As people advance in age, they experience changes in their body and mind. One of these is a change in the ability to remember things. Many people have experienced this particular aspect of growing old. You may find yourself entering a room and forgetting what you came there for. You may find harder to remember where you put the bill for your HughesNet plans. You may forget you were supposed to meet someone at an appointed time. You can experience lapses of memory at any age. However, when they happen in old age, people tend to think the worst.
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Keeping Your Mind Sharp
When you’re at a certain age and you start forgetting things, you start to fear the worst. You think that it may be dementia or reduced mental capacity. Or you may even think it’s a part of growing old. But that may not always be the case. We now know that significant memory loss is not as normal a part of aging as we previously believed. Most of the time it may be the result of brain injuries, organic disorders or even neurological diseases. But that does not mean you can’t guard yourself against memory loss in old age.
The usual changes in brain function and structure can often cause memory problems. Oftentimes, people mistake the memory loss symptom for a serious disorder or disease. But often enough, they’re jumping to conclusions. Yes, these changes do have certain effects on your cognitive process. They can slow down your ability to learn new things. They can make it harder for you to ignore distractions. Both of these interfere with the learning and memory functions of the brain. So, even though they aren’t as dangerous as dementia, they can still make life difficult. Luckily, these helpful tips can help you keep your mind sharp at any age:
- Never Stop Learning
- Involve All Your Senses
- Embrace Positivity
- Spaced Repetition
Below follow more details on how these tips can help preserve your memory and your ability to learn.
Never Stop Learning
Better mental function in old ages is often linked to higher education levels. According to experts, advanced education encourages mental activity and helps keep the brain in the habit of functioning. One way to preserve your brain function is to challenge it with mental exercise. This jumpstarts the processes that maintain and help brain cells communicate. Some people have mentally stimulating jobs that keep their minds sharp. But you can just as easily exercise your brain with a new skill or hobby. You could read, join book clubs, write your memoirs, play crosswords, and more. Make lifelong learning a priority to keep a healthy mind.
Involve All Your Senses
Using as many of your senses as possible during learning is essential. This is because it involves more of your brain in the learning process. Using all your senses can help you retain memories better. In one study with the sense of smell, the odor-processing part of the brain came under scrutiny. Images originally paired with scents activated this part of the brain even without scents. The subjects also had a better memory of these images. When you start learning something new, challenge all your senses.
A failing memory is often the result of the negativity and myths associated with aging. Studies show that middle and old-age learners experience difficulty when exposed to these negative stereotypes. On the other hand, their learning improves when reinforced with positive messages. Much of this is psychological. If you don’t feel in control of your mind, you are less likely to make the effort to preserve it. This, in turn, will lead to a decline in memory and learning functions. However, if you believe you can improve, and make the effort, you are more likely to keep your mind sharp.
Repetition is key to reinforcing any new thing you learn. But repetition is only potent if you time it properly. You don’t want to repeat something many times in an exam-cramming style exercise. Instead, you need to go over the essentials after increasing periods of time. In other words, you need to space out your repetitions. This is especially helpful when you’re trying to absorb a complex concept.
One bonus tip to follow is to keep your life as organized as possible. You want to economize on your brain use. If you consume too much mental energy for simple things, you won’t have much for more complex ones. Write down the numbers and things you need to remember. Keep things you need, like the HughesNet Customer Service number, close to your phone. Designate a place in the house to keep your keys, glasses, and wallet. Rely on planners and diaries instead of trying to remember trivial information. If you absolutely need to remember something, try using mnemonics to make it easier. Following these tips may keep you from reduced brain function at any age.