Mental health is a multi-faceted issue. Although it’s hard to predict the occurrence of things such as dementia, Alzheimer’s or other memory disorders, there are steps you can take to boost your mental acuity and keep your mind fighting fit.
- Don’t smoke: Its effects on the cardiovascular system may increase the risk of dementia.
- Exercise regularly: Physical activity is associated with better brain function.
- Maintain an active social life: Research shows that people who are regularly engaged in social interaction maintain their brain vitality.
- Adopt a healthy diet: The brain needs a range of nutrients to function properly. Omega 3 fatty acids, such as those contained in oily fish, might promote the growth of new brain cells.
- Seek help to manage your mental health: Evidence suggests depression might reduce our ability to retain memories.
- Get enough sleep: Inadequate sleep causes problems with memory and thinking.
- Get regular health checks: This should include weight, blood pressure and cholesterol checks.
- Conjure mental images of stories: It encourages memory formation.
- Learn something new each day: This could include anything from reading the news to exploring your own neighbourhood.
- Train your brain: Although not yet proven to reduce the risk of dementia, brain-training games can lead to some improvements in particular brain functions. Websites such as Lumosity.com and Fitbrains.com have personalised online programs to help flex mental muscles.
Read our in-depth look at memory loss, the workplace and the role of HR here.