There are a number of online computer memory games designed to increase your ability to memorize faces, objects and numbers. If you don’t want to use a computer, just pick up a book of word games, crossword puzzles or Sudoku. You might also like to start a collection of jigsaw puzzles, either online or spread over a table. Board games like Rumikub and Mexican Train keep your brain active and are activities to share with friends. Whatever your choice, set aside time to play – it’s good for the brain and the spirit. While you’re at it, you’ll reduce or delay the chance of developing dementia.
Avoid Things that Hurt your Brain
Your brain is soft like the consistency of butter and is housed in a hard skull with sharp ridges. We all need to protect our brain from injury. Wearing helmets when riding bikes helps to avoid concussions. Environmental pesticides are a brain hazard so use organic “green” products when gardening or cleaning. Good ventilation is essential anytime toxic chemicals are around. If you smoke, quit (please!); and drink only one alcoholic beverage per day if you are female or two if you are male. Did you know stress hurts the brain? It not only increases your appetite it also reduces blood flow to the brain and interferes with brain-healthy proper sleep. If you want to experience a great stress reliever, add meditation to your daily schedule. It’s been proven to boost brain health. A few meditation apps I have found helpful are Stop, Breathe & Think (https://www.stopbreathethink.com), Insight Timer (https://insighttimer.com),
Smiling Mind (https://www.smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app) and Headspace (https://www.headspace.com) . Lastly, choose your company wisely. Spend time with people who accentuate the positive rather than the negative. Increasing the positivity in your life can be the strongest and most direct path to a healthier you.
Be Connected with Others – Starting with Yourself
Our thoughts, emotions and attitudes are key determinants of how we age. We have a multitude of choices to consider when planning our own personal journey. In “Dare to be 100” Walter Bortz wrote, “To thine own self be true becomes to thine own Best self be true”. If you’ve found yourself making excuses or even lying to yourself when it comes to taking action to improve your quality of physical and brain health, it’s never too late to make healthy choices. Elicit outside support. Use the power of connection and grab a partner.
Keep your finger on the pulse of your brain health and make putting these suggestions into play a priority. Much of what you’ve read here is just common sense and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Some of it requires real discipline, which can be hard but amazingly rewarding. As we age, we can do ourselves a giant favor by making changes that make us more resilient. Who doesn’t want that?