Boost Brain Activity – 7 Actions to Stimulate Memory
Been forgetting where you placed your keys lately? Or happened to run into someone you know but totally forgot his or her name? Perhaps, you’ve noticed that your mental acuity is no longer as sharp as it used to be. When you were much younger it seemed to be so much easier. Should you blame it on your age? Brain activity is an important part of improving health and memory.
Memory loss may be a part of old age so it’s but natural for your brain’s performance to diminish as you get older. This frame of thought has been widely accepted for ages past. Several studies actually suggest that the decline in memory and cognitive ability is fairly common as people age. However, this decline can actually be halted. In fact, your mental skills can be further improved with brain activity. And brain activity can be enhanced with online games for seniors.
The Concept of Neuroplasticity
Your brain is similar to a separate person. Proper nutrition and exercise is crucial. Regularly challenge and stimulate your brain so that it continues to stay active.
The human brain’s ability to adapt and change is incredible. Scientifically known as neuroplasticity, the brain can form new neural pathways. It can change or alter existing synapses and adapt to various changes. It is constantly subjected to changes in behavior, emotions, environment, thinking, and neural processes. Consequently, your brain has immense potential for increased cognitive ability, enhanced memory, and improved ability. You can constantly learn and absorb new information.
On a side note, several studies have shown that brain activity and mental stimulation slows down the progress of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, memory loss should not to be confused with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Although aging is one of its predisposing factors, many older people can still suffer from memory loss issues not related to these diseases.
Brain Activity to Help Stimulate your Memory
Physical exercise does not only benefit you physically but emotionally and mentally as well. It increases the amount of oxygen carried into your brain. This in effect allows a continuous supply of nutrients to your brain which helps your brain to function well. Exercise stimulates brain chemicals responsible for protecting your brain cells. It also helps to reduce the risk of certain physical conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and high blood pressure. These conditions can lead to memory loss.
2. Mental games
Your brain activity is stimulated when you challenge your mind with games that require critical thinking and evaluation. More information about your brain health can be found at Brain Health Tips.
There are a handful of games that you can play to aid brain activity and to foster brain stimulation, improved memory, and cognitive ability. Free online games will be entertaining and help your cognitive abilities stay on top. They include:
- Puzzles (crossword, jigsaw, Sudoku, word puzzles)
- Card games (solitaire, hearts, poker, go fish, rummy)
Many studies suggest that reading regularly helps prevent memory loss as you age. Aside from stimulating your mind, the power of reading encompasses a wider scope. Reading boosts memory, expands your vocabulary and knowledge, improves your analytical skills, enhances writing skills, improves your focus, and reduces stress. Make reading a part of your daily routine to improve your mental health. It does not matter what you read, just read!
4. Stimulating all your senses
Getting all your five senses involved in a particular experience actually helps stimulate your brain function. It enhances your sensory memory and awareness. Sensory stimulation could include simple things like smelling the aroma of a scented candle or incense, listening to relaxing music, tasting a particular food, or watching the sunset. In short, it could be just about anything for as long as it is pleasing to your senses.
5. Social interaction
Many older adults tend to withdraw themselves from social gatherings or activities. That can be understandable if getting tired is a problem. But that doesn’t mean you should totally exclude everyone from your life. Having a conversation with someone helps to stimulate your brain activity and thus your senses.
Learning a new hobby is another good way to stimulate your brain. Find something that you find interesting such as knitting, painting, photography, dancing, creative writing, crafting, or woodworking. When you do activities that you love, your brain is more active as it sends electrical impulses that result in feelings of happiness and in enhanced self-esteem.
For brain activity, your brain needs to be fed both mentally and physically. Diet is very important. Remember that your Mom said breakfast was the most important meal of the day so don’t skip it. There are, however, certain types of food that are known to improve brain function including:
- Omega-3 rich foods (salmon, sardines, tuna, herring, halibut, mackerel, walnuts, flaxseed oil, spinach, broccoli, soybeans, and kidney beans)
- Green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol which is known to be a very potent antioxidant.
- Colorful fruits and green, leafy vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, spinach, watermelon, mangoes, bananas, and apricots are packed with antioxidants that protect your brain cells from free radicals.
- Food rich in resveratrol, which is a flavonoid that helps to increase blood flow in the brain and has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Rich sources of this flavonoid include red wine, fresh grapes and berries, cranberry juice, and peanuts.
Memory loss may be commonplace among seniors but there is always something you can do to boost your brain activity. As you continually challenge your mind, never forget that resting your mind is just as powerful. A proper balance between mental rest and exercise is essential for your brain to stay active and healthy. Check out all of the different ways to entertain yourself and stay active and healthy at the Guide For Seniors.
Do you have other strategies to stimulate your brain and memory? What mind games do you love playing? Drop us a quick comment and share it with the rest of us.