Engaging in productive activities and hobbies isn’t to be seen as a mere pastime but also as a way to improve one’s cognitive health and functions as one progresses in life. Most of the time, ageing is correlated with one’s physical looks and how well they are working through their daily tasks, rarely attracting the focus on mental and cognitive processes. As it turns out, the two elements, as mentioned earlier, impact how one feels, looks, and conducts their usual tasks, so why not focus this year on building a strong mind, improving memory and thinking, and nurturing our cognitive health?

The ways to achieve better cognitive health are captivating, exciting, fun, and whatever way you want them to be!  

Gardening

Gardening, as an activity requiring hand-eye coordination, has been demonstrated to substantially improve psychological health and physical and mental well-being, to name a few of the advantages. Specifically, it helps boost the latter category as it employs the involvement of hands, eyes, and other body parts, enhancing coordination and improving fine motor skills. Since everyone is interested in learning how to boost serotonin levels in the brain, as well as the other three happiness hormones, oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphin, it would be modest to say that gardening can uplift the mind and make the gardener feel better. Gardening involves numerous other activities besides putting your plant in the planter that you’ve found suitable and decoratively satisfying and watering it depending on its needs. It’s also about analyzing your home to find an adequately illuminated spot that will help its photosynthesis, touching the ground with your hands, which is said to improve your energy, and engaging in discussions with other gardeners to find ways to help your green buddies thrive, to name a few cognitively beneficial activities.

Gardening is also demonstrated to help reduce cortisol, or the hormone responsible for stress, which can also lead to anxiety alleviation. A connection with nature and browsing through numerous planters on wheels until you find the one you’ll love moving around for the health and optimal growth of your greeneries can significantly improve your mood. Moreover, it can potentially stick with you as the green therapy that’s so highly revered and exciting today, showing you new ways of destressing, exercising, preventing cognitive decline, and more.

Meditative colouring

If you’re ever inclined to think that colouring, painting, or using colourful crayons and markers to give life to a schemed or blank piece of paper is limited to children and their early-age developmental progress, learn that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Mindfulness, or engaging entirely in an activity that calms and connects the body and mind, is gaining increased attention and drawing curious and wellness searchers to the yard. Meditative colouring for mindfulness is a widespread practice today that’s growing in popularity lately, with some creations even ranking on the bestselling lists of books.

Shortly put, meditative colouring will offer what it promises: health benefits, a means of boosting focus, and a way to relieve stress that can transform into a lifelong hobby. Books that focus on antistress or mindful colouring take plenty of forms and sizes, ranging in prices and publications, while delivering the intended effects.

Colouring, which enhances vision and fine motor skills, pressures the brain’s hemispheres to interact. Thus, the action of colouring activates and uses both logic and creativity, ultimately educating your cognitive sphere to employ these fine motor skills. The latter are more difficultly enhanced when engaging with electronics and household items.

Word games

Word games are among the best, most efficient, and most exciting activities that help prevent cognitive decline and memory loss, among other mental activities. Games such as hangman, crossword puzzles, Wordle, Bananagrams, or Scrabble, to name a few, aren’t only easily learnable and addictive. They’ve been found to enhance cognition in individuals ranging from the most fragile to the most advanced ages.

One study conducted with the help of several individuals aged between 70 and 79 found that playing at a heightened frequency lowered the possibility of witnessing cognitive decline. Furthermore, card games and puzzles can diminish dementia risks for those aged 70 and older by an impressive 11%. Mentally stimulating activities enhance thinking, reacting, and memory functions, training diverse parts of the brain as they train critical thinking skills. Keeping your thinking and memory sharp has never been more accessible or captivating, so have thrust in the science behind such findings and find your favourite word game.

Crafts

Activities such as quilting may only seem to provide entertainment or pastime opportunities, especially if you look at this act through the eyes of a newbie to crafts. However, take a second to deeply analyze the cognitive processes involved in crafting. You may quickly observe why it’s stated and encouraged as an exceptional method of reducing the probability of dealing with the usual age-related cognitive decline.

Crafting has been demonstrated to enhance gross and fine motor movements, boost mental agility, and act as a natural anti-depressant. Those who have insomnia, depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, or several levels of chronic pain may also find their haven in crafting a method to alleviate their hurdles.

Crafting can be seen as a meditation alternative. Involving yourself in a craft moves your focus away from everyday problems and dissatisfactions and transfers your attention to the present moment. For this and many other reasons, crafting is an efficient way of boosting dopamine production, or the neurotransmitter responsible for making individuals feel good in their skin and surroundings, determining how much enjoyment and pleasure they find where they are.

Reading

Reading may lose ground in the face of video content consumption as a method of improving knowledge and understanding in an area of interest. Still, it doesn’t mean it comes second after watching video content. Reading remains the primary way of improving memory, vocabulary, and critical thinking skills while engaging with letters and words. For many, it continues to be the most helpful way of acquiring new information and helping it settle in.

So, how will you improve your vocabulary, given the many ways you can consume written texts?

These are some of the most helpful activities that can quickly become hobbies and benefit your cognitive functions and health long-term, so make a priority out of exploring one or more.

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