Mental illnesses are a severe problem in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five adults in the US has a mental illness. Some of the most common mental illnesses include depression, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorder.
Mental illnesses can be highly debilitating and can often lead to suicide. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the US. Mental illness also costs the US economy billions of dollars each year due to lost productivity and healthcare costs.
One of the most common mental illnesses in the country that can also lead to suicide is dementia.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is a broad term used to describe a decline in mental ability. This can include memory loss, cognitive decline, and changes in mood and behavior. Dementia is often diagnosed in older adults, but it can occur.
There is no one cause of dementia, but some risk factors can increase your chances of developing the condition. These include:
- A family history of dementia
- A head injury or trauma
- Exposure to toxins
- Certain medical conditions (such as Parkinson’s disease)
While there is no cure for dementia, there are some things you can do to help prevent it. Here are seven activities that can help you avoid dementia:
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who did crossword puzzles four days a week were less likely to develop dementia than those who didn’t do them at all. The study also found that the more puzzles you did, the lower your risk was.
So, if you want to keep your mind sharp and reduce your risk of dementia, break out the crosswords!
Exercise isn’t just good for your body—it’s good for your brain. A study published in the journal Neurology found that regular people are less likely to develop dementia. The study showed that people who did moderate-intensity aerobic exercise three times a week had a 35% lower risk of dementia than those who didn’t.
So, don’t forget to add some physical activity to your routine if you want to keep your brain healthy.
Eat a Healthy Diet
What you eat can also impact your risk of developing dementia. A study published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia found that people who eat a Mediterranean diet—a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and olive oil—are less likely to develop dementia. In addition, the study showed that people who followed a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of developing dementia than those who didn’t.
Learn and Play Musical Instruments
Playing a musical instrument can also help keep your mind sharp and reduce your risk of dementia. A study published in the journal PLOS One found that people who played a musical instrument were less likely to develop dementia than those who didn’t.
Singing can also help stimulate your mind and stop dementia. If you’re ashamed of your voice, consider getting a voice lesson to help you out. A single lesson can make a difference in your self-esteem, and it can keep dementia at bay.
Staying social can also help reduce your risk of developing dementia. Being social can help stimulate your mind and keep your brain active. Moreover, the support system you create by being social can help you manage stress, which is a risk factor for dementia. So, go out and meet new people or stay in touch with old friends—either way, you’ll be doing your brain a favor.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is vital for your overall health, but it can also help reduce your risk of developing dementia. Sleeping can help with refreshing your neurons and regenerating cells. Generally, these are the benefits you experience when you sleep.
Moreover, getting enough sleep can help reduce stress, another risk factor for dementia. So, make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye if you want to keep your brain healthy.
Speaking of stress, reducing your stress levels can also help reduce your risk of developing dementia. This is because stress can damage the hippocampus—the part of the brain responsible for memory. So, if you want to keep your memory sharp, it’s crucial to find ways to reduce your stress levels.
There are several ways to do this, such as:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Spending time in nature
Whatever works best for you, find a way to incorporate it into your life to reduce your risk of developing dementia.
Dementia is a common mental illness in the United States and can be caused by several factors. However, you can do things to reduce your risk of developing dementia. In this article, we’ve highlighted seven activities that have been shown to help reduce your risk of dementia. So, if you want to keep your mind sharp and healthy, make sure you include some or all of these activities in your daily routine!