Cognitive Decline is something many people experience with the passing of years. We notice our ability to remember is not as good anymore. We tend to forget names, numbers, and dates, tasks etc. Younger people don’t get so stressed out because of it because they consider memory lapses a normal thing. As we get older, however, we might consider get worried and think of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Memory loss is often related to organic disorders so it's just as important to keep our body healthy.

Natural brain change

It is natural that brain structure and function go through some change over time. It becomes a bit harder to learn new things quickly, to focus or to remember. One example of this is kids’ ability to learn languages faster. According to Noam Chomsky, a professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, young children have a much richer capacity to develop and to acquire many languages simultaneously than adults have. There’s something he calls the critical period for language acquisition, approximately from birth to around puberty.

In this period, provided there is appropriate external stimulation, the kids can pick up several languages with no awareness. It is possible to learn new languages later in life but it doesn’t come as easy for many people. This is an example of how our brain naturally changes over the course of years but there are steps we can take to prevent or slow down cognitive decline.

Stay mentally active

It is recommended that we challenge our brain with mental exercise as much as possible.

Some experts connect a higher level of education with better mental functioning in old age. Novelty is what helps the brain stay active so keep learning, take up a new hobby, read or solve puzzles. All of this is believed to boost the function of individual brain cells and improve the communication between them. Even brushing your teeth with your ''wrong'' hand stimulates your brain.

Be social

We are sociable beings by nature and that might come in handy regarding our brain function.

We know that socializing can improve our mood and well-being but it also keeps our brain mentally engaged. So, indulge in a good conversation with your friends and discuss topics that might be new to you in order to challenge your brain even more.

Repeat what is important to you

An old Latin phrase reads ''Repetitio est mater studiorum'', translated as ‘’Repetition is the mother of learning’’. It’s not only important for learning new things but also for remembering what we already studied but want to keep in our brain. Try repeating names, dates and other information you want to keep. You can also practice recalling by writing something down, for example, a grocery list or daily chores, read and memorize it and then check how many items you can recall.

Practice this often to challenge your brain.

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