I'm a big fan of meditation. It helps with my stress and keeps me calm throughout the day. But when I tell people I meditate, they tend to give me an odd look. Meditation is not really part of mainstream America. But it should be!
Still not working? There are plenty of cd's or apps you can buy to help. If you have a Fitbit, there's an easy "calm" option on most of them that's a great way to start. Play around until you find what works for you.
Alzheimer's disease and dementia are a growing concern as the human race continues to live longer and longer. The good news is there are things you can do to prevent this devastating problem:
I read before bed almost every evening. It helps me to unwind and become sleepy. My husband can always tell when I have an exceptionally good book, because I stay up past my usual bedtime to continue reading. In fact once as a child, I stayed up all night reading a good book with a flashlight. I did not sleep very long and because of it, woke up feeling ill. My mother allowed me to stay home from school that day and after a good morning of sleep, I felt fine. Then I was busted, because no illness resolves that quickly. I had to fess up that I stayed up reading a book. I guess it could have been for a worse reason. I have always loved to read, but for others the interest is not present.
With the technology overload these days as well as the ability to binge watch shows and movies from all of our electronic devices, reading has declined even more. Reading is essential for children of all ages, but important even for adults. We have to find a way to revive interest in books. When I was a child, we had a reading program that rewarded us with free pan pizzas for reading a goal number of books. Reading is essential in this world; we must read menus, signs, instructions, reports and correspondence. Most jobs require some form of reading. While learning the basics is essential, there are so many other reasons to encourage reading.
The benefits of reading are numerous. Children who read outside of school tend to be higher achievers, more confident, more imaginative and less reliant on others for entertainment. Children who read are often better able to communicate their feelings and needs. Reading enables a calm and quiet time where only the mind is stimulated. Reading exercises the brain and also lengthens concentration time. Reading teaches everyone about the world and cultures around them. They can learn about different ways of life, ideas and believes that may make them a more open-minded and tolerant person.
Some ways to encourage reading among the whole family are as follows:
· Set aside a set reading time each day for everyone in the family.
· Take a trip to your local library to participate in the reading programs.
· Allow children to choose their own book to read.
· Pick a topic, have every family member read everything they can about it, and then have a family discussion about it.
· Set goals and reward your child for reading a set number of books.
· Ask your child to read you a story.
· Make a themed scavenger hunt out of topics from a book you read together.
· Travel to a place that they read about.
Enjoy a good book, starting today!
You might have heard the term, neuroplasticity, being bantered around lately. That’s because it’s an exciting new field of scientific research. It looks at the brain’s ability to change and adapt. This is especially important as we get older, and our cognitive function declines. By using neuroplastic exercises you can slow down and even halt this natural decline.
How does neuroplasticity work? It involves doing mental tasks that are challenging and work areas of the brain you tend to use infrequently. When combined with physical movement, these activities become even more challenging.
If you want to give neuroplasticity a try, here are some exercises:
1. Space It – This activity applies spatial, language, and math skills. While walking at a moderately fast pace, say your favorite color out loud. Spell it forward, then backward. How many letters does the word have? Does your telephone number contain that number? If it does, say the section of your number that has it. Repeat that numerical answer backward.
2. Speak It – This activity uses problem solving with spatial and language tasks. Alternate an activity that uses the left and right side of the body, such as forward lunges. As the right side moves, recite the name of any fruit or vegetable. As the left side moves, recite any word in a different language. Do this for 1 minute (Biscontini, 2016).
Continue to work your brain throughout life. You can do crossword puzzles while standing on one leg, play a musical instrument while marching, or play chess while doing planks. By combining physical movement with these mental activities, you will increase the benefits and promote long-term good cognitive health.
Coloring is no longer just for kids! You can now buy adult coloring books with intricate designs that will give you hours of coloring fun.
Reasons to color:
If you think you might want to give it a whirl, you can find adult coloring books at all craft stores and book stores. In fact, there are two on the New York Times best sellers list right now. Who knew? You'll also need to invest in some good colored pencils or markers.
Once you're ready, sit down with your supplies and play fun music in the background. Start with an easier picture. Don't overthink your color choices or sweat it if you go outside the lines. Try to color like you did as a kid....free and uninhibited by worries!!!! You will be surprised by how fast time goes by.
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