Buying into the stereotype that memory function automatically dwindles with age could become a self-fulfilling prophecy, research shows.
At least that's what happened in one study. When older adults (ages 60 to 70 years) were given cues that people their age tend to suffer from memory loss, they actually performed more poorly on memory tests than a control group not exposed to such cues. Likewise, older adults who felt looked down upon -- or stigmatized -- due to age also fared poorly on memory tests. Bottom line: Anxious thoughts about negative stereotypes may disrupt your working memory. So think positive!
Okay, positive thinking is no guarantee against memory problems -- but a positive attitude is always a healthier choice. For a full-court defense against age-related memory loss, here are some other ways to sharpen your noggin:
Stay in touch. Staying connected to family and friends can nourish the connections in your brain.
Eat right. Find foods that will empower your brain, not strain your brain.
Sleep tight. Power naps can help recharge your brain.
Step it up. Walking today means a better memory tomorrow.