The more a person uses their brain, the better it is for both physical health and mental health. Dasen Brajkovic is a noted psychiatrist with over twenty-five years of experience. As an avid piano player, Brajkovic encourages his elderly patients to start new hobbies.
If battling depression or anxiety, adding a hobby gave give focus as long as there is no pressure to be perfect with the new endeavor. As a person starts to respond to treatment then the person can add reading a book or trying a puzzle. Simple activities will allow the person to reconnect with the world outside. From a neurological standpoint, when the brain is more active, memory and mood can both improve.
Physical activities that require memorization like playing piano, ballroom dancing or playing cards, give double benefits. Some increased physical activity, that is safe based on a person’s physical condition, as well as increased brain usage. Playing cards may seem lacking by younger individuals but for an older person or someone with mobility issues, dealing and holding cards may be all they can achieve. Moving and thinking are the goals.
Memory tricks like placing post it notes on a mirror with reminders are useful. Try image association when learning a new name. For example, if a person’s name is Jay, associate the face with a bird. A person also needs to be patient with his or her self in order to try a new activity or memory aid. Positive self-talk is important to keep a person’s self-esteem higher rather than lower. Dasen Brajkovic has seen the value of trying new brain-stimulating hobbies. It helps patients focus on a concrete activity which can get them out of a negative head space. This is one of many tactics to promote mental health.