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Say "No" To A Shrinking Brain

Keeping our minds active as we age is vital to staying sharp. As we age, our brains shrink. When, and how much, are two factors that affect the way our brains function. While research is still being done on this subject, there are things you can do right now to help stave off a declining mental function. According to the National Institute on Aging, "enriching experiences, such as advanced education and mind-challenging occupations, can help brains last longer". Read on for some tips on how to do this.

Let music sweep you away

There's so much music out there for you to enjoy. In fact, it would take you over 228 years to listen to it all. Choose a new genre you aren't familiar with and give it a shot. Be curious about the beat, the chord progression, the lyrics (if there are any). Maybe even let it inspire you to give songwriting a try yourself! And, while you're at it, you could even research the genre and learn its history.

Have you heard of all these genres? These ones are pretty unique, but still worth checking them out:

Choose a topic and study it

There are endless topics to dive into to expand your knowledge and help you better understand the world. Not only this, but it's also so much fun to find yourself immersed in something that fascinates you. You can find books on virtually any subject (including audiobooks if you prefer to listen), as well as videos on YouTube and articles on Google.

What is something you've always wanted to know more about? If you're not sure where to start, maybe one of these topics might interest you:

Do something with your hands

Yes, doing things with your hands also stimulates your mind, especially when you're using your hands to solve challenging problems. Again, there are a ton of options for what will be interesting to you. Here are some things that others have chosen and may stand out to you:

  • crochet, knitting, cross-stitch, or something similar

  • learn a musical instrument

  • painting or drawing

  • go through and organize your home

Revisit your memories

So much happens in a lifetime that we have to store memories far back in our minds. Revisiting those memories is like taking a trip back through those moments. To cherish those times and be grateful for them will fill your heart like nothing else. Plus, it will be a good opportunity for your mind to think back.

Where to start? Try using this website to generate topics, and either think about or write down what comes to mind that has to do with your life. You could even use some of your thoughts and turn it into a short story or a book! Here are a few ideas to get you started - what memories do these words bring up for you?:

  • typewriter

  • tattoo

  • turtle

  • something else with the letter 't'


However you decide to keep your mind active, find joy in it. Even as we age and our minds begin to work differently, we still have so much to be thankful for. You'd be surprised how far our minds can take us, and, as Dr. Seuss said,

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

Join us here, at the Walla Walla Senior Center for various programs and activities to get your mind moving. View our program schedule here:

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