Getting older is a wonderful thing that comes with many wise years and lessons learned under your belt. Maintaining your mental health throughout the years is beneficial for your overall health. Here are steps you can take to maintain your mental sharpness.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
According to Harvard Health, research suggests that diets are linked to mental sharpness. Eating fewer foods high in unhealthy fats, such as red meat and fast food, may help maintain your memory function as you age.
Try baking or grilling your foods instead of frying. Substitute saturated fats, such as lard or butter, with oils from seeds, nuts or olives. Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and consider swapping out meat dishes for fish one to two days per week. Adding cognitive support supplements can not replace a healthy diet, but may help fill in the gaps left by poor dietary choices.
2. Become a Lifelong Learner
Harvard researchers believe that there is a link between staying mentally active and maintaining brain function. Giving your brain a workout by engaging in activities such as taking a class at your local community college, learning a new hobby, mentoring or learning to play an instrument may provide beneficial mental stimulation.
3. Don’t Believe the Stereotypes
Believing that you will have trouble remembering things as you get older can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. People who are middle-aged and older often perform poorly on memory tasks after being exposed to negative stereotypes about aging. However, when the same people are provided with positive messaging, they often do better. Additionally, people who believe that memory loss is inevitable may neglect to take steps that could help maintain their memory function.
4. Say It Twice
Memorization tricks that may have helped you in your school days can also help you maintain your memory as you age. For example, repeating something you want to remember, such as a name, phone number, or a fact, out loud or writing it down can help you remember that information later.
However, avoid repeating information over and over in a short time frame. Instead review the information periodically, gradually increasing the time between repetitions. For example, you might start by repeating the information once per hour and then change it to once every few hours, once per day, once per week and so on.
5. Engage Your Senses
One of the reasons many retail stores flood their spaces with pleasant odors is that memory has been linked to your sense of smell. Marketers hope that evoking fond memories while you are in their store will encourage you to buy more. You can take advantage of this discovery by associating smells with things you want to remember.
6. Give Your Brain a Break
No one has unlimited resources to draw on and mental energy is no exception. You will have more mental energy for learning and remembering new things if you aren’t taxing your brain with mundane tasks, such as remembering where you put your keys or what time your doctor’s appointment is.
Take advantage of technology. Use your smartphone to set reminders and store information such as names, addresses and phone numbers. Make a shopping list before you head to the grocery store. Create a designated space in your home for your keys, glasses, wallet and other items that are easily lost.
7. Give Your Body a Workout
According to WebMD, physical activity can have mental benefits. Aerobic exercises, such as swimming or walking can be particularly beneficial. Researchers believe that exercise may increase blood flow to the brain which may help maintain memory.
aking these steps can help you maintain your mental sharpness.