I know one of the greatest fears of aging (above and beyond the dreaded wrinkles that manage to creep up around our eyes) is the fear of losing your memory. Us woman, pride ourselves on being the organisers, the ones who remember all the right dates and times and ensures all bills and deadlines are met efficiently.
Having recently witnessed the demise of my grandmother’s memory, I’m determined to ensure my well functioning brain remains intact fifty years from now.
Often, I write about fitness and food yet neglect the all important mind, when it comes to feeling and looking your best. Just like your own ‘trouble spots’ on your body, we too have weaknesses when it comes to particular brain functions.
Which is where Brain Specific Work Outs come into play.
Can’t remember passing thoughts? Embrace the crossword. Have difficulty making the right decision? Work on games that require strategy- like cards.
Being the naturally un-inquisitive, scientifically devoid member of society that I am- I have gone to the trouble to find out which parts of the brain do what (thanks to the scientific mind that is my sister). Here are some work-outs for six different brain areas- dependent on your ‘trouble spots’.
Prefrontal cortex (forethought)
o strategy games, like chess
o meditation helps increase forethought
Temporal lobes (language and memory)
o crossword puzzles and word games (my mum’s forte…wish I could say the same for myself)
o learning a new language
Basal ganglia (monitors anxiety and motivation)
o Meditation (re-occurring theme anyone)
o diaphragmatic breathing – basically breathing from your tummy not your chest. Many of us- don’t properly use our breath which leaves us devoid of full oxygen capacity and inadvertently places our body in a state of stress. Think of it as inducing a semi like state of hyperventilating. As a former flautist, the best way to describe this is to tell you all to breathe without lifting up your shoulders. A good deep breathe comes from the base of your stomach, not your chest cavity.
Deep limbic (emotions)
o Power of positive thought. Write a list about your merits and what you are grateful for, daily
o Ensure your positive experiences are built on actual actions- going places/doing things as opposed to situations where you bought happiness (i.e. that new Chanel wallet)
Parietal lobes (direction sense and spatial orientation)
o Redesigning a small space in your house
o Implementing some garden design into your backyard
o Martial arts
o Handwriting or calligraphy
o Taking an aerobics class
I don’t know about you but this has got me thinking, can you grow younger in mind as the years go by, by keeping curious and learning?
I’d love to hear if anyone has had positive experiences through adopting a new skill or embracing the act of stillness and meditating!