How to keep your brain sharp throughout life?
Imagine your life after 40s, you forget where your belongings are, confuse with phone numbers and addresses, cannot indulge in serious decisions due to impaired judgment, no more recognize old friends.
Frustrating isn’t it?
Brainpower decreases with age – is not a fact but a myth. Cognitive skills can decline at any age and is scientifically proven.
There are various neurological illnesses that can cause significant memory loss at a young age. Health conditions like diabetes, stress, and depression can also damage mental functioning very early.
Do you know people with anxiety, sleep deprivation, and depression tend to score poorly on cognitive function tests? Good mental health is certainly an important goal to retain brainpower at old age.
How actually brain works is unclear! But, thanks to decades of researches and experiments on how to keep the brain sharp, active and preserve memory.
Here are the best evidence-based strategies for you to keep your brain sharp and young at any age
1. Play with pets
Do you know that pets help in normalizing the brain chemistry? Yes, you read it right!
South African researchers showed that spending time with dogs and cats increases the level of beta-endorphins in the human brain. This neurochemical is a natural pain killer released in our body. Petting dogs double dopamine and serotonin. These hormone makes us feel good and relieve stress and depression.
There is a feedback system that neurochemically, psychologically and behaviorally sets up between you and your pet. We take antidepressants and feel good just because they elevate the level of these neurotransmitters. But pets do that just for free.
Why waste money over antidepressants? Get a furry friend and your sharp brain will never fall short of healthy brain chemicals.
2. Listen to music for a sharp brain
Music acts as a balm on a depressed mind.
Listening to music gives you a sense of pleasure and meaningfulness according to the article published in The British Journal of Psychiatry. Music boosts the level of dopamine, the feel-good hormone brings about the musical-reward experience in the person.
Such pleasure coming from activation of certain brain regions drives the body, lets people communicate, and get moving. Music averts depression even in passive people hardwired to be social.
Music therapy induces sound sleep and decreases insomnia severity. In a study published in the Journal of Brain and Cognition, music was found to restore impaired vision. Scientists say that long term musical training improves visual attention and stimulates other cognitive benefits.
3. Play Brain games
Get mental stimulation with brain games and reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s. Games like Sudoko, solving a puzzle, chess, Qwirkle, Ken Ken, Taboo, and others require a strategy. It promotes critical thinking, memory, concentration, attention, creativity, and can prevent mild brain traumatic injury.
How does this work? Scientists believe that such mental stimulation encourages the brain to forge and maintain new neuron connections, an ability that usually diminishes with age.
You can keep your brain sharp at any age by playing at least one of these games on a daily basis.
4. Eat Mediterranean diet
Eating a Mediterranean diet improves longevity, memory, cognition function and brain volume. This type of diet comprises green vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, legumes, fruits, unsaturated oils, moderate intake of alcohol, and plant source of proteins.