s never too late to make a change, and healthy living changes will make your mind and body feel decades younger.
Sharpening your mind means being able to pick up on sounds, movements, and images quickly. We naturally start to get worse at this as we age, but that doesn’t mean the skill is gone for good.
With some practice, we can begin to train our brains to work the way they did when we were younger.
The age of the internet has given us a lot of ways to offload our brain power onto computers. On the other hand, it’s also provided us with a list of ways we can train our brains every day.
There are several apps, websites, and video games designed to stimulate the aging brain. Brain training apps are becoming more popular, and give our minds the fountain of youth for free!
Try downloading a few of these apps to your phone or tablet and see which ones work for you. Some of them use games, and others use traditional, proven methods for increasing brain power.
After a few weeks of training, you’ll start to realise that your mind is growing sharper. You’ll begin to pick up on quick phrases, better understand mumbles, and notice your reflexes returning to a youthful state.
Keeping your mind busy doesn’t mean you have to be working all the time. In fact, playing games can be one of the best ways to keep your memory sharp and your mind strong.
Studies have shown that playing board games like chess result in a decreased risk of dementia and cognitive decline in older patients.
Any game that challenges the mind to think critically is a step in the right direction. You’ll be having fun with your friends and working on your mental fortitude simultaneously.
Always Be Learning
You shouldn’t use your age as an excuse not to learn new things. Instead, embrace the challenge of learning something new. Your mind will thank you for it.
Whether you’re learning how to play the guitar for the first time or learning a new language, taking your mind to unexplored places will stimulate strength.
Furthermore, research has shown that playing an instrument can be used as a protective action against dementia and cognitive impairment as you age.
If you already know how to play guitar or piano, make it a part of your daily routine. Learn some new songs, and play regularly to keep your mind active.
Making time for hobbies, travel, meeting new people and making new connections are other great ways to keep your mind young.
Do Things Differently
Instead of taking shortcuts, make an effort to do your daily tasks a little differently.
Research shows that London cab drivers have larger hippocampus’ (the part of the brain responsible for memory) because they are constantly remembering street names, directions, new routes and landmarks.
Instead of using a smartphone all the time, try memorising a new route or a friend’s phone number. Little things like this may seem tedious, but, rest assured every little bit counts.
Don’t Use Age as an Excuse
Age might be a bit of a hurdle to overcome, but that’s it. Increased age doesn’t mean you can’t learn something new or be physically active anymore.
Instead of using age as an excuse, use it as motivation. You’re getting older, so you have to work twice as hard to make sure your mind stays in tip-top shape.
Don’t surrender your mind to time. Take control of your twilight years by making the most of your brainpower.