What are the psychological effects of aging? The body inevitably deteriorates with time. Does the mind have to do the same? What are natural ways to slow the mental aging process?
Memory loss is one of the most common psychological effects of aging. For many people, remembering everyday things becomes more difficult. Memory loss affects short-term memory more than long-term. It may be easy to recall events that happened thirty years in the past, but difficult to recall what happened on the morning news.
Absentmindedness is also a characteristic psychological effect of aging. Clear, lucid thoughts become increasingly difficult. Older people may repeat themselves in conversation, or have trouble doing regular activities. This impaired cognitive functioning could also be a sign of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's affects one in ten Americans over the age of 65. It can lead to severe degeneration of mental functioning.
What is responsible for the psychological effects of aging? One cause is an older brain. Research has demonstrated that it actually decreases in weight and volume, which may be due to a downsizing in neurons. This biological change may be inevitable to some degree, but factors such as nutrition and mental activity may also impact how severe the psychological effects of aging are.
As the body ages it becomes less capable of absorbing nutrients, making a healthy diet and nutritional supplements essential to well-being. The B vitamins, selenium, and vitamin E are of particular importance. Exercising the brain with anything from crossword puzzles to engaging conversation will delay the psychological effects of aging as well. Take care of both your physical and mental well-being throughout the years, not necessarily to prolong life, but to improve the quality of life deep into old age.
Balch, Phyllis, CNC. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition." (The Penguin Group, 2006).
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