12 Ways To Train Your Brain To Defy Aging Clichés
It is a complete myth that your brain goes soft and you lose cognitive dysfunction by the process of normal aging. Unless you have some kind of illness leading to cognitive delay, you can have a brain thinks in the same way as you did when you were younger.
As with anything, it may take a bit of training in order to think smarter, clearer, and faster.
Here are some ways you can train your brain to be strong and healthy:
- Don’t use a calculator. Instead of relying on your calculator, dig back into your primary school years and dig out a pen and paper to do your math calculations. This will engage your analytical brain and will keep your brain smart and always thinking.
- Read the newspaper. Reading the newspaper not only engages your brain doing something every day but it keeps you up to date on current events. You can use what you’ve read to engage in conversation with friends, relatives, and acquaintance on things going on in today’s world.
- Do the crossword puzzle. While you have the newspaper out, do the crossword puzzle to the best of your ability. Although some can be very difficult, it can engage your brain into thinking about difficult words and their meanings. You can also buy easier crossword puzzle books if you think the newspaper crosswords are too difficult.
- Do Sudoku Puzzles. These are number puzzles that, once you get the hang of them, are very easy to do. They are often in the newspapers but you can do them online or buy books that have many difficulties of Sudoku puzzles.
- Do aerobic exercise. This means getting out there walking, swimming, jogging, or cycling, for at least thirty minutes per day on most of the days of the week. Not only does this keep you physically fit and healthy but also it has been known to improve cognition in older individuals.
- Be open to new experiences. Whether this means going to concerts or travelling, if you keep yourself open to doing new things, you can improve mental cognition. Always be thinking of different things you can be doing. You can always join a group that does activities (physical or nonphysical) that will engage your body as well as your brain.
- Be curious and creative. Take up a creative hobby like woodworking or painting. By engaging in creative activities and sharing them with others, you enlist the creative parts of your brain and keep them functioning throughout the years.
- Listen to music. Make up your own playlist of your favorite songs, grab a beverage of your choice, and spend some time listening to whatever kind of music you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to dance if the mood strikes you. Music engages the creative parts of your brain and can help improve your cognition.
- Maintain social connections. Research shows that people who maintain social connections with friends, loved ones, and acquaintances not only live longer but also maintain their cognitive status for longer periods of time. This means you should make lunch or dinner dates with friends and should stay participatory in any activities your loved ones are engaging in.
- Mindfulness Meditation. This is a type of meditation that allows you to stay in the present moment without focusing on past traumas and on future worries. You can engage in mindful meditation at any time during the day. It takes just a few minutes and engages the serene and most creative aspects of your brain. Other types of meditation can also help improve your cognitive function.
- Get enough sleep. Many people as they age have difficulties getting to sleep or staying asleep. Yet sleep is one of the most important things you need to stay cognitively alert and functioning. Don’t use medication for sleep but instead practice good sleep habits or take melatonin to adjust your sleep-wake cycle so that you can get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
12. Decrease stress. Many of us are dealing with chronic stress that serves only to decrease cognitive function. By using many of the techniques listed above or by actually reducing the stressors in your life, you can think clearer and maintain good cognitive function well into your older years.