As I continue life’s journey through my 60’s, I’m more aware of the value of having practices that keep my brain functioning at it’s best. Of course, one of my tools is doing regular NeurOptimal® tune-up sessions as one practice to keep my nervous system in balance and optimize my brain function.
There are lots of other strategies to add to the toolbox as well. Jill Suttie, Psy,D, and writer for Greater Good Magazine, in her article provides an excellent summary of Sanjay Gupta’s new book, Keep Sharp: Building a Better Brain at Any Age, where he puts forward the five top strategies gleaned from hundreds of research studies. She provides excellent links, within the article, to studies and other resource articles. The strategies Gupta recommends are:
- Move More
- Get Enough Sleep
- Learn, Discover and Find Purpose
- Eat Well
- Connect With Others
Harvard Health Publishing, in their article about keeping your mind sharp at any age, they also recommend keeping active, getting enough sleep and having strong social connections and they add not smoking, limiting alcohol to one drink per day and following a Mediterranean style eating plan. Other strategies suggested include:
- Keep Learning
- Use All Your Senses
- Believe in Yourself
- Prioritize Your Brain Use (I love this one – for example, finding one place in the house to put your keys, phone, glasses or other important items you use all the time. It’s taken a while to train myself to use the one spot but it now saves brain space and time for other things 😊)
- Repeat What You Want to Know
- Space it Out
The Mayo Clinic, in this short video recommends staying mentally, physically and socially engaged as the top ways to keeping your mind sharp, adding that diet also can play a role.
I also found this Brain Quiz useful: How Well Do You Know Your Brain.
These are just a few of the resources available on-line to pique your interest. My top brain activities right now are pickleball and walking for exercise, being part of a choir to keep me mentally challenged and socially engaged, and reading and listening to both fiction and other books and podcasts focused on expanding my knowledge. What are your favourite tools and practices to keep your brain functioning at it’s best throughout adulthood and as you get older?