Proper brain exercise

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Chrisweides
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Proper brain exercise

Post by Chrisweides »

Hi everyone,

Not all people have a challenging job which takes care of mind stimulation- I for example haven’t. But I still want to keep my brain happy active and healthy.

What I am doing:

- Learn a bit of a new language nearly every day
- brain exercise (I use peak and I also like crossword puzzles and sudoku)
- starting volunteer work soon, should provide new experiences and new social contacts besides its just nice to be able to help

Any other ideas on the cognitive side of prevention? What else can one do?
Last edited by Chrisweides on Sat Sep 17, 2022 5:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
50 years old. APO E3/4. Mother, grandmother and great grandmother had/are starting with dementia. Afflicted with anxiety disorder atm. Very eager to save brain and live a long healthy life. Grateful to you all for your knowledge and kindness!
TLS
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Re: Proper brain exercise

Post by TLS »

I would add meditation because it has the ability to modify our brains.
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Chrisweides
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Re: Proper brain exercise

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Ah, yes, thank you. I have been meditating for many years. Now I will have to wait for the anxiety to pass before I can do it again - it is so severe it will get triggered by sitting still. I can do progressive muscle relaxation though and do that.
50 years old. APO E3/4. Mother, grandmother and great grandmother had/are starting with dementia. Afflicted with anxiety disorder atm. Very eager to save brain and live a long healthy life. Grateful to you all for your knowledge and kindness!
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SandyZ
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Re: Proper brain exercise

Post by SandyZ »

As a student of languages, I love the idea of learning a new language.

Progressive muscle relaxtion can be calming, I will use a guided meditation sometimes when my mind is too active to settle into a silent meditation.

Here are some fun things that I do that are active:
1. Try doing normal activities with the non-dominant hand, like brushing your teeth. This can help build new neural pathways.

2. Learning to play an instrument and reading music.

3. Walking outside in barefoot to connect to the earth.

4. Outside sun salutations in the morning.

I'm interested to know if you try any of these and how they work for you.

In gratitude,

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Chrisweides
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Re: Proper brain exercise

Post by Chrisweides »

Good ideas all! I will try out 1-3 asap. 4 is difficult because I have sich relentless insomnia I am just too sleep deprived for exercise (still take walks though). If I try I will get nauseated it’s so bad. I really wish this insomnia would go away
50 years old. APO E3/4. Mother, grandmother and great grandmother had/are starting with dementia. Afflicted with anxiety disorder atm. Very eager to save brain and live a long healthy life. Grateful to you all for your knowledge and kindness!
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Re: Proper brain exercise

Post by TCHC »

Hi Chris
I know your question was about brain exercises, but the brain needs rest too and you mention insomnia. Insomnia is such a horrible thing. And I'm sure you've heard so many tips, techniques, home remedies, and sure-fire ways to get to sleep. I'm guessing you've researched it really thoroughly. But just in case, have you looked at CBTi? I haven't tried it myself, I was researching for a client. I'm not sure where you are in the world, I'm in the UK, but you could have a look at this and see if there's anything similar where-ever you are: https://sleepyheadprogram.com
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Chrisweides
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Re: Proper brain exercise

Post by Chrisweides »

Hello Lindsey,

Thank you! Yes I have researched and tried and done a lot. I am aware of CBTI but I have not found an expert (or even a doctor interested in my issues except with „take pills“ „oh they don’t work? Well tough luck“)

I will go on trying and looking. I know insomnia is very bad for the brain but worries never put anyone to sleep so I try to reprogram myself to „my brain will repair once I am better“. I actually think it will - now to get better…
50 years old. APO E3/4. Mother, grandmother and great grandmother had/are starting with dementia. Afflicted with anxiety disorder atm. Very eager to save brain and live a long healthy life. Grateful to you all for your knowledge and kindness!
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Re: Proper brain exercise

Post by Quantifier »

Another thing I've been doing since the pandemic started is to navigate my environment unaided. I take walks in less familiar places, take turns into unfamiliar streets just to see where they may lead me, increasing the areas that my brain has mapped. It is said that taxi drivers have huge hippocampi, I'm trying to mimic that effect.
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Re: Proper brain exercise

Post by Chrisweides »

Good idea. Thank you!
50 years old. APO E3/4. Mother, grandmother and great grandmother had/are starting with dementia. Afflicted with anxiety disorder atm. Very eager to save brain and live a long healthy life. Grateful to you all for your knowledge and kindness!
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Re: Proper brain exercise

Post by floramaria »

Chrisweides wrote: Sat Sep 17, 2022 5:20 am Ah, yes, thank you. I have been meditating for many years. Now I will have to wait for the anxiety to pass before I can do it again - it is so severe it will get triggered by sitting still. I can do progressive muscle relaxation though and do that.
HI Chrisweides, Your comment about not being able to meditate because your anxiety gets triggered by sitting reminded me that years ago, my Qigong teacher spoke about having developed a program at the Cleveland Clinic for vets with PTSD. Like you, they were triggered by sitting still. Attempting sitting meditation had the opposite to the desired effect.

He had good results with leading them through slow, simple movements coordinated with slow, relaxed breathing.
Perhaps a form of "meditation in motion" like qigong is something you could try. Personally, it has been very helpful.
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