The brain contains everything that makes us that we are. This comprises not only each talent and skill, but also the records of all our experiences, hopes and dreams, the friendships plus achievements that give meaning and purpose to our lives.
It’s no wonder then, that with every little ‘brain hiccup’ – forgetting a title, losing our car or home keys (again), a sudden losing ability in our Bridge or Mahjong sport – we see our lives sliding away. In fact , many people fear losing their memories more than death by itself.
The good news is that although the brain really does shrink with age, its staying capacity is very large. Even with age group, most brains can still learn plus add new stores of information. Moreover, there are techniques that show you how to increase brain power and maximize your mental abilities. You can train your brain and improve the efficiency of your memory, whatever your age.
How to increase brain power : Age and Experience
The common stating ‘You can’t teach an old canine new tricks’ is not true. Ageing may have some effect on memory and learning capacity. However , the experience plus knowledge store that age provides can compensate for much of this. Furthermore, memory improvement techniques can help protect your mental functions into senior years.
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Using simple aids such as diaries, post-it-notes or electronic reminders may also help counter memory slips.
The best way to increase brain power – Expand our own Interests
As we age, our mental filing cabinets become packed with records in our lives well lived. Yet by means of it all, the brain makes more complex associations between ideas and puts new learning in the context of a vast store of experience. This means that it becomes easier to take in new information about subjects of which we have some knowledge and experience. Therefore someone who plays chess as a hobby for instance, will build on his understanding of different chess positions and strategies the more he plays. He can pull on this knowledge and experience when he encounter something similar next time, and become a better player.
The same is true of any topic, hobby or profession – Stamp collecting, music, politics, medicine, mindset, astrophysics or even television soap operas. Besides helping to maintain your mental abilities, pursuing a new interest will make living more stimulating.
The mind, once a mysterious ‘black box’ that scientists could not decode, is finally revealing some of its biggest techniques. This offers huge promise in order to anyone who’s worried about “losing it”. Two of the main findings include
(i) We do grow the brain cells
Who doesn’t keep in mind downing one too many glasses within their youth and joking, ‘Well, there goes another thousand brain cells’? Many of us still believe that we begin life with billions of brain cellular material, and then slowly lose them with period (and alcohol). We’ll then possess fewer brain cells by our own twenties and thirties, and by center age. But in fact, in an exceptional discovery, scientists have learned that the mind generates new cells every day, inside a process called neurogenesis. What actually happens is that most new human brain cell growth continues until earlier adulthood, around the age of 18 to 20. Thereafter, new brain tissues do grow, but more die off than are replaced, therefore there is a small and gradual but progressive overall loss of brain tissues throughout the rest of adulthood.
The crucial stage is that it’s not the number of cells, however the connections between them that matter. Whenever you learn new things, you create new connections between the cells and thus boost the capacity of your brain.
(ii) The greater your use your brain, the greater its capacity
The second major new finding is equally encouraging. We used to think of the brain as if it had been a fixed electric power grid, like the ones that send electricity to our cities. When the system gets old or overloaded, power decreases which then leads to. flickering lights and break down of home appliances. We believed that age wore down memory and comprehension similarly and there was nothing we could do about it.
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