Learn Something New
Long term memory and brain health is a very hot topic trending in our social culture. The rush to find cures for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, or at least slow down the progression of these debilitating diseases, is a major focus of multiple research teams worldwide. The impact of mental decline is not just an individual personal loss. Families are also devastated when loved ones suffer the loss of memory, cognition, mental acuity and independence.
In addition to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, cerebral vascular disease, Lyme disease, mercury and/or heavy metal toxicity, hormonal changes, candida and yeast overgrowth, food sensitivities which create high levels of histamine in the brain, and medications, are other or additional contributing causes for “brain fog”, poor memory, and lack of mental sharpness. Obviously, some causes are easier to address than others. But no matter the cause, one key to long term memory and brain health is to learn new things.
…”Research conducted in the fields of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia points to the increasing importance of ongoing mental stimuli for long-term brain health. Just as exercise is important for muscle fitness, learning new things is important for mental fitness. As our years progress, the brain loses its ability to withstand the normal neurological damage from aging. This brings about memory loss and declining thought processes. Therefore, learning something new, as often as possible, ensures better cognitive function as time goes on.” (excerpt from “Do One Thing Feel Better/ Live Better)
The opportunities to learn new things are more available today than ever before. A formal, in-person class is not the only option if one wants to exercise their brain by learning a new language, craft or skill. The internet provides classes and tutorials in almost anything one has an interest to learn. Websites such as www.thegreatcourses.com provide courses in a wide variety of topics. However, if you are one who prefers an actual classroom setting, colleges and local high schools offer continuing education classes and courses to suit the casual to serious students.
If you aren’t interested in a course or classes, but just want to stimulate and challenge your brain, doing word or math puzzles, or learning a new sport can also add enough mental stimulation to increase your chances for better long term brain health.
But frequent stimulation of both the right and left sides of the brain produces the most benefit. If your normal day consists of technical or analytical work or activities, think about exploring creative stimuli such as in art, crafts or music. On the other hand, if most of your daily brain activity uses your creative side, then think about investigating learning new things that stimulate technical or analytical thinking.
In addition to increasing your chances for better long term memory and brain health overall by learning something new, just think of how much more enriched your life can be from the knowledge you gain, the experiences you encounter, and maybe the people you will meet in this process.
If you wish to learn more ways to improve your mental health, there are several more tips in my book which is available through my website and the major online book retailers.
Wishing you health and living your best life.