Lists

Lists

Five Tips for Preserving Memory

Five Tips for Preserving Memory

Memory is just one of the brain’s many functions. Many people are concerned about losing their memory and developing dementia. While changes in memory occur throughout our lifetime, they become more noticeable as we age. But there are ways to manage the process and preserve memory functions. Here are five tips to help accomplish that goal:

  1. Strive to create new memory connections. This means seeking out more social interactions and opportunities to engage with people.
  2. Maintain a positive attitude. Recognize the brain has plasticity, so you can learn or re-learn skills throughout life. This requires commitment and practice.
  3. Mentally stimulate yourself. Whether through brain games, reading, or intellectual pursuits, these activities promote memory and cognitive functioning.
  4. Stay healthy. Exercise regularly and practice good nutrition to keep your brain healthy.
  5. Enjoy hobbies and other activities. Think about what you’ve lost interest in and find ways to replace or develop new pursuits.

Change the perception
So how can we extend our lives? Tune out the negative. Focus on the positive. Instead of using the word “old,” substitute “wise,” “mature,” “seasoned” and “experienced.” Think about it: in most cultures, elders are typically revered for their accumulation of knowledge and experience. Even those who haven’t accomplished much of special merit exhibit a time-tested combination of cultivated skills and experiential wisdom that rightly inspires humility in younger people (who do well to capitalize on their insights). So, almost by default, age demands more than a modicum of respect.

With the right information and mindset, people can learn how to approach one’s later years with optimism and determination, recognizing that no one ever has to lose their cultural edge. After all, people are living longer, healthier lives every day, all over the world. A huge part of why aging seems to come upon people suddenly and overwhelmingly is because people don’t take the steps early on that will give them the best possible chance of living long, healthy and meaningful lives.

Consider the aging process with a healthy mixture of acceptance and enthusiasm. This mind shift leads people to live happier (and often longer) lives. Known as the chronologically gifted, these people regard their age as a gift, the seal of a lifelong journey for which they are profoundly grateful. It’s a journey that began at birth and one they hope to continue through a personal legacy that immortalizes them in the memories of others. Facing their own mortality, the chronologically gifted are determined to live with significance, passion, and purpose in the here and now.

References:
https://news.yale.edu/2002/07/29/thinking-positively-about-aging-extends-life-more-exercise-and-not-smoking
https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-832261.pdf

10 Principles and Beliefs Adopted by the Chronologically Gifted

10 Principles and Beliefs Adopted by the Chronologically Gifted

What you are to be, you are now becoming. Here are 10 principles that when practiced, will lead to longer, happier, healthier, more fulfilled lives.

  1. Get rid of the phrase, “I’m too old for that.” Eliminate it from daily vocabulary and from all thinking. Instead of approaching old age as an imposition of new limitations, focus on opportunities to overcome challenges and acquire new skills.
  2. Find a reason for getting up in the morning. It’s important for everyone to figure out what makes him or her tick when others want to just give up. Write it down. Create a life mantra. Any time the difficulties of life threaten to overwhelm, let your inner sense of purpose be the reminder that life matters now.
  3. Connect with something bigger. In addition to daily pursuits and occasional travel, volunteer for a worthy cause. Plug in to a spiritual community. Meditate. Pray. Read thought-provoking books that address life’s “big questions.” Get in touch with a Higher Power.
  4. Look on the bright side. Embrace a positive style. Hardship is temporary. Victory is just around the corner. Find little reasons every day to be grateful for life—even in the face of negativity. Resolve to live mindfully and savor the best gifts that life has to offer. Focus on solutions, not problems.
  5. Get moving. No excuses. Pick a physical activity that brings true enjoyment and real passion, and do it—regularly. Take a lot of walks. Use the stairs. Bike to the store instead of driving. Plant and tend a garden in the backyard. Find ways to incorporate low-intensity exercise of all kinds (strength, balance and aerobic) into daily life to ward off the potentially debilitating effects of aging.
  6. Stay fueled. Eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer simple carbohydrates. Avoid processed foods. Drink lots of water and an occasional glass of red wine. Consume smaller portions. Don’t eat “on the go.” Put unhealthy foods out of sight and out of reach to purge temptations.
  7. Create personal Blue Zones. A home can be organized to facilitate good sleep, healthy eating habits and spiritual well-being. Get rid of excess technological “noise,” and create a space for meditation. Shed the clutter and add some greenery. Invest in comfortable pillows and light-blocking drapes for the bedroom. Display pictures of family and friends and souvenirs of treasured life experiences.
  8. Don’t do it alone. Connect with like-minded, loyal, authentic people who will help their loved ones reach their goals. Spend time with them regularly. Share their burdens and vice versa. Rejoice in victories together. Learn to forgive and reach out to estranged family members before it’s too late to be reconciled. Life is too short for grudges.
  9. Believe in yourself. Give credit where credit is due. Focus on becoming the best you can be. Remember, obstacles are only temporary setbacks that can be overcome.
  10. Seize the day. Live today as though it really matters. Don’t do anything to cause regret, and don’t let fear prevent the full experience of your life in the here and right now.
10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Happy

10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Happy

These scientifically proven ways to be happy are published by Secrets2Success, which is known for its famously popular page: @secrets2success, where the company inspires and motivates many people day-in and day-out.

Exercise (at least seven minutes a day). It really all comes down to moving. In all facets of daily life, do your best to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. The more hours you log sitting down each day, the higher your risk of serious health problems.
Go outside (especially when it’s very cold). The outdoors is a natural, cost-free, easily accessible mood elevator. Also, it provides a dose of vitamin D, which produces important health benefits such as promoting calcium absorption, reducing bone inflammation, and supporting immune function. Not bad for such a simple act.
Help others (at least two hours each week). The scientific benefits of helping others have been proven again and again. It reduces the extreme loneliness some people experience, which has actually been known to increase lifespan.
Meditate (rewrite your brain). Meditating improves concentration. Improving this ability enhances a person’s self-awareness, which increases happiness and acceptance. All of these benefits can come from simply taking a little time to think.
Move closer to work. Are you one of the countless individuals who spend hours of your day commuting? Unless you can find a way to make those hours productive (beyond getting you from one place to another), try to arrange something where the drive time doesn’t weigh so heavily on your day.
Plan a trip (even if you don’t take it). The act of planning is itself beneficial. Visualizing yourself on a family outing or experiencing adventures is intoxicating.
Practice gratitude. Feeling grateful and expressing it put people in good moods. The better your mood, the more resilient you become. It’s all good news!
Practice smiling. Do you know what happens when you smile? Neuronal signals travel from the cortex of your brain to the brain stem. From there, the cranial muscle carries the signal further toward the face’s smiling muscles. Once those muscles contract, a positive feedback loop goes back to the brain and reinforces your feeling of joy. Just hearing that should arouse a smile!
Sleep more. Sleep plays a vital role in your overall health. A lot of important activities occur when you sleep, namely the healing and repairing of your heart and blood vessels.
Spend more time with family (and friends). How else can memorable experiences be created? Family bonding time is an opportune time to model good behavior, as well as to give your children a greater sense of self worth.

10 Fun Facts About Laughter

10 Fun Facts About Laughter

The following list is by Robert Provine, author of Laughter: A Scientific Investigation

Laughter is an instinctive behavior, produced and recognized by people of all cultures.
Most laughter is not about humor; it’s about relationships between people. We are 30 more times likely to laugh in a social situation than when we are alone (without the presence of TV, books, radio).
Laughter usually follows comments in conversation rather than intentional jokes.
The speaker tends to laugh more than the audience.
In groups, women laugh more than men. Women also laugh more at men more than men laugh at women.
Laughter tends to occur in short bursts of vowel-like sounds such as “ha-ha,”, “ho-ho” or “he-he” which are repeated every fifth of a second.
Most people can’t laugh on command. Laughter is not something we produce consciously.
Laughter is contagious. The sounds of laughter often trigger laughter.
Laughter is believed to have its origins in rough and tumble play, evolving from the panting behavior of our primate ancestors (when tickled, chimpanzees and gorillas pant).
Laughter usually doesn’t interrupt a sentence structure of speech. We really only laugh during the pauses we make for coughing or breathing.

Three Simple Steps for Creating a Happier Life

Three Simple Steps for Creating a Happier Life

It’s not really rocket science. We all have the ability and responsibility to create deep and lasting happiness in our lives. It starts with the decision each of us makes that we want and deserve to be happy. What happened yesterday doesn’t matter. Today we can make a new decision to be who we want to be and lead the life we choose. Here’s how:

Engage in life. Think about what you treasure and pursue it. Decide what gives you the most pleasure, gratification and/or satisfaction. Do the things that you enjoy and that you are passionate about. Spend time with positive people. Give to others. Don’t let others define who you are and what you can and can’t do. Laugh more. Put energy into being the best you can be.
Live healthy. Eat right. Drink lots of water. Be more active – it’s great therapy. Read, meditate, pray. When you pay attention to your physical, emotional and spiritual needs, you will experience more positive energy and renewal.

Believe in you. Live life today. The past does not own you. You own your future. Build your own journey, not just one experience. Navigate on the road of life with a sense of curiosity, confidence, and zest. Remember, self-love is not selfish. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face… You must do that which you think you cannot do… The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dream.”

Five Tips for a Better Life

Five Tips for a Better Life

There’s no question about it, happiness is a personal choice. No matter what age, what circumstances, what challenges or stresses exist, people can develop a better psychological outlook that will lead to better relationships and a more enjoyable life. Here’s how:

Pay attention to what you eat. Put more foods that grow from the earth into your diet. Eat less prepared food that is manufactured in factories. Eliminate as much sugar and salt as possible. Eat small meals several times a day.
Exercise.  Make a commitment to yourself to engage in physical activity daily. Whether it’s walking, hiking, running, going to the gym, or participating in sports, movement creates the endorphins that help minimize depression and keep the body strong.
Challenge your mind. School is not just for the young. Life is about continuous learning. Play more games, read more books, take more classes. Practice listening, asking questions, developing curiosity. Learn to be a good storyteller. It helps maintain your memories and mental clarity.
Develop a positive attitude. Live with energy, enthusiasm and empathy. Smile and laugh more. Be of service. Giving to others is very powerful. Practice gratitude. A positive attitude helps overcome stress and other negative emotions and brings optimism into your life.
Create your own sense of spirituality. Sit in silence every day. Meditate. Pray. Decide every morning what your purpose for the day will be. Connect to your higher power to find meaning in your life. Let go of anger, depression, resentment. Remember that no matter how god or bad a situation, it will change. You can get through it.