How I Keep My Mind Feeling Young
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.— Henry Ford
Loosing My Mind
I'd be the first one to admit my mind is getting older. I don't remember things. If you don’t believe me, ask my wife. She is always telling me to make lists so I can remember which tasks need to be done.
The problem is I always forget where I put the list. I have friends who encourage me to use my smartphone so I can be sent daily reminders. I think I would rather misplace a sheet of paper than an expensive phone.
I still think my best course of action is to try and do some simple things to keep my mind as sharp as I can. Here are some simple tasks I do to improve my mind and in the process help my memory.
I turn off the television and grab a book. Not a novel. I like to find books on topics I don't know anything about, then read it from cover to cover. I find reading stimulates my mind because I have to visually take in the information, word for word, then let my mind think about what I've read. I also like to read the newspaper, magazines and anything I can get my hands on.
I love to write. I find writing is a mental process which takes both sides of your brain to perform. Like every writer knows you pluck down the words with your right brain and then try to edit them with your left brain.
The whole process of writing is a mental workout. I also try my hand at flash fiction. If you really want a good workout try writing flash fiction. If you don't know, flash fiction is the process of telling a whole story using as few words as possible. Here is a crude example.
The knight dismounted his steed. He entered the cave. The dragon appeared to be asleep. He pulled his blade and approached the dragon. The dragon opened his eyes, winked. The knight was no more.
Like I said this is a crude representation of my writing.
A young mind in a healthy body is a wonderful thing. Especially for an old man with an open night.— George Burns
I Do Puzzles
From time to time I do crossword puzzles. Any type of a puzzle helps stimulate brain activity I just happen to like the challenge of solving a crossword puzzle. The good thing about crossword puzzles is you can find them in the newspaper which you should already be reading anyway. I also use crossword puzzle apps on my smartphone when I can remember where I put the phone down.
I Draw or Paint
Another activity I enjoy is drawing or painting. Visualizing and then putting to paper takes creativity from within. Drawing or painting like writing stimulates your write brain which is always a good thing. So go out to your local arts and crafts store pick up some material and start to draw. I also find drawing out an aspect of a story or article helps me to become more in tune with my writing process.
I love to just sit and visualize. I visualize all kinds of things like what my novel would look like on film. If I don't like the end of a movie I try to visualize ta new one. I learned long ago from a doctor I went to that visualization goes to a deeper part of the mind and can help you relax, be creative and so much more. Many athletes I'm told use visualization to help them learn their craft.
In addition to all of these I also do the normal things to keep my mind fresh, like get plenty of sleep, try to eat right and exercise. The main thing to remember is don't just sit around and do nothing or your mind and memory will suffer.
They use to refer to the television as the boob tube, because it offers your mind no stimulation so in the end you become a non-thinking person who just wanders through life. Don't be a non-thinking person in life, do things to keep your mind young.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Timothy Whitt