By| Published: August 5th, 2016
Retirement should not mean the end of intellectual stimulation. ‘Use it or lose it’ also applies to the brain – the body’s most powerful organ. Though mental performance generally tends to decline with age like physical performance, there are ways to keep the brain alive and well in your later years.
Regular reading, taking classes, learning new skills and engaging in active conversations with family and friends can preserve mental abilities in old age. Higher levels of education and actively engaged lifestyle are responsible for better cognitive performance and a higher level of mental functioning.
Reminders, Files & To-Do Lists
Setting up reminders for schedule appointments, creating a filing system for bills, bank statements, meetings, etc. and to-do lists for unscheduled tasks help keep the brain in shape. Maintaining a personal file with names, addresses and phone numbers ensure that all the necessary information is in one place.
Routine, Rituals & Cues
Have a specific spot to keep the house keys or car keys, both at home and at work. The same holds true for kitchen utensils or other gadgets that you use. Create a ritual for common tasks and follow them in the same order or at the same time.
Choose what information you need to remember always. Focus on remembering just a handful of names and numbers. Skip unnecessary information and remember the facts. Make associations to remember more information. You can either try visualizing the location you are in,learn definitions by remembering specific words or link people’s names with something about them that you do remember.
Exercise your memory by repeating dates, names and numbers several times when you try to learn them the first time. To remember key concepts or ideas, talk about them. Break information into meaningful chunks. Reduce distractions. Pay full attention to task at hand and focus. Write things down as much as possible.
Physical & Emotional Wellbein
Take care of yourself by staying physically active, getting enough sleep, limiting your alcohol intake and managing stress levels. Physical activity reduces the harmful effects of stress hormones. A good night’s sleep leaves you alert and refreshed to face another day. Moderate alcohol consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease.
While lack of stress can be boring, short-lived acute stress is mental stimulating. Chronic never-ending stress can affect your ability to remember. Prevent it by choosing positive and meaningful activities that reduce mental overload.
Memory lapses can be frustrating. Though they are common in old age, they are not indicative of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. All the valuable habits mentioned above can help offset age-related memory problems.