Nobody wants to waste away, even in old age. We’ve all seen the older adult who can’t remember yesterday and always yells for you to speak up. While we love these senior citizens, we may not want to become them. And we don’t have to! An important fact is that while we cannot control IF we age, we do have control over HOW we age.
The good news is that many people enjoy a healthy and enjoyable life well into their golden years. New advancements in medicine and psychology further aid this process of being the best you for your whole life. Here are four ways to age better by developing your mind.
Never Stop Learning
A higher level of education is associated with better mental functioning in old age, according to Health.Harvard.edu. A reason for this may be that higher education gets you into the habit of being mentally active. When practiced as a lifelong habit, even if you have no formal education and never stop learning, your brain stays sharp.
Even if your job is not mentally demanding, you could take up a new hobby and read more. A brain that is challenged is less likely to fall to dementia or memory loss. You are also more likely to enjoy a fuller life as you keep rising to life’s challenge.
Exercise Your Senses
When memory is associated with more than one of your senses, such as smell, you are more likely to remember it. Have you ever walked into a place with a familiar smell and been almost sent back in time? This is the power of your senses, working together with your brain.
The more senses you engage, the more likely you are to remember something. It is also a better work out for your brain to use more of it at once. It’s a myth that we only use ten percent of our minds, but we are only using certain parts of it at a time. Using more of it at once will keep our brain healthy long after our hair grays.
Refuse to Age
If you don’t think the mind has any power over the body, consider the placebo effect. People given a sugar pill sometimes experience a change in their physical health simply because they believe they received treatment. The reasons why this happens are unknown, but the fact is that it happens.
Similarly, older people do worse on memory and tasks when exposed to negative myths about aging. If you allow yourself to believe that it’s all downhill from here, or that you don’t have to try anymore, you might get a negative placebo effect. The opposite, however, is also true!
If you believe that you can be a healthy, valuable member of society at any age, you are more likely to make that dream into reality. So, go for it! Refuse to age.
Practice makes perfect, but the practice also makes you. You are what you do regularly. Repeating out loud what you’re trying to learn is an effective way to increase your memory even into old age. This philosophy branches further into healthy lifestyle habits like exercising, eating right, and the other tips on this list. Stay on top of them, and don’t give up!
You don’t need to fear old age. If you implement the proper lifestyle choices, you will empower your mind and body to keep performing well. You can spend quality time with your grandchildren and even learn a whole new hobby or two. You can travel the world and be the envy of all the youngsters.