As you grow older, you may start to notice changes in your ability to remember things. Perhaps you’ve gone into the bathroom and can’t remember why or missed an appointment because it just slipped your mind. These small memory lapses can occur at any point in your life, but are more upsetting as we get older, due to fears of dementia. That being said, significant memory loss isn’t actually a sign of ageing. To keep your mind sharp, here are six things that you can do.
Manage Your Stress Levels
We all have to deal with stress now and then, but, when this stress becomes unmanageable and reaches overwhelming levels, it can start to damage your brain. This can cause many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, which can harm your memory. To prevent this, there are plenty of ways to manage your stress levels, including exercise and meditation.
Make Sure You Exercise
As well as reducing your stress, exercise can also directly improve your cognitive function by increasing the blood flow to the brain. With that in mind, you should aim to take part in some sort of physical activity every single day. There are plenty of fun and active hobbies that you could try in retirement, including swimming and hiking. Even a quick walk can have positive effects.
Work Out Your Brain
When it comes to keeping your mind sharp, working out the brain itself is just as important as working out the body. For this reason, you should find something that you enjoy to stimulate your mind. Large puzzles, like the gibsons jigsaws, are an ideal option, as is sudoku and games of chess. You could even go back to school or take classes online to learn something new.
Economise Your Mental Energy
The more mental energy you waste on relatively unimportant facts, like the place you left your keys or the time of a birthday party, the less you’ll have for learning and remembering the more important stuff. Because of this, you should have reminders for the routine information in your home, in the form of lists and calendars. You can also designate a place to keep your keys.
Ditch Any Unhealthy Habits
We all know that smoking and excessive drinking is bad for our bodies, but what few people realise is that it also has negative effects on the brain. Both of these unhealthy habits have been linked to dementia, meaning that, if you smoke or drink too much, you’re putting yourself at risk. Thankfully, all isn’t lost, as ditching these bad habits now will do the opposite.
Believe It Will Work
Despite what many people believe, age doesn’t contribute to memory loss, however, believing that it does can do. When you think that you aren’t in control of your own mind, you don’t bother working to maintain it. This means that you are more likely to suffer from memory issues. If you believe in yourself and work against cognitive decline, you’re more likely to keep your mind sharp.
Memory issues aren’t a symptom of ageing, so work to avoid them by following the advice above.