It seems like everyone these days desperately wants to slow down the aging process. We live in a culture that worships youth and makes it the center of attention. I tend to disagree with this view, and feel that there is something wise and graceful about aging. It’s a part a life, so why try to avoid it, right? While there is this huge emphasis on the physical side of aging, very little is discussed about the mental side of it. This is where learning comes into the equation.
Studies have shown that the more you learn, the younger your brain remains. As we age, connections between neurons in our brain deplete, and this over time, causes such things as memory loss and degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s. However, if you continuously challenge yourself mentally via constant learning, you not only avoid the deterioration of current neuron connections, you create new ones! Yes, you can actually get smarter as you age.
The key is to stimulate your brain in the proper manner. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the population do jobs that do not inspire them or that they do not like, and then they come home and watch television shows that appeal to their lowest form of entertainment thirst me (meaning: they do not want to use their brain). Bottom line, their brain is just not being challenged. This type of lifestyle, over 20-30 years, causes the degenerative brain conditions discussed above.
Did you know that trying to solve a math problem, even if you do not get the correct answer stimulates your brain properly? This is the type of stimulation your brain needs to remain young & vibrant. Games that challenge your mental capacities, such as Tetris or puzzles, are wonderful “brain exercises”. Research has even shown that certain videogames provide this same benefit to the brain. Anything that makes you search for answers, analyze situations, pushes your thinking out of the box, can positively reinforce the power of your brain.
The other day, I stumbled on this fun site which has a bunch of very interesting “brain games”. It’s not only fun, but very addictive too. Check out Athey Educational for more information. I thoroughly enjoyed the game The Tower of Hanoi & highly recommend it. So if you have some time to kill & want to exercise your mental capacities, give it try 😉
It’s not just games but learning in general. I am a big proponent of having a constant flow of new information always coming into your life. Whether it comes from books, creativity (such as music playing or painting), or even discussions with other people, any form of learning will stimulate your brain’s neuron connections. How about learning a new language? This is one of the best methods of revitalizing your brain. Keep learning something new every day & watch your intellectual aptitudes soar while keeping yourself youthful 🙂
What are your favorite methods to challenge your mental abilities?