Activating the mind of our elders: tips to improve memory
Throughout life there is a tendency to stop using the mind and "empty" it of what worries us. Undoubtedly retirement marks a before and after in our routines and in the way we spend our free time.
Given that life expectancy in Spain is around 83 years, from 65 for retirement to 83 (with a bit of luck) the obligations are vanishing and our life becomes an eternal Saturday.
As a Japanese proverb says: "We started to get old when we stopped learning". But why?
Useful tips to activate the mind of our elders
To use or throw
Our brain is an effective, calculating and efficient organ. The functionality of this complex organ is based on: "use it or lose it". What does this mean? The brain is constantly changing, new connections are permanently established and others are switched off. What is the criterion that our brain follows to erase connections? Our brain is clear: "Or you use it or forget it".
In this way, when we stop using certain capacities, we eventually lose them. So the less areas of the brain we exercise, the more neurons will no longer be useful to us and therefore the fewer neuronal connections we will have. The consequences of this loss of connections can lead to dementia.
Changing our routines
Stopping work should not imply stop using the mind. It is true that at younger ages what we are looking for on a vacation is to "disconnect" and turn off our brain for a few days. However, when we no longer have a "job" we should not fall into this trap.
The continued leisure leads to possible depressions due to unproductivity. By this we mean the feeling of not feeling useful. If we do not have routines or we do not look for obligations we will not have goals in life and therefore, if there is no goal to reach "we abandon the race".
Retirement should give us an opportunity to change our routines and set new goals. Study the career you always wanted and for lack of time you could not, travel and know new places, dare with computer science and new technologies, learn cooking, study a new language ... These are just some examples that can mean a big change in our old age and in our quality of life.
Training the brain
Our brain is divided into two hemispheres. The right hemisphere is in charge of logic, mathematics, numbering, writing and speech. The left focuses on feelings, emotions, creativity and art and music skills.
When it comes to keeping our mind active and busy we must attend to both parties in order to establish the greatest number of connections and alleviate the degenerative effects of age. Below we will explain some exercises that will help you stay in shape.
The right hemisphere
This hemisphere is fed by systematic and decisive work, therefore, exposing ourselves to mathematical problems or unresolved situations will help us. An example are: crossed words, sudoku, crosswords, assemble puzzles, make puzzles.
Also writing and planning are good resources to exercise this hemisphere, so why not write a novel or a short story? If you are traveling, make a guide and plan where you want to go. Write what you find most interesting and organize your stay.
The left hemisphere
Your creative, emotional and artistic side also wants to be stimulated. There are simple exercises that can help you favor your training. For example, you can search for new routes to get to your usual places, use different means of transport that pose a challenge, reorganize your house. Paint a decorative painting for your home (you do not need to be a Picasso, just let yourself go) or change the station of your radio and expose yourself to new musical styles.
Exercising both hemispheres at the same time
There is another possibility to exercise the hemispheres at one time. A very clear example is that of paint mandalas. With this activity on the one hand you exercise the right hemisphere through the patterns and the left through the combination of colors and artistic sensitivity. Other activities can be: perform cross-walking activities (touch right hand with left knee), draw with your non-dominant hand (if you are right-handed with the left and vice versa) or perform daily activities with the non-dominant hand (such as brushing teeth or tie your shoes). This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor.