Positive Thoughts Can Prevent Cognitive Decline

An interesting study reported this week by the Alzheimer's Society shows people who often engage in negative thinking are at a higher risk of experiencing dementia.

We have heard that positive thinking enhances our performance at work and in sports, but it is very intriguing to learn negative thinking is now linked to dementia. 

Amateur and professional athletes invest significant financial resources to help with their thinking by hiring mental coaches to give them an edge.  Even CEO's understand the importance of positive thinking, so they also hire consultants to teach their employee's positive communications to give their businesses a leg up on the competition. If the gifted athletes and business executives believe the thought process can make a difference, there must be something to this latest cognitive report and we should take notice and help our older adults.

We have written about the importance of positive thinking in the past to ensure healthy living.  An interesting piece from the Mayo clinic reported some of the benefits are:

  • Increased life expectancy
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well being
  • Better cardiovascular health
  • Better coping skills in times of stress

These should be plenty of wonderful reasons to realize positive thinking matters for our health, so it might be time for all of us to kick this crucial strategy into high gear. Furthermore, if this recent study proves to be true, it makes good sense to now practice positive thinking to prevent dementia.

Trying to learn how to think positively is not an easy process, but it can be done.  It takes discipline, effort and consistency.  If it was easy, the professional athletes and CEO's would not be spending thousands of dollars to improve their thinking.  Some of the athletes who use mental coaches to improve their thought process  are Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, Tom Brady, 2 of the best basketball players to ever play the game, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan and the winner of 6 golf major championships, Nick Faldo. Quite frankly, most professional athletes have worked with coaches and consultants to improve their performance for many years. If the skilled athletes are spending countless dollars to improve their thinking, it only makes since for us to invest in helping our older adults, especially if it helps prevent cognitive decline.

It depends how we see things that will determine outcomes over time.  Are you a person that sees the glass half full or half empty?  Regardless of how we currently see the glass, it is important to know we can change our thinking if we want to.  If you don't have the resources to hire a professional, taking a few minutes every day to follow these tips will certainly improve your health:

  • Find a quiet area to meditate
  • Practice positive thinking daily
  • Keep an open mind
  • Practice gratitude and keep a journal
  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Laugh at your mistakes
  • Celebrate small victories

Nobody wants to experience the dreaded dementia disease, but we must all formulate a wellness plan to achieve a healthy mind and body.  By just making simple choices for our overall health will go a long way helping us reduce our chances of getting dementia.


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