The Everlasting Functions of an Executive
Experts have revealed that not only can our skin “go flabby,” but our brain can go flabby too with the older we get. Our memory starts to decline, we start to lose focus, our ability to plan ahead and organize is hindered, and our ability to control our emotions withers away. Unfortunately, there is no cosmetic surgery for our brain. But there are strategies and techniques with which to improve these functions known as “Executive Functioning,” your brain’s command center that helps you navigate all your life’s complexities.
“The good news is that if you’ve let your brain “go flabby” you can reverse the damage.” - Philip D. Harvey, PH.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the division of Psychology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
In the Introduction of the book titled, “399 games, puzzles & trivia challenges specially designed to keep your brain young,” Authored by Nancy Linde, Harvey writes, “Games are beneficial to us in lots of ways. They can be a fun way to spend time with the people we love. They promote social interaction. They’re also an absorbing way to spend our solitary time. They challenge us intellectually, and they are rich in new learning opportunities. But what science has also shown us over the last decade or so is that games can actually improve the health of your brain. In the same way that regular exercise makes your heart stronger and your body more limber, a daily does of games can make your brain function better.”
This isn’t your grandma’s brain anymore. Here are some immediate activities that can help improve your Executive Functioning as suggested by the published work noted above.
1) Make the choice that you want to improve the health of your brain regardless of the age you are now.
2) Avoid anything that can potentially harm your brain cells like drugs, alcohol, poor eating habits, excessive late nights, and lack of exercise.
3) Start to engage in regular healthy habits now such as healthy food choices, getting enough sleep, daily exercise, taking vitamins, getting out and having fun, and learn new things.
Harvey also writes, “Scientific research has shown that the biggest mental declines occur after we complete our formal schooling and after retirement. Why? Because we are no longer exercising our brains and pushing ourselves to continue to learn and grow. No matter your age, income, IQ, or education, there are dozens of ways to help your neurons grow, stretch, and branch into a younger, more beautiful brain.”