One of the top 5 worries about aging for both women and men is losing your memory or your mental sharpness. And you’ve seen the articles, maybe even visited the websites and tried the software with examples of how to keep exercising your brain.
Researchers say there are three keys to using learning for brain stimulation. These keys help your brain to build new neural pathways, in effect stretching and growing. While the brain isn’t a muscle, helping your brain to get stronger is exercise just like walking or aerobics or lifting weights. Exercise for your brain should be:
You may not have considered that birds are great for your brain. But do you really want to sit around doing cross word puzzles or Sudoku year after year? Here’s how to use listening to birds in your garden for brain exercise.
You’ll want to find the time of day that birds are active in your yard. And, of course, make sure that your garden is an oasis for birds. Adding native plants that attract nectar-sippers and seed-or-berry eaters is a great start, along with water.
Find a great spot for listening, where birds will be nearby. Pick just the right spot so the birds feel comfy in your presence. Avoid sitting right under the feeder, for example. Not only will the birds hesitate, you may get seed chaff in your hair or a surprise dropping from a bird’s flight overhead.
Did you know that you hear better with your eyes closed?
Now, close your eyes. You are allowing your brain to pay attention to specific sensory input – sound. And you’re blocking out the visual input that can distract you from hearing all that you can.
The next step is to focus your attention. Filter out other kinds of sounds and pay close attention to the calls, chirps, tweets and other vocalizations from the birds. Notice how the sounds change as the birds move.
It’s challenging to allow your attention to stay with one type of sound, isolating it to really listen deeply.
You’ll find you’re gaining skill in the concentration needed to discern the sounds made by birds in your area.
And, your listening experience will change from day to day, from season to season. You may hear the same call repeatedly as a bird moves from one part of the yard to another, maybe staying in the treetops, maybe moving down to a nest in a thorny bush, maybe alerting other birds about the presence of a feline predator.
So part of the fun is figuring out how many birds are actually making the sounds you hear
A mockingbird who’s enjoying the morning may serenade you with a whole flock of different songs. . Exercise that’s new, challenging and fun – and you’re collecting Nature’s vitamins and reducing stress, too.