Ah! A healthy brain and functioning memory that keeps you quick and smart at work and play. Losing it is something you don’t have to worry about until you get gray — like senior-citizen old, or at least middle-aged — right? Not exactly.
Fluid intelligence, which allows you to think and react quickly (and do mental math, for example), actually tends to peak in your 20s and head downhill from there. The ability to recognize faces also starts to decline after your early 30s, while the speed at which you process information starts to decline after age 18 or 19. And short-term memory function peaks around 25 and begins to drop off after age 35, as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology explains.
1. Boost Your Brain With Novel Information And Physical Experiences.
To keep your mind acute and perceptive, you need to ensure that your brain is often taking in new information. Either by obtaining more formal education or by testing yourself in other ways.
According to Harvard Health Publications, while advanced education is related to higher levels of mental functioning in your infirmity, you don’t need to go to grad school, just to give your brain a tryout.Having
Having fun with brain games like puzzles, picking up a side gig or a new hobby like photography and learning new skills can help in building new sensory connections that keep your brain active and healthy. Don’t focus your attention on book learning, either. If you can derive more of your senses, like your sense of smell or taste, even that mobilizes different sections of your brain.
Physical health is important too. “ too slow brain aging, stay mentally active and have a healthy lifestyle,” Klemm said to Mic. Indeed, “protective factors that reduce cardiovascular risk, namely regular exercise, a healthy diet and low to moderate alcohol intake, seem to aid the aging brain, ” according to research in Postgraduate Medical Journal.
2. Get Better At “ Tuning Out Noise. ”
If you’re stressed out regularly, you’re exhausting mental energy and likely even hindering your brain’s function. “Your brain’s stress response — fight or flight — is the worst possible state for learning something new,” according to Train Your Brain For Success. That thin-skinned response that comes with anxiety can make it difficult to learn new information and skills, and constant stress can even debase necessary neutral connections, keeping you in “a steady state of fight-or-flight,” as Psychology Today explains.
How can you block the noise?
“I do mindfulness meditation where I train my brain to focus on slow breathing and shut out all intruding thoughts,” Klemm advised.
“This hones the ability to concentrate and reduce the distractibility that increases with age.”
Meditation is one of the several smart moves you can use to reduce stress. But, it does not just stress that’s holding down your cognitive capabilities. Urging your brain to remember absurd details can make it arduous to learn new things.
3. Practice Positivity.
Bummed out? Chin up! Unluckily, believing that your brain function will get poorer as you get older can become a self-fulfilling apocalypse.
Instead of feeling stressed, try practicing positive thinking. It helps. If positive messages about preserving memory conferred to middle-aged and older adults. They tend to perform better at memory tasks than if they’ve given negative messages. A chunk of the reason for this may be that. People tend to do less to preserve and maintain your cognitive health if they feel like unavoidable.
And negative attitudes towards aging not only result in worse cognitive abilities. But also found to impact other functionality as well, including walking speed. But if you think you might be undergoing mental health issues like depression. It is particularly important to seek help — since simply trying to “be positive” might not be ample.
Shortly, staying positive, active and focused make it more likely that your brain will stay sharp (or get even sharper) and that your memory will be able to retain more information like your age.