Hi. We’re the Foolish Couple. I am Andrew and Minna, Functional Nutrition Specialists and Success Coaches. We created Foco Academy to help people achieve whole life success by applying the Success Principles to the 3 areas of life that money can’t buy, that is, Health, Time, and Relationships.
Now that most of the world has been in isolation for over a year now. Have you experience any signs of cognitive decline?
Here's 3 signs that you may be experiencing cognitive decline:
1.You struggle to stay on top of things - which means, that your processing speed is slowing down
2.You can't find the words you are looking for, such as, trying to recall the name of a person
3.You have problems locating your stuff, such as your keys, your wallet
The reason is this.
Most people were pretty much stuck at home most of the day, the only social contact they have is over Zoom or Facetime or some other web conferencing platform.
Staying at home is convenient, but it has also deprived us of the richness of many sensory stimulations. When you eat at a restaurant, you are interacting with the waiters, you get to watch other people, hear other people laugh. When your plate of beautifully plated food is served to you, your senses are heightened.
You are visually stimulated, your sense of smell is heightened. You might even hear the sizzling of the steak, feel the steam coming out of the fish, and then you reach for your fork, you feel the food before you finally put it into your mouth, and your taste buds lights up. All your senses are stimulated. You get excited.
What happens when you order your food online and have it delivered 'touch-lessly' outside your door? You look at a picture on the app, click a few buttons, and then maybe you even watch the app as the little icon of the driver approaches your house. The delivery driver leaves the food outside. You open the door, pick up the food, bring it inside. Open the box and eats it. How's that for a sensory experience?
And while you keep telling yourself, yeah it's ok. Food still taste pretty good, but there's no excitement anymore is there?
What we see
What we hear
What we taste
What we smell
What we touch
And, also what we feel, which is our emotions and social connections.
The thing is, scientific research shows that when you are engaging in all the senses, including emotional or social senses, your brain stays healthy and your memory stays active. When your senses are rarely engaged, you start experiencing neuro degeneration. Meaning, you get dumber, you start to forget where you put your keys, you can't recall other people's names.
Remember the tv show Seinfeld, In an episode, someone asked Kramer how to get from Manhattan to Coney Island. And Kramer, being Kramer, launched into this elaborate description of buses and subways involving numerous changes scattered throughout the city, called our various alternatives at each point, and the consequences of each choice. He literally described a movie of how you can get from one place to another. And then Elaine stepped in and says, 'couldn't you just take the D train?'
Of course you can. But in this case, Kramer is thinking and living neurobically, looking for alternative pathways, new possibilities, and engaging his brains' associative powers and navigational abilities to engage in flexible, spatial thinking. Elaine, on the other hand, is trapped by routine.
Scientific research including the ones done by MacArthur Foundation, has repeatedly proved that social deprivation has severe negative effects on overall cognitive abilities, validating the fact that keeping ourselves active socially and mentally are critical factors for our mental health.
So if you don't want to get dumber, here's something you can do.
Here's a few things you can do:
1.Switch the hand you see to brush your teeth, or switch the knife and fork while you eat, or chopsticks. The key here is to change things up. When you switch the hand you use from left to right or right to left, you are stimulating a different area of your brain and therefore waking it up.
2.Walk around blind folded inside your house, or take a shower with your eyes closed. The goal here is to shut off your visual senses so that your other senses gets heightened. You may be able to hear a slight whining of the faucet, the air conditioning buzzing overhead, feel the soap on your body, feel how the conditioner smooths out your hair.
1.In the old days, before there were GPS and radar, sailors navigate the ocean using mainly sensory cues. They feel the subtle changes in the waves, smell the difference in the sea water, look at the type of seaweed and fish around them, feel the direction and the intensity of the wind. They are constantly doing neurobic exercises.
So for you, the third thing you can do is to change your route. If you are commuting, take a different route. Or stay off the highway when you go to a grocery store. Don't rely on your GPS. Be aware of the houses and buildings along the route. If you walk your dog, change up the route. Smell the flowers along the walk and study the trees. Your dog will love it and so will you. The point here is to get your brain to track where you are so that you can get to your destination and eventually return home.
I hope you enjoy this episode. Next time we see each other, you're probably just a little smarter and happier.
Until Next time Love What you Live and Live what you love
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We are not medical doctors. This blog is not intended to diagnose medical condition, or replace your health care provider. The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your personal physician before starting any fitness or exercise program or changing dietary habits. The content of this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services or counsel provided by medical professionals. However, we do hope to inspire you to become healthier, more self sufficient, and more aware of options.
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