We all feel like our brains are running on empty at one time or another. But there are several easy and fun ways to pump up our problem-solving abilities, think clearly and concisely, and fight forgetfulness. It’s a lifestyle choice, just as walking or hiking five days a week is a lifestyle choice. We have to keep our brains in shape, too.
Focus: So often we forget the simple things. For example, if you (not me, for goodness sakes) tend to lose your car keys, tell yourself out loud “I’m placing the keys on the hallway table!” Hearing yourself say the words will reinforce the memory.
If you’re trying to remember “when” things happen, pay attention to the clothes you were wearing, what the weather was like, or who you were with that day. Anything you can associate it with will help you remember.
Mental Exercise: Studies show that athletes use their imagination to envision getting a hole-in-one, hitting a home run, or winning a race, for example, to help boost their performance. One possibility is that mental exercise may help build mental “muscle” by sparking a connection in our brain. We can reverse a decline in our thinking abilities by becoming more mentally active. Doing crossword puzzles, playing games, studying a new subject are things that will all help stimulate our brainpower.
Keeping Healthy: Even well into our 70’s and 80’s, evidence shows that staying healthy helps keep our brains healthy, too. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods, and staying hydrated are all important for getting and keeping our bodies and brains active and healthy. Maintaining a positive attitude and keeping physically active also contribute to our brain’s health.