How To Keep Your Mind Sharpadmin
When older people begin to lose their ability to speak, remember, reason, or judge, this impairment is known as dementia. Age-related cognitive decline was once considered an inevitable part of aging, but now we know that there are several different manifestations of dementia. Though it’s not always possible to prevent dementia, it helps to understand the cause, because it may be possible to delay or diminish its effects.
Types and Causes of Dementia
If you or someone you love has dementia, it may fall into one of these categories:
- Alzheimer’s disease – More common than any other form of dementia, this disease damages or kills the nerve cells in your brain.
- Vascular dementia – Strokes are the most common cause of this form of dementia, which affects the brain’s nerve fibers.
- Lewy body dementia – Lewy bodies are abnormal nerve cells that fill with protein after brain cells in those spots have died off.
- Frontotemporal dementia – When nerve cells generate in your brain’s frontal and temporal lobes, brain activity is interrupted and brain cells may die as a result.
- Other causes – Cognitive decline may also be triggered by an HIV infection, traumatic head injury, excessive drug or alcohol use, Huntington’s disease, and other brain-related conditions.
6 Daily Activities That Keep Your Mind Sharp
Early signs of dementia include hoarding, eating strange things, falling frequently, and failing to relate to others. However, cognitive damage may occur before you notice any consequences.
Whether you want to prevent dementia or slow down its progress, your best bet is to keep your mind sharp and active. We recommend the following steps to reduce your dementia risks and sharpen your mind for years to come.
Stimulate Your Brain
Dementia is associated with the aging process, but remember: so is wisdom. As long as you keep learning, you’ll be flexing your cognitive “muscles” and making sure your brain stays in fighting shape. Pursue new knowledge by visiting the library and reading, which builds beneficial connections within your brain. Crossword puzzles, mazes, memory games, and other brain games provide fun ways to practice several different cognitive abilities.
Socialization is important for your brain health too, so make an effort to increase the amount of time you spend with other people. If you volunteer for a local project or charity, you’ll learn a new skill while you socialize, increasing the benefits for your brain. Isolation isn’t stimulating for your brain, but simply spending time with family members or pets will provide the stimulation you need to ward off cognitive declines.
Use Your Senses
Sensory stimulation is strongly linked to memory. If you’ve ever smelled a favorite cologne or heard a familiar piece of music, you know how powerful the association between senses and memories can be. As you get older, you can take advantage of this connection to strengthen your memory and even trigger specific memories. Surround yourself with stimulating sights, sounds, textures, smells, and tastes, and make an effort to stop and appreciate the experience.
Proper nutrition is absolutely crucial to your cognitive abilities. Stay away from saturated fats in favor of brain-healthy foods such as fish, nuts, and red wine. Be sure to keep a close watch on your cholesterol and blood pressure as you age. If your eating habits increase your cardiovascular risks, they increase your cognitive risks too.
Take a Walk
Computer companies continue to capitalize on the power of “brain games” to improve mental acuity, but if you really want to exercise your mind, you need to exercise your body. Studies have shown thatphysical exercise improves cognitive abilities from childhood through old age, making it easier to ignore distractions, focus, multitask, and even avoid age-related deterioration of brain cells.
Take a Nap
Age may affect your ability to think clearly and remember details, but napping improves it. Just six minutes of rest are enough to improve your mental status, including your creativity, memory, learning ability, and cognitive performance.
Listen to Music
Music has long been linked to sharper thinking. Because it inspires creativity and emotional reactions, music can even cause long-buried memories to resurface and make it easier to perform manual tasks.Music affects the brain in many different ways, and it’s a priceless and pleasurable way to protect your brain. Enjoy familiar music from your past to spark your long-term memory, or listen to a brand new piece for creative stimulation.
Proactive Dementia Care
No one wants to lose their mental abilities, but if you don’t know how to prevent or reduce cognitive decline, you may feel powerless to avoid dementia. Fortunately, resignation isn’t the only option. Instead of dreading dementia or accepting the symptoms, take action to reduce your risks and prevent further damage now. By keeping your mind active and stimulated on a daily basis, you will make it harder for dementia to develop or progress.