Education provides protection against age-related changes in mental function later in life. The greater the information, knowledge, skills you arm yourself with early in life, the greater the protection later. When we learn something new, a new synaptic connection (connection between nerve cells in our brains) are formed, and the more synaptic connections you have, the greater protection against memory loss and brain degeneration you acquire. Do not worry, it is never too late! You always need to find an interesting field of knowledge, make learning a continuous and conscious part of your daily life. And, as the old saying goes: “Use it or lose it!”
Another important factor in brain protection is working with an objective in life, a strong sense of achievement and an optimistic attitude that improves your sense of self-worth and empowers you with a great deal of personal control.
Get your fair share of sleep:
Keep an adequate and regular sleeping routine. Bad sleeping habits greatly affect health. Sleep restores, replenishes and rebuilds your brain and your body after a long waking day. Scientists believe that sleep gives the body cells and neurons suitable time to repair themselves and restore their energy.
Keep yourself busy:
Gerontologist Gene Cohen advices that adults should practice four different types of activities (Restak, 1997):
· Active group activities as tennis and football, which involve high energy and mobility and social connections.
· Passive group activities as art classes, sewing guilds, discussion groups, which need only low energy but still enhance social gathering.
· Individual active activities as walking, jogging or bicycle riding, for some useful, active time with yourself.
· Individual passive activities like reading, writing, cooking...for more relaxing time alone.
Learn to relax and savor life. Dealing with crisis, stress and problematic events is a continuous part of daily life. How we adapt and cope with these challenges highly affects not only our psychology and emotions, but also our physical body and immune system. Keep your faith and sense of humor, reformulate frustrations into challenges and anger into content. Keep in mind that you can never change what is happening to you, but you can change your attitude towards it. Your way of looking at your problems can help you generate more energy and enthusiasm. Retain an optimistic view of life, avoid negative thoughts, remember your blessings and be grateful for them all, believe in yourself and your abilities, enjoy simple life pleasures and look for the beauty in everything around you. Even the simplest change in attitude, can greatly improve your health.
Keeping family ties is very important for mental, emotional and physical health. Social commitment extends from the blood ties and marital commitments to the brotherly connections between all members of the society, laying a foundation of a big loving family with a mature sense of nurture and security. Being surrounded by a happy, loving and caring environment either at home, in the neighborhood or at work increases the ability to cope with stress. Happy environment, social contacts, involvement in the community, support from family and friends are all important factors in maintaining a healthy life.
Deep religious beliefs:
We are always interested in our body’s needs; while we tend to ignore the needs of our souls.It's now scientifically proven that spiritual bonds are essential for good health and happiness. Spirituality is an individualistic concept; it gives you the meaning of life and helps you find your true purpose in it. Both spirituality and religion prompt you to turn inward and ponder about your values and goals; they prioritize your interests and develop a strong potential to fulfill those interests (Hensrud, 2006). They connect you to the Greatest Power of all, to your Creator. This is a readily available coping resource giving you comfort, hope and strength. Besides, the religious gatherings provide a strong social support structure providing relief from daily life stressors.
Engaging in regular ritual activities such as prayer and supplication promotes relaxation, awakens the soul, and helps us transcend to a higher level of consciousness. When praying, we are like an airline pilot seeking a higher altitude when encountering turbulence; prayer moves us to higher ground of consciousness, not to escape the world, but to alter our worldview (Williams, 2004).
Finally, I want you to keep in mind that aging is a self-fulfillment prophecy. It is truly up to you to determine how well you will age and at what 'age' you will 'age'. Through the wisdom of your mind, you can change your whole life. You only need to adjust your inner feelings, keep your self-esteem, confidence and above all your faith. It is your thinking that creates your feelings and from which your actions will generate.
Have a great day!!!