Everyone experiences boredom from time to time. When extreme feelings of weariness or discontent are pervasive, though, they can become associated with health problems, including depression and anxiety.
Experts warn against using frenzied activity as an antidote, but most agree that keeping your brain engaged can help ward off boredom and contribute to your overall well-being. July is National Anti-Boredom Month; what are some ways that older adults can move past monotony and refresh their zest for life?
Research has found that remaining engaged intellectually may provide a boost to brain health. Intellectual engagement and stimulation mean different things to different people. For some, taking classes may do the trick to keep life interesting and keep the brain working at maximum capacity.
For others, doing meaningful work such as serving in a volunteer role can help keep the brain engaged. Learning new skills, participating in hobbies, attending musical or dance performances, touring art galleries, traveling, and playing games all can serve as methods for exercising your brain.
In independent living communities such as The Villa at San Mateo, residents participate in a wide variety of intellectually stimulating activities, including day trips, performances, classes and discussion groups.
Regular Physical Activity
Engaging in regular exercise can provide many health benefits, experts say, including better energy, balance and strength, along with the potential to delay or even ward off some illnesses.
In addition, physical activity can reduce depression and improve mood. Research also has connected regular exercise with other brain benefits, including the ability to form new connections that are important to memory, learning and overall cognitive health. Aerobic forms of exercise, including walking, are believed to be especially beneficial for brain health.
Connections With Others
Connecting with other people is critical to health on a number of levels, including keeping your brain active. Social engagement also reduces the risk of isolation and helps you engage with the outside world.
As individuals age, it becomes even more important to maintain relationships with family members and friends. In addition, you can stretch your brain by reaching out to new people who may have different hobbies, backgrounds and points of view.
Researchers don’t yet know if engaging with others can delay or even prevent cognitive decline related to aging. However, it’s clear that spending time with special people improves your mood and helps ward off boredom.
During National Anti-Boredom Month in July, consider what actions you can take to keep your brain active, engage with others and get some regular physical activity.
Source: The Villa at San Mateo