Under 60? You probably haven’t thought much about building your brain for the future, but did you know that starting to focus on your brain now could improve your quality of life (and that of your family) as you get older?
There is plenty of interest in brain maintenance and improvement among the 60+ age cohort. Over 60, we can start to become very conscious about deterioration, dependency and even dementia. However, even as we reach 45, parents and friends are becoming older and starting to show signs of the three D’s and most people know someone or have responsibility for someone with one of the D’s by the time they are 60.
The brain simply doesn’t come to the top of the awareness ‘pile’ when we’re younger; it’s something we can do something about when we have time – or we believe that it won’t happen to us and anyway that’s a long way off! There is so much else to focus on… it isn’t much of an exaggeration to say that most people under 60 know more about a mobile phone than their brain! But if you knew that there were some very simple things that you could do now that would make a difference later – wouldn’t you build them into your life?
I am lucky. I needed to find out about brain repair when I was in my 50’s. A tumour the size of a lemon took its toll on the frontal lobe of my brain. In the process of learning to rewire my own brain, I became amazed by its ability to rebuild and equally surprised by how few people know or care about building a strong brain. I have learned that there are three very good reasons why everyone over 45 should be putting more time and energy themselves into building a stronger brain for life:
We tend to take our brain for granted – it just works and after all, we practice by using it every day don’t we? Not really – even doing the crossword every day isn’t a road to brain health without other, integrated activities and lifestyle choices. The good news is that there are some very simple ways to maintain brain health and build strength in everyday life. We must stay relevant and adaptable as the population ages over the next 20 years. If you are 45 or older, be a role model and do it yourself and help a family member or friend to change their brain while you are at it – at least spend as much time learning about your brain as on your mobile phone!
*** If you haven’t read it yet, check out the examples in Norman Doidge’s book ‘The brain that changes itself’