Proper cognitive functioning is essential for getting on with our day-to-day life, so it’s important that a person tries to take care of their cognitive abilities and functions by going through proper measures. Cognitive development is typically associated with babies and children. Most adults don’t take the development of their cognitive functions much into account, which isn’t the right thing to do.
According to various studies, a person can age prematurely and their life expectancy can also decrease due to reduced cognitive function. Diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s can have a huge effect on one’s cognitive functions, as these functions get heavily reduced in the patient. The life expectancy of the patient gets reduced as well. When someone falls victim to these problems, it becomes all the more important to take the necessary steps to improve their cognitive functions.
By making specific lifestyle choices, one can get younger than their biological age as their cognitive function as well as life expectancy improves. Various research studies say that new synapses and new neurons can be generated in certain regions of the adult brain. Whenever a person learns something new, or gets engaged in new activities, or even thinks about a new concept, their brain rewires itself as a response to these activities. This way adults can keep growing their brain, and protect their cognitive functioning as they grow older.
There are different ways to form better cognition and lessen the chances of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s, or diminished cognitive ability in the later stages of life. Here are some things you can resort to for improving your cognitive functioning-
Exercising can be of huge help in improving both your physical and mental health. Exercising can also help to improve one’s cognitive functioning. When someone goes through some sort of physical exercise, their blood flow gets increased to the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s responsible for memory and thought. The blood also gets rich in oxygen before getting in there.
According to a recent study, people that are aerobically fit don’t face much loss in the density of the tissue of their brain. It is another way of saying that they have better cognitive functioning. There are other studies that say exercising increases the ability of a person to handle stressful situations, the ability to learn, the ability to make clear decisions, and the ability to recall memories and facts.
Exercising also spurs the formation of new nerve cells and increases the connections between the cells of the brain. This results in a more adaptive and efficient brain. So, make sure to go through some sort of exercise on a regular basis.
Going Through Light Therapy
Light therapy is one of the most effective and popular forms of therapy. Light therapy provides us with numerous benefits, and it helps to deal with a wide range of physical and mental health issues. Light therapy can help with mental health issues like seasonal affective disorder, depression, stress, anxiety, etc. It also helps deal with physical health issues like skin problems, different kinds of pain and wounds, sleeping problems, etc. One can take this therapy easily at their home by using a light therapy device.
Different colors and wavelengths of lights are used in light therapy devices, such as red, blue, amber, white, green, etc. Each color of light has a different set of benefits. Taking light therapy at home can help with improving cognitive functions. Especially people that are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, can experience significant improvement in their cognitive functions by going through red light therapy on a regular basis. The quality of their life also gets improved by going through light therapy.
Getting Mental Stimulation
After extensive research, scientists have found that brain activities can stimulate new connections between neurons and nerve cells. They might even help the brain generate new cells and build up a functional reserve that will provide a hedge against any sort of future cell loss.
Any activity that is mentally stimulating can help to build your brain up. You can try reading, taking courses, try mental gymnastics such as math problems or word puzzles to stimulate your brain functions. You can also try experimenting with things that will require mental effort as well as manual dexterity, such as painting, drawing, and other crafts.
Having an Improved Diet
Getting proper nutrition can help your mind too, along with your body. A Mediterranean-style diet that consists of vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, unsaturated fats, and plant-based proteins, helps a person to develop better cognitive functioning. People that follow this diet regularly are less likely to fall victim to dementia or cognitive impairment.
It is also important to go through proper lifestyle modifications to keep blood pressure in check. High blood pressure increases the risk of facing cognitive decline during old age. Also, blood sugar levels are needed to be kept in check too.
Meditation can play a big role in reducing stress, and at the same time, it might be able to help in slowing the progression of age-related cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Avoiding Smoking and Drinking
Tobacco intake can play a big role in exacerbating the cognitive decline. So, it’s important to get rid of tobacco in all its forms. Also, excessive drinking can be a major risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. It’s better if you can avoid drinking altogether. However, if you do choose to drink, try to limit it as much as possible. Preferably not more than two drinks per day.
Caring for Emotions
People that deal with anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, or exhaustion, tend to score poorly on cognitive function tests. One getting poor scores doesn’t necessarily mean they have an increased risk of facing cognitive decline during old age, but restful sleep and good mental health are important for maintaining proper cognitive faculties.
The importance of one’s cognitive functions in their life can be properly put into words. If one doesn’t take care of their cognitive function properly or doesn’t take necessary measures to protect their cognitive functions, they might fall victim to cognitive decline during their old age. So, make sure to go through the above-mentioned measures that will help you properly take care of your cognitive functions.