Poor memory and cognitive capacity are common issues facing individuals with degenerative brain conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. For the mentally healthy, however, there are still ways to ensure brain health and protect memory functions, even for those with a genetic predisposition. If done early enough, a person has a higher chance of maintaining their memory functionality as they age.
The Cost of Cognitive Decline
The loss of memory and other cognitive functions can take a toll on quality of life, as everyday tasks such as bathing, eating, or even running simple errands can become incredibly difficult. Cognitive decline greatly impacts how we live our lives. When it becomes difficult or even impossible to recall memories or understand procedures, a person can become overwhelmed or even frustrated. Emergencies and medical visits can become increasingly dangerous, as well as social interaction with friends, family, and co-workers.
Many everyday tasks may seem impossible with cognitive decline, such as handling money, using the telephone, or understanding directions. Furthermore, many individuals with cognitive decline can lose their autonomy and be reliant on the assistance of carers. Additionally, the effects of cognitive decline can negatively affect relationships, as memory impairments can reduce empathy and understanding, leading to conflicts with loved ones.
Ultimately, cognitive decline can greatly affects one’s quality of life and contribute to feelings of loneliness, loss, and depression. This is why protecting your cognitive power is important. Brain-training exercises are an effective way to keep the mind sharp.
In order to exercise the brain and protect its functions, you must first understand what can cause a decrease in memory, or a cognitive impairment. Memory issues can be the result of physical traumas, strokes, sleep disorders, and even mental health issues such as depression. Long-term appliance to certain medications can also play a part. Depending on the cause,
Memory problems can manifest in very different ways, including difficulty in comprehending new information, confusion, distorted perceptions, disorientation, and deficits in short- and long-term memory. Treatment and management for memory issues will largely depend on the cause. For physical trauma, medication and even surgery may be necessary, while for mental health issues, therapy and medications can be prescribed. For those with a genetic predisposition, however, more preventative methods of brain-training can be employed.
Brain-boosting exercises can help to understand, reserve, recall, and use information. Seven brain-boosting exercises that can be used on a regular basis include:
1. Active Meditation: This is a focused form of meditation that focuses on intense concentration and attention. Active Meditation can help to increase clarity of thought and creativity.
2. Cognitive Games: Playing cognitive games such as Sudoku or chess can help to tone cognitive processes such as concentration, patterns, and problem-solving.
3. Language Learning: Learning a new language can help to exercise both the short and long-term memory, as well as help to improve decision-making and problem-solving skills.
4. Memory Exercises: Deliberate activities such as memorizing flashcards or playing memory games can help to strengthen short-term memory and spur the development of new neural pathways for long-term recalls.
5. Mental Rides: Mental rides or guided visualizations can help to relax and sharpen cognitive processes such as problem-solving and creativity.
6. Mindful breathing: Similar to active meditation, mindful breathing or other relaxation techniques can help to improve awareness, memory recall, and focus.
7. Reading: Reading books, newspapers, or magazines can help to stimulate new ideas, increase concentration, and strengthen comprehension and recall.
Brain training is important to maintain and improve cognitive functions. While it might be more difficult if you are experiencing memory problems, it is possible to slow the decline by engaging in regular brain-boosting exercises. Exercising your brain regularly can help to improve memory, focus, clarity of thought, and problem-solving skills, which can all be beneficial to a person’s overall quality of life.