traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects
44 million Americans.
Thankfully, medical researchers have
developed a number of treatments for this
crippling mental disorder. You may have read
about many of them in various media sources.
One PTSD remedy that receives scant
attention, however, is
to specialists interviewed by CNN, the
simple act of turning yarn into handy
accessories has potent therapeutic benefits.
The same holds true for many hobbies and
crafts. This surprising revelation offers
promise to seniors who wish to improve their
mental acuity, relieve symptoms of
depression, and break free of harmful
Defusing a Ticking Time Bomb
are living longer than ever before, thanks
to modern medicine and healthier lifestyles.
But this added longevity comes at a price.
More than five million seniors suffer from
dementia, a number
expected to triple by 2050.
Even older folks who keep their intellects
sharp are prone to suffering from emotional
maladies such as
surprisingly, isnít limited to those living
ray of sunshine under all that gloom,
however. A growing body of evidence shows
that activities like cooking, gardening,
woodcarving, and even
playing an instrument can
delay symptoms of dementia for as long as
five years. Seniors can use the added time
to expand their horizons, engage in fun,
fascinating activities, and even make make
valuable contributions to society. The key
to these transformative benefits is to
inspire your brain to break out of its
Brain is Remarkably Changeable
Scientists used to believe that the mind
stopped growing some time in late
adolescence and then began a long, slow
period of decline ending in death. That was
before researchers developed tools to
plasticity of the brain.
They discovered that people of all ages have
the ability to generate new brain cells
through a process called
especially true for those who remain
mentally active throughout
life by learning new skills, pursuing
passions, and challenging themselves to
think in bold and unconventional ways; all
benefits of recreational hobbies. But not
all activities offer equal advantages. Here
are five that
stand out from the crowd
for their brain-boosting effects:
Learning a new language.
Research shows that bilingual people show
compared to their monolingual peers.
open a book, any book, fills your
mind with new information, stimulating it to
form fresh neural pathways. So, whether you
crave scandalous romance novels or straight
and narrow Renaissance classics, there's a
bright new world waiting for you in the
activity is of particular value for seniors
struggling with emotional or substance abuse
issues. Meditation promotes
calmness and clarity, two
valuable qualities by any standard.
Playing an instrument.
Learning to play an instrument can actually
rewire the brain in many positive ways.
Time recently ran a feature on the topic
and itís a pretty interesting
healthy body bequeaths a healthy mind. Those
who stay in shape not only have more
physical strength but more brainpower as
Maybe your favored activity
isn't on that list. That's okay. Studies
any hobby that challenges
you to learn and reason offers benefits.
Building models, telling stories, painting
landscapes, doing yard work, and coloring
pictures are easy for people of almost all
skill and mobility levels. There is no
reason to forgo pleasurable activities
regardless of age. And, in doing so, you may
find that your best years are still ahead