If you are older than 40 and reading this, you are starting to experience – maybe subtly – the symptoms of brain decline. What is surprising about this is how soon in life this decline starts. Don’t be too shocked: Researchers are busy searching for cures that will roll back the deterioration of the cells of which we are all made. Meanwhile, we all know the routine, the Mediterranean diet, along with crossword puzzles will help keep away or slow down this age-related decline.
But as it turns out that getting lots of exercise and eating healthy are not the most important things when it comes to fighting dementia. They are crucial, and of course, they can help you, but for mental decline, there is just one activity that is best, according to a brand new study. And it is maybe surprising.
Having a person that listens to you leads to a brain that looks 4 years younger after age 40. And think of how important those 4 years could be – time to start a family, start a career, write and publish your book, or welcome your grandchildren into the world.
What is fascinating about this new research is that it does not involve the subject as much as it involves the person who is listening. That is the tricky part: Find someone to listen your aging mind. Most of the time, scientists are busy finding out which diets, personal habits, and medicines work best to prolong life, but this problem is more social than it is scientific.
If we have learned anything from the pandemic, it is that people do suffer during isolation. Of course, there are some exceptions, like some introverts who thrive with solitude, but most people and especially introverts, do better when there are more people around at crucial moments to share their victories and defeats, and their hilarious or tragic moments.
Humans are communal in nature. We do not usually think this way about ourselves. Our interdependency causes us to be uncomfortable, in some ways, and we spend time attempting to inculcate personal responsibility, especially in our kids as they get older. One of the top social philosophies in the country is still the lone cowboy taking care of himself, rather than the office worker looking taking care of her co-workers in the city.
People wish to feel heard. They want to be acknowledged and to feel connected to other people. In fact, the research proves that it is an urgent human need – one that, if left unmet, leads to a quicker mental decline.
Author: Steven Sinclaire