Maximize Your Mind, No Matter Your Age

Maximize Your Mind, No Matter Your Age
Baseball great Leroy Satchel Paige asserted that age is a question of mind over matter. “If you don’t mind,” he said, “it don’t matter.” Age, after all, is just a number. But, as we age, it’s important to mind–not our manners–but our minds.  Maximize Your Mind, No Matter Your Age

Yes, you can become more brain-powerful. You really can optimize your cognitive capacity. And you can truly maximize your mental operations. But… you have to commit to improving your cognitive processes. We recommend spending five-to-ten minutes a day, three days a week. Here are practices to help sharpen that marvelous computer that sits atop your shoulders.

CREATE A MNEMONIC DEVICE

The mind is an amazing organ. This gelatinous mass of a hundred trillion nerve cells , when maximized, can serve you well. (The need to facilitate memory goes back thousands of years. From Mnemosyne, the Greek goddess of memory, comes the word “mnemonics,” which is simply the use of told that will help us remember. Think about the mnemonic devices you already use (H-O-M-E-S for the first letter of each of the Great Lakes) and commit to using such a device for better recall of information that’s important to you.

What set of things do you wish to remember? Consider acronyms, rhyme, alliteration, visualization, or any other method that works for you, such as noting the word “paper” ends in “er,” as does the word “stationery,” when it means “paper.”

Ever admire those who can rattle facts and figures off the top of their head? (Think of how much more productive you would be if there were certain numbers, statistics, words, addresses that you didn’t have to look up every time you needed them.) Ever wonder if the brains of such people are superior to your own? They are probably not, except in this regard: those with good memories have trained their brains to work for them. Get started doing the same.

PRACTICE

Once a day, have a relative or friend practice with you. Your coach will give you a one-digit number, which you are not to write down until he or she says “Record.” Then, you’ll receive a two-digit number. When the coach says, “Record,” write the number down from memory. Each time, your coach will give you a number one-digit-longer than the preceding number. Keep a log of your progress, specifying how many digits you were able to commit to short-term memory. Here are a few to get you started.

3 87 901 5201 84215 075328 40152856
104867624 6903457182

5 26 738 9320 52916 380157 6281302
392815647 2753019586

CHASE STRESS AWAY

Stress causes increased production of a hormone named cortisol. According to Dr. Blair Justice of the University of Texas Health Science Center, the cortex of the adrenal gland releases this hormone, which can have a negative impact on the cells of your immune system. Cortisol also reduces the number of natural killer (NK) cells, which travel through the body, looking for and destroying aberrant cells. If you don’t have enough NK cells doing their job, the abnormal cells can eventually develop into tumors.

When cortisol is racing through your body, it can damage the neurons in your brain in the long-term and cause your brain to become frozen in the short term. Experts advise engaging in a mental challenge just prior to a stressful event such as meeting a new person, asking someone on a date, interviewing for a new part-time job. There are any number of exercises you can engage in to develop your powers of concentration and control your stress. Here ‘s one.

Have a friend note how long it takes you to complete these six puzzles. Then make up others and exchange with your friend. Time yourself on the second set and strive to beat your earlier time.

EXAMPLE: C-A-T is to A-C-T as 1-2-3 is to
a) 3-2-1- b) 2-1-3 c) 2-3-1 d) 1-3-2 e) 3-1-2

If “C” in CAT is given a “1,” and “A” is given a “2,” and “T” is given a “3;” then the letters in ACT would be represented by the numbers 2-3-1, answer “c.” Time yourself on the following challenges.

1. N-A-P-E is to P-A-N-E as 8-2-4-7 is to:
a) 4-2-8-7 b) 4-7-8-2 c) 7-2-8-4 d) 4-8-2-7 e) 2-7-8-4

2. P-O-R-E is to R-O-P-E as 3-6-9-1 is to:
a) 9-6-3-1 b) 3-1-6-9 c) 9-1-3-6 d) 9-3-1-6 e) 6-1-3-9

3. T-O-P-S is to P-O-T-S as 4-1-7-9 is to:
a) 7-4-1-9 b) 7-1-4-9 c) 9-4-1-7 d) 7-9-1-4 e) 4-9-1-7

4. L-I-P-S is to S-L-I-P as 5-8-3-0 is to:
a) 0-3-8-5 b) 0-8-3-5 c) 0-5-8-3 d) 3-8-0-5 e) 8-0-5-3

5. S-L-A-T-E is to T-A-L-E-S as 6-7-3-5-2 is to:
a) 3-7-2-5-6 b) 2-6-3-7-5 c) 5-7-3-6-2 d) 5-7-2-3-6 e) 5-3-7-2-6

6. S-A-I-D is to D-A-I-S as 2-8-4-1 is to:
a) 1-2-4-8 b) 1-8-4-2 c) 8-1-2-4 d) 2-4-1-8 e) 1-4-8-2

As we grow older, many things no longer matter. But, in the case of our minds, they do matter. And committing to keeping our minds sharp is made easier when we practice exercises like these on a regular basis.

– Dr. Marlene Caroselli is septuagenarian author and speaker whom you can reach at msmccpd@gmail.com.

Answers: 1a, 2a, 3b, 4c, 5e, 6b.

Maximize Your Mind, No Matter Your Age

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Kimberly Johnson

As a Senior.com Director of Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well.  Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor.  Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, for 13 months before passing.  Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 102 year old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She is happily married to her husband of 22 years and they have 3 children.

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Kimberly Johnson
Advocate for Seniors

As a Senior.com Director of Marketing, Kimberly Johnson is passionate about providing Seniors with the resources and products to live well.  Kimberly is a seasoned caregiver to her family and breast cancer survivor.  Her father battled ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, for 13 months before passing.  Today Kimberly lives in Southern California near her 102 year old grandmother, widowed mother, a mentally disabled sister and second sister who is also a breast cancer survivor.  She is happily married to her husband of 22 years and they have 3 children.

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