Having trouble remembering things is thought to be an inevitable part of getting older, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s common at any age to have trouble remembering things from time to time. While they do tend to become more frequent as we get older, they aren’t the result of aging. Aging on its own has been proven not to be a direct cause of cognitive decline. Instead, it results from brain injury, organic disorders, or neurologic illness. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the risk of dementia and avoid the onset of cognitive decline.
Four Ways You Can Hold Off Cognitive Decline
The steps to keeping your mind healthy don’t have to involve eating healthy or staying physically active. These are vital parts of overall and even mental health, but there’s more to it. One important step to prevent cognitive decline is to ensure you keep inflammation at bay. Persistent low-grade inflammation can be the root cause of many health concerns, with cognitive decline among them. Keep your mind healthy by using the following tips:
- Use All Your Senses – Your brain uses multiple resources to retain memory. Attaching sensory experiences to them is just one way this happens. This is why a particular smell can take you back to family holidays and grandma’s kitchen. Using all of your senses challenges your brain, stimulating the growth of new neural pathways. These pathways help connect a memory or experience to multiple points, making it easier to access.
- Keep Learning – Similarly, it’s essential to be stimulating your brain constantly. Don’t allow yourself to grow stagnant. Instead, stay open to new ideas and learn new things. The more you engage your brain, the more healthy and active it will become. Pick up a new hobby, mentor others, learn a new skill or volunteer in places that keep you mentally on your toes. You’ll benefit immensely from it.
- Stay Positive About Yourself – Studies indicate that how we perceive ourselves can contribute to our experience of reality. Those who believe their decline is merely due to aging are less prone to do something about it. Since they aren’t actively working on improving their memory and keeping their mind healthy, they tend to experience cognitive decline sooner.
- Prioritize Your Brain Use – Use all the available tools to take some of the pressure off your brain. Set reminders on your phone, and use maps and calendars, shopping lists, and other resources to track necessary information. Ensure you have a place to set your keys, purse, glasses, and other frequently used items, and make sure they get there. This will ensure you can spend most of your time focusing on learning new things and working for mental health.
These tips help hold off the onset of cognitive decline by keeping your mind healthy and active.
Speak To Your Physician For Further Help
If you’re concerned about cognitive decline, reach out to your physician. They can provide you with new tips and tricks to help keep your mind healthy. Further, they’ll be able to assess your concerns to determine if underlying conditions contribute to your memory loss.