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The Aging Brain: 7 Ways to Boost Its Power

1. Set Goals: Goal setting has rarely been a focus for personal development work with people over 50, write Cusak and Thompson. But research suggests that those in their “third age” who undertake goals in an entirely new area, such as an untried foreign language or musical instrument, enjoy special brain-boosting benefits.

2. Power Think: “Simply put, power thinking means out with the old beliefs and in with the new,” explain the authors. It can be accomplished by identifying limiting beliefs about yourself, challenging them and replacing them with new beliefs about your potential for limitless growth as you age.

3. Be Creative: New research suggests that people can develop their creativity into later life, say Cusak and Thompson. And creativity is not restricted to just artistic expression: It’s about bringing anything new — from ideas to ways of being in the world — into existence.

4. Accentuate the Positive: Having a positive attitude is critical to healthy brain aging. “Research tells us that optimistic people live as much as six years longer,” says Cusak. Optimism can be cultivated, even by sworn pessimists. By actively working to see the positive in every situation, you can gradually adjust your outlook on life in ways that support both brain and body health.

5. Learn to Remember, Remember to Learn: You can support your memory by adopting the “lifelong learning” approach. “Learning new things causes the dendrites [a component of neurons] to grow and branch wildly, improving brain power,” write the authors.

6. Speak Your Mind: Share your well-earned perspective with others. Consider starting a “conversational salon” or “philosophers’ cafe” in your community.

7. Have a Plan: The final step to ensuring the Mental Fitness for Life plan is having a strong strategy to implement and support the first six steps. The authors advise an ongoing assessment and adjustment approach: “Tailor-make your mental fitness program daily, weekly, monthly and yearly,” they write. “Change it as you change yourself.”

Read more: General Health, Health, Mental Wellness, , , ,

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Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit experiencelife.com to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.

62 comments

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2:19AM PST on Jan 21, 2015

Thank you.

4:25PM PST on Jan 20, 2015

I always tell my mom to be more creative, more active (both mentally and phisically), and to start learning foreign languages again.

12:16PM PDT on Jul 16, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:02PM PST on Jan 4, 2013

Great post--thanks.

6:52PM PST on Nov 26, 2012

Thanks.

11:16AM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

Thank you

4:56AM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

Thanks for the article.

11:23PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Yep, I'm smarter than I ever was. Doctor told me when I got older I would have wisdom and I didn't have to do anything to get it. I'd just have it.

Two reasons, I didn't like that:

1. The implication! Was he calling me a dumb A--?
Grrr

2. Was he depriving me of any participation in the coming one day wisdom? I want some credit!!!!

Be happy.

12:03PM PST on Nov 13, 2010

Thanks

2:06PM PST on Feb 9, 2010

Each day we can become faster, stronger, smarter, and wiser.

Remember that as you sit down to decay.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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