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You Can Protect And Build Your Cognitive Health At An Advanced Age With These 8 Practical Steps

Aging can be challenging to the body and mind if you let yourself go. Following these steps will help you keep things in check.

By Rob Hourmont Published 3 months ago 6 min read
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Felipe Borges on Pexels

Losing your mind, or becoming delusional is the worst thing that can happen to anyone.

If your body goes downhill, you can regain metabolic health by making diet and lifestyle changes. However, if your mind goes, recovering your sanity is extremely difficult.

As your body and mind are interconnected and respond to each other’s actions, declining cognitive health can impact your overall health and vice versa.

The good news is that most issues are fixable with the right tools and treatment.

My long-term observations

In my 8 years of experience and practice with clients as a nutritionist and metabolic health coach, I’ve repeatedly observed the same pattern and outcome.

I’ve mentioned this several times in previous stories:

“When your body goes, your mind quickly follows.”

Once you’ve put on a ton of weight, you’ll start to feel worse and worse by the day.

Your body will feel slow, stiff, and bloated — you’ll experience multiple aches and pains in different places.

The same applies if you’re losing too much weight through malnourishment, eating junk food, and not moving.

In both cases — obesity or malnourishment — your organs slowly become sicker, and your body starts to shut down.

Unfortunately, for those affected by either condition, this process takes time and can be highly unpleasant, depressing, and painful.

Note: Before my lifestyle and career change, I was overweight, extremely unhappy, and depressed. I had to fix both my body and mind to find balance and live again.

When the body goes, so does the mind

Most of my clients were severely overweight, with only a handful being underweight.

I’m currently treating a malnourished, metabolically, and mentally broken patient.

As with my obese clients in the past, this person’s mental health is now worse than his physical health.

If you can’t recover your body, you can’t recover your mind — if you can’t fix your mind, you can’t fix your body.

--> Interconnection, through and through.

Losing your mind means losing your bearings and ability to function in society and care for your basic needs.

The result: A further decline in metabolic and mental health.

Because of my current work involving mental and physical health issues, I’ve made several observations and decided to formulate an action plan, focusing on improving and possibly reversing cognitive decline.

8 Practical, time-tested, and proven steps to safeguard your cognitive health

1 — Awareness

If you’re unaware of your condition and thoughts, you must step back and regroup your mind.

Self-awareness is vital for you to function and not make potentially disastrous mistakes.

Before you make your next move, slow down, think, and become aware of yourself and your surroundings. Take your time, don’t rush.

Only once you feel confident and all is in order — move on.

2 — Confidence

Lacking confidence drains your mind, positivity, and spirit. Without self-confidence, you won’t be able to face the walk uphill ahead to overcome your problems.

You must never forget and always repeat to yourself:

“I am confident, and I can do this. So do not give up!”

Keep telling yourself that whenever you feel in doubt.

3 — Focus

Focus is vital — without focus, you’re walking in the dark in no particular direction.

Always have a plan to focus on before taking action.

As with awareness, narrow your focus to what you are doing now, not later or tomorrow.

Always do one thing at a time, take your time, and do not do anything on the fly.

When you’re engaging in an action, focus on it entirely. Do not multitask. Multitasking messes with your brain and makes you forget what you were doing in the first place.

4 — Positive Thinking

Don’t doubt yourself or your abilities. That’s a path to self-destruction.

Positive thinking is an extremely powerful tool. Immerse yourself in positive thinking.

If you feel anxious or have negative thoughts, embrace them but immediately dismiss them and replace them with positive ones.

For example:

Negative thought

“I feel terribly weak today — I don’t think I can make it outside or bother to eat properly.”

Positive replacement

“No, you get up, go outside for a walk, and keep moving. Stop overthinking, and soon you will feel fine. It’s a beautiful day — enjoy it — let’s go!”

5 — Negative Self-Talk

Eliminate negative self-talk - do NOT allow it!

For example:

“Oh no, what did I do again? I messed that up badly — I’m such a fool.”

You are not allowed to say such things to yourself, never! Those words destroy your mind and crush your confidence even further.

When you catch yourself saying those types of things, then respond with your inner voice:

“Stop. Stop right there. It’s no big deal. Things happen. I made a little mistake, and now I will fix it — all is fine. So take it easy, go slow, you are doing fine.”

Ban negative self-talk!

6 — Face and Eliminate Fear

Being scared and worried about everything you do is a killer. You must face your fears, write them down, and confront them.

Think about each word you’ve written and why you’re fearful of them. Then talk to yourself and eliminate them one by one.

For example:

“I’m not worried about going grocery shopping alone — I can do it.”

“I accept I’m aging and not in great shape. Don’t fear it — do something about it and make yourself feel better.”

Eliminate fear, and counter anxiety with positivity!

7 — Embrace movement and your body

The more you move, the better you’ll feel in body and mind. Being a couch potato has never benefited anyone.

Make a weekly “movement action plan” and follow it. It’s simple to do. All you need are the following:

Walking

Swimming

Light Mobility Strength & Stretch Training

A — The more time you spend outside walking, the better your mind will feel. You’ll further boost the creative side of your brain, making you feel positive and want to take more action.

You’ll strengthen your cardiovascular system, bones, muscles, joints, and mindset. Win-win.

B — Every minute you spend in the water is “water therapy.” Being in the water relaxes the mind, and buoyancy reduces muscle tension.

C — Practicing simple exercises such as planks, the cobra, and downward dog yoga poses increases strength, stretches your core, back, and hamstrings, and eases your mind.

These exercises qualify as gentle resistance training and stretching.

8 — Mindfulness, Meditation, and Breathing

Practicing mindfulness, meditation, and breathing work immensely helped me calm my nerves and stress over the years.

I used to be a stressed-out nervous wreck, worried about everything, and I couldn’t sleep.

Daily meditation and deep breathing help calm your thoughts, relieve stress, and build a better sleep cycle.

Good sleep is essential for your awareness, confidence, focus, and your ability to think and operate with a clear mind.

Final Thoughts

Life can be a slippery slope, and things can go the wrong way — it happens to everyone all the time. Setbacks are normal.

If you let them land you in poor health, it’s your responsibility to take action and make changes.

The worst part of that sort of development is a decline in your overall cognitive health and abilities to think and take action with a level head.

You lack mental clarity, are in constant brain fog, and stumble through life. That’s dangerous.

My own experience with this matter and my long-term observations of others taught me how to reset and rebalance my mind to avoid a further decline.

Instead, repair and rebuild your mental health and positive outlook.

If I could do it, I’m positive you can too.

Rob

MBA from Robert Kennedy College & University of Cumbria, UK.

Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach | Trainer | Blogger | Copywriter | Author

Please follow me on Vocal and my Blog: Robshealthcrunch.com

And subscribe to my YouTube Channel:

wellnessmental healthlifestylehealthdietbodyagingadvice
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About the Creator

Rob Hourmont

Blogger | Writer | Nutritionist | Health Coach | former Olympic Skier. I wish to inspire, inform and help others build a stronger mind & body, and live a fulfilled life!

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