May 112011

As you move towards your sunset years you become concerned about aging skin and body. You do your utmost to preserve and enhance a youthful appearance. What you often forget that your brain ages too and needs to be looked after even more than your body. You must have seen or heard of older people suffering from memory lapses or having a weak memory. They keep their keys or papers somewhere and are unable to find them later. They sometimes cannot recall names of people and places.

The brain needs stimulation and exercise just as well as the body does. Physical workouts are not possible for older people as often joint problems set in and there is a decrease in energy. Even mild exercise like walking is helpful as it will increase the rate of blood flow. As the circulation increases, more oxygen will enter the blood stream and hence more will be available to the brain. This will improve brain functions such as memory.

Walking will serve another purpose of relieving you of stress. At every stage in life you have to face stress but as you grow older it affects your brain more. If you remain within the four walls of your home doing the same things every day, you will automatically keep thinking of the same things and get stressed. When you go out you see something different like flowers, children playing and exchange greetings with acquaintances, you feel refreshed. Even window shopping can help to ease stress.

Problems never cease but you have to put them aside and focus on the positive aspects of your life. Be thankful for what you have instead of bemoaning what you do not have. Do not dwell in the past thinking of what you had. Live in the present and enjoy the faculties that work well even now. Once a week, visit the under privileged people like orphans and the destitute. You can do some light volunteer work there. Even listening to them or engaging them in talk will be of help.

Your senses and the brain become dull and listless if you do the same things repetitively every day. To encourage new connections to be made between neurons in your brain cells, try to do something different every day. It is never too late to develop a simple hobby like collecting different match boxes. Work out the crossword in the news paper. Learn a new language a few words at a time. Your local library can be of help. If unable to go out write out a page with your left hand.

Such activities will help in regenerating some brain cells and will keep your brain active, nudging lethargy out. Don’t take on things that are too complicated as that will lead to frustration and discourage you from trying out new things.