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BellaOnline's Senior Living Editor

Keeping Your Brain Active

Without food and water your body will cease to function. Your brain will react the same way. Your mind canít function optimally without being fed. Day in and day out, you continually ask your mind to put forth ideas and bits of stored information to keep your creative processes and even your day to day life going. Without realizing it, you ask your mind to do what you would never expect your body to do--to continue to function well without fuel.

Fuel for your brain? What is it? Where do you find food for thoughtóbrain food? Take some time and think about it. Then make a list of as many kinds of brain food as you can. Now that you have listed all the usual sources, try thinking outside of the box. Consider your unique brain. What does it thrive on? What can you do to re-invigorate your brain?

--Get some exercise.

Take a daily walk. Do a little gardening. Toss a stick for Rover. You'll be amazed at how these simple activities can help clear your mind.

--Get enough rest.

Though it never actually stops working, your mind needs time to rejuvenate. However, don't cross the line into too much sleep. Too much sleep or inactivity can have just the opposite of the desired effect--you'll be groggy and dull.

--Read widely.

This seems to be the most obvious source of food for your mind. Well, maybe, if you only consider books and magazines. Of course, these are your primary sources of reading material, but, you can step outside your comfort zone and read about a topic you wouldnít ordinarily choose. Try a novel if you only read non-fiction. If fiction has always been your choice, think about tackling one of the latest self-help books.

Expand your horizons a little with some unlikely reading material. How about cereal boxes? Or billboards? Or junk mail? I know this sounds a little strange, but you can get some really interesting trains of thought going from some unexpected places. You don't have to spend hours looking at these odd pieces of reading material. Just spend a minute here and there and who knows you may read a few words that will spark your next "brilliant" idea.

--Listen attentively.

Truly pay attention to the people you talk to every day. Listen actively, but donít continually think ahead to what you are going to say next, actually consider the ideas that are being set forth.

--Keep an open mind.

Always look at life with an inquisitive eye. Look for ideas in the most common of places. Everyday life is not mundane--except to the disinterested.

Take time and take advantage of every opportunity to rejuvenate your mind and keep it sharp so that you and your brain can continue to thrive.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Marilyn Crain. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Marilyn Crain. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debora Dyess for details.

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