In one experiment, adults were shown a series of emotionally neutral images, each presented along with a smell. But, the participants weren’t asked to remember what they saw. Later, they were shown a set of images, this time without odors. When the participants were asked to indicate which they’d seen before, most of them recalled images associated with odor.
The reason was the activation of the main odor-processing region of the brain when people observed objects originally paired with odors. This helped them recognize images even though the smells were no longer present.
18. Build healthy relationships
Are you well-connected to family members and friends? Then congratulations. You’re going to be mentally happy and live longer.
According to Robert Waldinger, a healthy and positive relationship with closed ones sharpens your memory. He found that people who count on their relationships at times of need can enjoy a longer-lasting ability to remember things. On the other hand, people who could not count experienced poor memory very early.
So, replace your screen time with people time and protect your brain.
19. Higher education
High educational attainment is associated with later ages of peak cognitive functioning, according to UC Berkeley researchers. People with higher education can stave off age-related cognitive decline.
Why not utilize your free time in learning new stuff online? Advanced education not only keeps memory strong but gets you in the habit of being mentally active. Learning anything new challenges your brain stimulates the formation of new brain cells.
Schooling is not just to impart knowledge. Higher education is a wonderful opportunity to sharpen core cognitive skills.
20. Practice gratitude.
We often complain about things missing in our life. But, how many times do you actually thank the universe for all the good things in your life?
Gratitude not only makes you optimistic but slows the aging of the brain, the latest science suggests based on functional MRI studies.
Practicing gratitude that is being thankful and ready to appreciate the positive in your life literally changes the molecular structure of the brain, according to UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center. It keeps the gray matter functioning and makes us healthier and happier. This holds true for people with poor mental health as well.
In a study of 300 university students with anxiety and depression, groups of students who wrote gratitude letters reported better mental health within four weeks that those who didn’t participate in this exercise.
Show gratitude to keep your brain young at any age.
21. Believe in yourself
In an experiment of middle-aged and older teenagers, their performance on memory tasks was worse. Because they were exposed to negative stereotypes about aging and memory. Those who performed well had a positive perception of memory preservation in the old age.
If you think you are not in control of your memory function and only joke about aging, you’re less likely to work on improving your memory skills. Thus, you’re more likely to experience cognitive decline.
On the other hand, if you believe you can do it and translate the same into practice, you are highly likely to keep your brain sharp.
22. Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
A sedentary lifestyle is linked to various chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and more. Because sedentary behavior involves binge eating and doing nothing productive. Over time your mind and body are sure to decline faster than otherwise.
A healthy active lifestyle is one where you eat well, exercise regularly, have sound sleep, work for more and party hard. There are no shortcuts around these essentials. Such a lifestyle keeps your blood pressure low, controls your blood sugar, cholesterol and weight. It will keep your body and brain sharp and young throughout life.