4 Ways to Strengthen Your Mind Every Day

As you age, you might be worried that you’re going to start forgetting things—from where you put your car keys to the name of your neighbor’s daughter-in-law. But you can take steps to stop yourself from feeling foggy! Researchers have found that if you regularly exercise your “mental muscle,” you can keep it strong well into your golden years.

Here are four simple ways to keep your mind sharp and put forgetfulness at bay, no matter how many candles are on your birthday cake:

  1. Start a diary: Writing in a journal isn’t just reserved for teenagers. Making a list of your daily to-dos in the morning, and writing a recap of your day in the evening, is a great mental exercise. That’s because jotting down your personal experiences can help with memory. Feeling tech-savvy? Try starting a blog so that your family members can also read about what you’re up to.
  2. Do math in your head: It might be a long time since you’ve done mental math, but crunching numbers in your head can help sharpen your math skills as well as stimulate your brain. So the next time you’re eating out at a restaurant and are given your check, figure out the tip and total without the help of pen and paper.
  3. Pick up an instrument: It’s never too late to try out a new hobby, like learning to play a musical instrument such as the piano or guitar. Research shows that older adults who read music and play an instrument have stronger brains and better moods than those who don’t. Not musically inclined? Learning a new language can be just as useful.
  4. Have regular friend dates: Loneliness and isolation can make the brain and social skills grow weaker in later ages. Inviting a neighbor over for coffee and a catch-up or walking around the mall with a friend can do wonders for your brain power.

Photo credit: Simeon Berg

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