It’s normal to forget small things such as where you placed your keys or wallet from time to time. In fact, this can happen at any point in our lives. As we age, our brains tend to shrink and blood flow to the brain lessens, causing minor changes in cognitive function.
Many people associate growing older with cognitive impairment, though minor changes are normal and should not interfere with daily activities. Other people may experience significant changes due to conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease which are not a normal part of the aging process.
Although there is no way to stop aging and the natural processes of the human body that comes with it there are a number of scientifically proven ways to help keep your brain at its optimum. The following are a few strategies you can start implementing today in order to keep your brain and mental health in good condition!
- Exercise: maintaining good blood flow to the brain is important, and it may help lower the risk of dementia as we age.
- Eat a balanced diet: cognitive decline is associated with nutrition, maintaining a healthy diet consisting of good fats, antioxidants, and whole foods is proven to maintain our brain function.
- Get mental stimulation: mentally-stimulating activities such as reading, doing puzzles, and learning a new language (or learning new things in general) may help cell regeneration as you continually work your brain and keep it challenged.
- Stay creative: implementing creative activities such as writing, journaling, drawing, painting, and crafts and using all of the body’s senses are healthy for the brain.
- Maintain a close social circle: staying positive and having strong social ties has been linked to longer life expectancy as well as reduced risk of dementia and other conditions.
- Avoid tobacco, excessive drinking, and drugs: all of these increase the risk of dementia and are best avoided.
- Stress less: keeping stress at bay by practicing mindfulness, meditation, and other relaxing activities can help cognitive function and overall better quality of life as you age. Activities such as meditation can improve memory and stillness and are also proven to help both physical and mental health.
Sleep enough: getting proper sleep is not only important for your physical health but it also has an effect on both short term and long term cognitive function and memory.