“When it comes to brain power, much like your muscles, the ‘use it or lose it’ concept applies,” says Dana Anspach, CEO and founder of Sensible Money in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Retirees who engage in life-long learning keep their brain engaged by challenging themselves to learn new skills. It’s important to find things you’re curious about and dive in. And in retirement, you have the time to do it.”
Health specialists all agree that by constantly learning new things you are exercising and challenging your brain, preventing cognitive decline and lowering the risk of mental illnesses such as dementia. Ongoing education keeps your individual brain cells active and stimulates the transfer of information and communication between them, according to Harvard Medical School’s Healthbeat.
Takeaway: Maintaining an active brain is similar to maintaining an active body. All you need to do is exercise. The best way to stimulate your brain and remain mentally active and strong is to go for things that are new to you and that you like.
You can opt for taking a class a senior center or community college (many public and private colleges and universities offer opportunities to retirees over 60 at a modest cost or for free) read new books, go on field trips and discover new and interesting places.
An optimistic outlook in life can change your life in more ways than one. For one, people with a glass-half-full mentality are happier, more proactive when it comes to their health, have a stronger immune system and are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease, according to the article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Numerous studies have also associated a positive outlook with more successful relationships, higher earnings and, last but certainly not least, a longer lifespan. In fact, according to the same article, women with a positive perspective on life had 50 percent more chances of living beyond age 85 while positive men had 70 percent more chances of reaching that age, compared to their pessimistic peers.
Takeaway: The good news is that experts believe optimism is a trait that anyone can learn and master pretty easily. Research has revealed that optimism can be developed and cultivated with the help of simple, low-cost interventions such as writing your feelings and thoughts about certain areas of your life, such as work or personal relationships, in a more optimistic manner. in the long term, your brain will get used to positively reframing things and think happy thoughts, whatever the circumstances.