According to a recent report and the Reader’s Digest, if you’re happy you make better decisions and remember more! Put a little more happiness into your life and you’ll find that your mind is sharper than ever.
Here are a few quick tips to keeping your mind firing on all cylinders. Most of these tips you’ve probably heard a time or two. The key to these suggestions, however, is to first make sure you implement them into your daily life. Make it a routine. Second, make sure you actually enjoy whatever it is that you’re doing. If you hate crossword puzzles, don’t do them! Find something you really love.
Test yourself. This one is tricky. Testing yourself can sometimes be frustrating, even for someone in his or her younger years. Sometimes you’re just not good at those boring kids memory games! That doesn’t mean your brain is not as cognitively aware as it once was. On a weekly basis, consider doing something to test your brainpower. Pick something that you know you’ve always been good at and truly enjoy. A great example is reading a book you’ve always loved or testing yourself on a topic you enjoy – like geography. Testing yourself comes naturally in most cases, but making sure you do it for a set amount of time each week should be a priority as you age.
Stay active. We’ve talked several times about staying active. It’ just something you shouldn’t avoid. The journal Neurology published a study of nearly 700 people in their early 70s. Those with a more active lifestyle had less anatomical brain shrinkage and better cognitive function than the couch potatoes, according to an article by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. There are many ways to stay active without pushing your limits. Remembering and taking the time to do it is another thing. Put it on your calendar and follow through. Staying active can add years to your life and will put a smile on your face. Endorphins are a beautiful thing!
Eat right. OK. Be honest. How many vegetable and fruit servings are you eating on a daily basis? Do you have enough Omega-3 in your diet? If you’re not exactly sure, then you’re probably not getting enough. Eating right is incredibly important, but you already know this don’t you? They key to eating right is availability. If you eat out often and there’s not the option of fresh fruits and veggies, be sure to have them readily available at home. Plan ahead! Bring an apple to your weekly outing with friends. Some people will purposely eat their healthy food items first when eating a meal. It’s a good idea because you’ll get full and realize that you’ve already eaten the good stuff. Give it a try!
Make friends. Did you see the first paragraph about smiling and happiness? That’s where a good friend comes in. Sharing time and fun stories with others can help you feel better than ever. Friends can bring an exciting perspective back to life, but pick your friends wisely. We all know a few “negative Nancy” folks out there. It might be a good idea to limit your time with those people. No one wants to here constant complaints all day. It could actually be bad for you. Spend time with friends that bring out the best in you. Do you have a friend that constantly stays active and eats right? You guessed it! Spend more time with that friend.
Try something new. Our final challenge for you is to try something new – big or small – on a weekly basis. Adding a fresh idea and new experience to your life can challenge your body and mind in exactly the right ways. If your new experience is not your cup or tea, that’s perfectly fine. Don’t do that one. Find something else like one or two of these ideas from a 2015 article of 52 new things to try. Know your limitations and don’t try anything that’s too crazy!
Thank you for taking the time to read these important tips. Remember to keep the activities fun. If it makes you smile thinking about it, then give it a try. It’s never too late or too early to start. Live life and enjoy it! We hope these quick tips can bring a little happiness into your life. Have fun today!
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