I am sure many of us will be aware of how important it is to continue to use our brains as we age. Of course, it’s not only keeping the brain active that is important, it’s important to incorporate the full package so that emotionally, physically and mentally we stay well.
The following ideas are worth considering:
- Keep the brain active by reading, doing crosswords, solving puzzles or doing challenging games, all made easier with many online sites to help stimulate and exercise our minds;
- Continue to participate in regular physical exercise, as that plays an important role in regulating blood circulation through the brain and also can contribute to reducing the risk of disease. The brain also secretes feel good hormones called endorphins after physical activity; which may positively alter your mood;
- It will come as no surprise that nutrition plays a huge role in our thinking abilities. It is especially important that our diets include omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in oily fish, nuts and seeds. Antioxidants that can be found in most fruits and vegetables are another essential part of the brain-diet. Overall, a well-balanced diet can reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases; help boost our memory and improve concentration;
- Engaging in social activities keeps the brain engaged and active. This can reduce stress whilst promoting emotional health. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with friends or family that you trust is especially good for your overall wellbeing;
- The brain will need time to recover and it can only do that through sleep. While adults generally need less sleep as they age, a good night’s sleep will help the brain regenerate ready for next day challenges;
- Prolonged periods of concentrated thinking involving continuous mental activity can contribute to increased stress, so it’s important to remember to slow down and relax too, when you can.
Finally, excessive stress is counter-productive. It is important to deal with stress, believe in yourself, have realistic goals and ask for help if you need it.