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Can Good Old Friends Be the Best Brain Booster as You Age?

Can Good Old Friends Be the Best Brain Booster as You Age?

How often do you have a little chat with your 80-year-old grandma or even that 77-year old grandpa? Is it a normal, exciting conversation about what you like, soccer, technology, gossip or anything interesting?

No? Well, maybe you hate speaking with them because they are understandably out-of-touch with what’s happening currently and maybe Alzheimer’s disease. In an attempt to help us understand and even create better conversations with the elderly, Judith Graham presents a post that’s been scientifically proven to work!

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Having strong social ties with the elderly can be the key to boosting their memories!

Making a centenarian have a fantastic memory is possible, a factor that’s even scientifically correct, as per a research done at the Northwestern University. After examining what she terms as “SuperAgers” for nine years, a post titled Good Friends Might Be Your Best Brain Booster as You Age says it all. In a series of stories that include several 70-year-olds, 90 and even a 103-year-old grandmother, including a few with Alzheimer’s disease, the point was clear.

Unbelievably, “SuperAgers” have a better memory than some 20, 30-year-olds!

Furthermore, Emily Rogalski of Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine’s Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s disease Center says it is possible to enhance the memory of an elderly. The secret to this is, according to several respondents, is having satisfying, warm, trusting relationships. It may sound unreal, perhaps impossible, but as several caregivers from a couple of retirement homes say, it is always the liveliest members that tend to exhibit higher memory levels.

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You can also convert those nags and boring lectures he/she gives into fruitful heart-to-heart!

Gurolnick of a group called Men Enjoying Leisure tries to discuss a plethora of topics, including divorce, illness, children who can’t find jobs and a lot more. And it isn’t all about talking while sitting down that can boost their brains, apparently. Even a small even walk, evening chats over coffee and anything that’s sure to keep your elderly friend engrossed is excellent in cultivating good relationships.

The Parting Shot

Whether you have read something like this before or not, there’s little doubt, this Scientific American’s post will be a timely solution to what many do face and hate every day. Yes – be the conversation driver, let them be happy, and you will soon help that octogenarian remember other stuff.

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Instead of shying away from that elderly friend just because he/she will ask the same thing over and over again, strive to leave beautiful memories every day, even when it’s for an hour or two. For them, social relationships are priceless and go a long way in enhancing their cognition, according to several studies. This mainly appeals to the caregiving population who are tired with the dull chats they usually have.

To go through the entire post, click here.

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Anna Chui

Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Last Updated on April 3, 2020

7 Stress Management Techniques to Get You Back on Track

7 Stress Management Techniques to Get You Back on Track

There is no one in this world that can say they have never been stressed. Stress affects us all. Some of us are better at managing the negative impact that stress can have on our lives.

The one person who can control stress in your life is you. It is also up to you to be accountable for how you want to live your life.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with what is happening in your life and you want to get back on track, then these 7 stress management techniques will help to minimise the negative impact that stress has on your life.

What You Didn’t Know About Stress

Stress is a state of tension and it is a normal part of life. The most common external sources that can cause stress in our lives are finances, the demands of work and relationships.

The internal sources of stress come from within us and the pressure we put on ourselves because of our high personal standards, beliefs, values, attitude, goals, needs and wants. Some examples of internal sources of stress can be striving for perfection in all we do or refusing to speak to an audience because of our internal fears.

We also have what is called “internal chatter” which can also cause huge stress in our lives. This internal chatter comes from our negative thought patterns, negative experiences and bad habits. Our negative internal chatter, if we let it, can be quite destructive and lead us to living highly stressed and anxious lives.

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The body reacts to these changes and demands with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Internal and external stressors can have the same physical and psychological effects. You may have trouble sleeping, lose your appetite or lose interest in daily activities. You may be irritable, have headaches or stomach pains, or find that you cry easily.

If not dealt with, overtime stress can have a devastating impact on your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

Managing Stress Positively

The good news is that not all stress is bad for us. Being stressed in the right context can have a more positive influence on our lives. Some people say that they produce their best work when they are under pressure to deliver.

When you are able to manage stress in a positive way, this can open you up to new opportunities outside of your comfort zone. It can also be the catalyst you need to change and empower you to come up with solutions and challenges so that you can grow and move forward in your life.

The 7 stress management techniques make up a tool box of strategies that you can use at any time where you are feeling stressed and want to get your life back on track. The more you use these tools, the more proactive you are in managing your stress levels. By managing your stress, you minimise the negative influence it can have on your quality of life.

1. Write Down 5 Benefits You Will Achieve When You Have Your Stress Under Control

When making change or implementing anything new in your life, it is important to identify the benefits for you. The 5 identified benefits become the incentives to encourage and motivate you to make the changes and take action. Once you have these 5 benefits written down, then ask yourself these 2 questions:

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  • “What is it the goal I want to achieve?’
  • ” What are the benefits I expect from achieving this goal?”

Write these responses on stick-it notes and put these notes in a place where every morning you see them.

2. Get To Know Who You Are And Give Yourself Some Slack

Spend some time getting to know you, your personality, your strengths, things you don’t like doing and things you do like doing. The objective of this exercise is to become more self-aware so that you can quickly identify what things in life stress you out, and how you can manage these activities so that they don’t have such a negative impact on your life.

When you know who you are and what is important to you, you will take action to manage the negative activities that are not serving you well.

We can be our own worst enemies and we can be very hard on ourselves, which is not great when it comes to managing stress in our lives. The more self aware you are, the more accepting you are of what your strengths are and what you are not so good at.

Striving for perfection in everything you do and comparing yourself to others will not be so important to you when you know who you are and you are very happy with you.

3. Exercise Regularly

This is a very practical strategy that works. A regular exercise routine in your life builds your physical resilience to manage stress. Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.

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Along with exercising regularly, eating healthy, well-balanced meals is just as important when it comes successfully managing the impact stress has on your life.

4. Learn And Practice Relaxation Techniques

“Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress,” says psychologist Robbie Maller Hartman, PhD, a Chicago health and wellness coach.

Get enough rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events. Relaxation techniques you could try for stress management are meditation, yoga, or tai-chi. You will always be facing times of stress in your life and by relaxing and calming your mind you give your body time to recover from these stressful events.

5. Commit To Spending Time With People Who Make You Smile

The more stress we face, the more likely we are to withdraw from our circle of friends and family. Stress, if we allow it, can consume our lives physically, mentally and spiritually; and all we want to do is hide away from the world.

Surrounding yourself with people who bring you joy, encourage and support, you will build your spiritual and mental resilience.

Keep a positive outlook on life is a lot easier to do when you are surrounded by people who love and support you. Laughing out loud and smiling lots is a great way to manage the stress levels in your life. The more you laugh in life, the better your “quality of life” will be.

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6. Be Grateful

Keeping a daily gratitude journal is one of the most effective ways to successfully managing stress in your life. This act of writing down every day all the things that you are grateful for keeps you present and real. It gives you a more optimistic and hopeful perspective of your life right now.

To successfully manage stress in your life, optimism and hope are the two key ingredients that you need. Without them, your ability to effectively manage stress is a lot harder – in fact impossible!

7. Commit To Taking Action And Do It

If you allow stress to creep into your life, it will take over your life – physically, mentally and spiritually.

We live in a world of constant change and disruption, so we will always be challenged by the threat of stress.

Commit to taking action to managing the impact that stress has on your life, and do something about it. You are the only one who has the power to do it.

The Bottom Line

There is no escape from stress. These 7 stress management techniques, however, are strategies that if you adopt and practice consistently, will enable you to live your life to the fullest — resilient and strong in mind, body and soul.

More About Stress Management

Featured photo credit: ALIAKSEI LEPIK via unsplash.com

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