These 5 Fun Tips Can Help You Increase Mental Function

Older folks suffering from hearing loss are tending to the potted plants on a table, in the foreground and out of focus more ladies are helping

As your body gets older, it isn’t difficult to notice the changes. You get wrinkles. You begin to lose your hair or it turns grey. Your knees begin to hurt a little bit more. Some drooping of the skin begins to take place in certain places. Perhaps you start to observe some fading of your eyesight and hearing. It’s pretty hard not to notice these changes.

But the affect aging has on the mind is not always so evident. You might find that you are having to put significant events on the calendar because you’re having difficulty with your memory. Maybe you find yourself spacing out more and missing important events. But unfortunately, you may not even notice this slow onset. And that hearing decline can be worsened by the psychological effects.

Luckily, there are some ways that you can exercise your brain to keep it sharp and healthy as you get older. And you may even have some fun!

What is the connection between hearing and mental cognition

Most people will gradually lose their hearing as they get older (for a number of reasons). This can lead to a higher risk of mental decline. So what is the link between cognitive decline and hearing loss? Research reveals a number of invisible risks of hearing loss.

  • There can be atrophy of the part of the brain that processes sound when someone has neglected hearing loss. Occasionally, it’s put to other uses, but generally speaking, this is not very good for your mental health.
  • Untreated hearing loss can easily produce a sense of social separation. Because of this lack of social connection, you can begin to notice cognitive lapses as you withdraw from the outside world.
  • Neglected hearing loss can also result in depression and other mental health issues. And having these mental health problems can increase the corresponding danger of mental decline.

So, can hearing loss turn into dementia? Well, indirectly. But untreated hearing loss can raise your risk of mental decline, up to and including dementia. Treating your hearing loss can significantly limit those risks. And, improving your overall brain health (known medically as “cognition”) can decrease those risks even more. A little preventative treatment can go a long way.

Increasing mental function

So how do you accomplish giving your brain the workout it requires to improve mental function? Well, the great news is that your brain is like any other part of the body: you can always accomplish improvement, it simply calls for a little exercise. So improve your brain’s sharpness by doing some of these fun activities.


Cultivating your own vegetables and fruit is a delicious and rewarding hobby. A unique mix of deep thinking and hard work, gardening can also improve your cognitive function. This occurs for a number of reasons:

  • You need to think about what you’re doing as you’re doing it. You have to utilize planning skills, problem solving skills, and examine the situation. This gives your brain a great deal of great practice.
  • Gardening releases serotonin which can relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • You get a little modest physical exercise. Increased blood flow is good for your brain and blood flow will be increased by moving buckets around and digging in the soil.

As an added bonus, you get healthy vegetables and fruits from your hobby. Of course, you can grow a lot of other things besides food (herbs, flowers cacti).

Arts and crafts

You don’t have to be artistically inclined to enjoy arts and crafts. Something like a simple popsicle stick sculpture can be fun. Or perhaps you can make a nice clay mug on a pottery wheel. When it comes to exercising your brain, the medium matters a lot less than the process. That’s because arts and crafts (drawing, sculpting, building) tap into your imagination, your critical thinking skills, and your sense of aesthetics.

Here are several reasons why doing arts and crafts will strengthen cognition:

  • It requires making use of fine motor skills. And while that might feel automatic, your brain and nervous system are truly doing a lot of work. That kind of exercise can keep your mental functions healthier over the long run.
  • You need to process sensory input in real time and you will need to engage your imagination to do that. This involves a lot of brain power! You can stimulate your imagination by undertaking these unique brain exercises.
  • You will have to keep your attention engaged in the exercise you’re doing. You can help your cognitive process remain clear and flexible by engaging in this type of real time thinking.

Your talent level doesn’t really matter, whether you’re painting a work of art or doing a paint-by-numbers. What counts is that you’re making use of your imagination and keeping your brain sharp.


Taking a swim can help you stay healthy in a number of ways! Plus, a hot afternoon in the pool is always a great time. And while it’s clearly good for your physical health, there are a few ways that swimming can also be good for your mental health.

Your brain needs to be engaged in things like spatial awareness when you’re in the pool swimming. Obviously, slamming into somebody else in the pool wouldn’t be a good thing.

Your mind also has to be aware of rhythms. How long can you stay underwater before you need to breathe? That kind of thing. Even if this kind of thinking is occurring in the background of your brain, it’s still excellent cognitive exercise. Also, physical activity of any sort can really help get blood to the brain pumping, and that can be good at helping to slow down mental decline.


Spending a little silent alone time with your mind. As your thoughts become calm, your sympathetic nervous system also relaxes. Sometimes called mindfulness meditation, these techniques are made to help you focus on what you’re thinking. As a result, meditation can:

  • Improve your memory
  • Help you learn better
  • Improve your attention span

In other words, meditation can help give you even more awareness of your mental and cognitive faculties.


It’s great for you to read! And even more than that, it’s fun. There’s that old adage: a book can take you anywhere. In a book, you can travel anywhere, including outer space, ancient Egypt, or the depths of the ocean. When you’re following along with a story, creating landscapes in your imagination, and mentally conjuring up characters, you’re using lots of brain power. This is how reading engages a huge part of your brain. Reading isn’t feasible without employing your imagination and thinking a great deal.

Consequently, reading is one of the best ways to sharpen your thinking. Imagination is needed to envision what’s going on, your memory to keep up with the plot, and when you finish the book, you get a fulfilling dose of serotonin.

Spend some time each day to strengthen your brain power by doing some reading, whether it’s fiction, science fiction, non-fiction, or whatever you like. And, for the record, audiobooks are essentially as effective as reading with your eyes.

Improve your cognition by having your hearing loss treated

Disregarded hearing loss can increase your risk of cognitive decline, even if you do everything right. But if you don’t have your hearing loss treated, even if you do all of these things, it will still be an uphill battle.

When you do get your hearing managed (usually because of a hearing aid or two), all of these fun brain exercises will help boost your cognition. Improving your memory, your thoughts, and your social skills.

Is hearing loss an issue for you? Reconnect your life by calling us today for a hearing assessment.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.