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In our society, our faces get too much attention.
Countless articles tell readers how to look younger than they actually are. But not nearly enough attention is given to a far more important body part—our brains.
A youthful brain may not sound as appealing as having a wrinkle-free face, but you’ll appreciate it more and more as you age.
Mental decline is one of the most dreaded aspects of getting older, but it is preventable.
1. Widen your circle.
In my book, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years, I discuss how loneliness is a contributing factor to depression and has been linked to other conditions such as high blood pressure, dementia, and cognitive decline.
To keep our brains young, we need more daily face-to-face interactions with people. Saying hello to the grocery clerk when you grab a bag of food isn’t enough. Humans are a social species, and our brains are hard-wired to thrive on deep communications with others.
But loneliness, as you age, isn’t all about needing to have someone sitting by you. It’s about making peace with what comes next. It’s about seeking brilliant solitude—a state where you no longer fear solitude or the evolution of your journey. That comes from feeling one with the universe and your role in it.
2. Give yourself the right fuel.
The human body is an incredibly complex machine, and it doesn’t perform well when you give it the wrong fuel. Think of your car and what it needs to run. If you poured sand in the gas tank, you wouldn’t get very far. Likewise, the right nutrition is known to keep our brains younger than if you sat around munching on potato chips and cookies all day.
Eat a rainbow of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. If you’re a soda drinker, try swapping it out for green tea, which experts believe can help maintain cognitive function.
3. Remain flexible.
Flexibility applies to both your mind and body. Oftentimes, as people get older, they get too rigid in their way of thinking—and that’s a mistake. Instead of doing the same things every day, going to the same places, and only talking to the same people, we should shake things up a bit.
Make a goal to do things out of the ordinary. Visit a different coffee shop than you normally would. Join a book club or another organization. Your brain will appreciate the change-up.
But being flexible doesn’t only apply to your mind. You should also stretch and move your body. While we tend to think that our bodies get all the benefits from exercise, that’s not true. Exercise can keep our brains young and healthy. Make it a point to do something every day, even if it is a gentle walk.
4. Get in touch with the real you.
It’s easy to lose sight of who we really are or what matters to us in our busy lives. Learning to get in touch with who we truly are and our place in this universe can help keep our minds young.
Part of that comes down to the law of attraction. If we want to be loved, we must give love to others. If we want to be respected, we must show respect. Putting out these positive actions will help you unlock that part of you that is never-ending, your true self.
5. Never stop dreaming.
Remember when you were young and there were a million things you wanted to accomplish? Whether it was being able to swim the whole length at your local pool or finally working your way across the entire jungle gym, you were constantly hoping and dreaming for things.
Sometimes we lose that as we age. We think all our best days are behind us. And if we believe they are, they likely will be. That can cause our brains to feel old and uninspired.
Having hopes, dreams, and goals can wake our brains up, keeping them much younger than their biological age. Ask yourself: What would you want to accomplish if age weren’t a factor? And then go for it with all the vim and vigor you have.