Want to be firing on all cylinders well into your twilight years? Who doesn’t! Staying mentally sharp is a high priority among Americans, with Alzheimer’s ranking as the most feared disease.
Fortunately, eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet and exercising regularly are fantastic multitaskers.
Along with benefiting your heart, weight, and overall health, these stellar habits help to fend off cognitive decline.
A small new study shines a light on two other tools that may boost brain power: meditation and music.
Among a group of 60 adults with self-reported early memory loss (a potential precursor to Alzheimer’s), one subgroup spent three months doing a 12-minute daily meditation practice while the other followed a 12-minute daily music-listening program.
At the end of the study, participants in both groups had experienced significant improvements in memory function and cognitive performance — and these changes were still in effect three months later.
Participants’ sleep, mood, stress, well-being, and quality of life improved, too….
all from just 12 minutes a day! The meditation group practiced kirtan kriya, a style of meditation that involves chanting mantras.
Mindfulness meditation, in which you practice nonjudgmental awareness of thoughts and feelings, has also been shown to benefit your health in myriad ways, including boosting memory and cognitive performance.
(Our Stress Free Now app
is a great starting point for mindfulness practice.) As for music, the study participants listened to classical composers such as Bach, Pachelbel, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Debussy, and Mozart.
So in addition to the basics — physical activity and a nourishing diet — carve out a window for daily meditation, music, or both.
And then let those neurons fire away!
Source: Meditation and Music Improve Memory and Cognitive Function in Adults with Subjective Cognitive Decline: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.