“I’m losing my marbles.” There is a popular myth that we lose our minds when we age. Declining brain function is one of our greatest concerns as we age. However the good news is, that research is showing there is not a progressive loss of one’s thinking abilities. The human brain is continually adapting and re-wiring itself, in response to new stimuli and new experiences. Research is also finding that, age does not affect the rate of learning new information and remembering it. Phew! So we don’t ‘lose our marbles’ as we age. It is also comforting to know that, at least two thirds of those who live beyond 85yrs, won’t get Alzheimers.
Our brain cells can get ‘rusty’ from lack of use, so when you retire with more time on your hands, you can boost your brain and memory by doing things like:- reading, crossword & jigsaw puzzles, learn a new language, painting & drawing, playing cards, etc. Just as we need to exercise the body regularly, we also need to exercise the brain. ‘Use it or lose it’ the saying goes.
The things that can affect our ability to think and remember clearly, which can lead to mental decline, are:- stress, poor health, poor nutrition, worry, lack of sleep, too much caffeine and alcohol. To slow down the aging process and to stay healthier both mentally and physically, we need to learn to relax. Stress is aging! So what can we do to reduce stress and enjoy a happy, healthy life.
A good night’s sleep regenerates the brain. Positive thoughts strengthen the immune system. Keep physically active. Eat well and drink moderately. Laugh more and enjoy the simple pleasures of life each day. A daily walk rejuvenates the brain and helps you to think more clearly.
Remember the saying – ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Keep eating that apple a day, as apples have been found to have the highest level of anti-oxidants, to help slow down the aging process and keep you healthier longer.