Improve Mental Function Using These 5 Enjoyable Activities

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. Your skin begins to get some wrinkles. Your hair turns gray (or falls out). Your knees start to hurt a little bit more. Some drooping of the skin begins to take place in certain places. Maybe you start to observe some fading of your hearing and eyesight. It’s pretty hard not to see these changes.

But the impact getting older has on the mind is not always so apparent. You might find that you are having to put important events on the calendar because you’re having issues with your memory. Maybe you find yourself spacing out more and missing significant events. The trouble is that this sort of mental decline takes place so slowly and gradually that you might never notice it. For those with hearing loss, the psychological consequence can frequently worsen this decline.

As you age, there are, luckily, some exercises you can do to help your brain stay clear. And you might even have a little bit of fun!

What’s the connection between hearing and mental cognition

There are numerous reasons why people will gradually lose their hearing as they age. The risk of cognitive decline will then increase. So what is the link between cognitive decline and hearing loss? Research reveals a number of hidden risks of hearing loss.

  • There can be atrophy of the part of the brain that processes sound when somebody has neglected hearing loss. The brain may reallocate some resources, but in general, this is not very good for mental health.
  • A feeling of social separation is frequently the result of neglected hearing loss. This isolation means you’re talking less, socializing less, and spending more time by yourself, and your cognition can suffer as a result.
  • Mental health issues and depression can be the result of neglected hearing loss. And the corresponding chance of cognitive decline can be increased by these mental issues.

So is dementia the result of hearing loss? Well, indirectly. But neglected hearing loss can increase your risk of mental decline, up to and including dementia. Those risks, however, can be seriously decreased by getting hearing loss treated. And, enhancing your overall brain health (known medically as “cognition”) can lessen those risks even more. A little preventative treatment can go a long way.

Enhancing mental function

So how do you go about giving your brain the workout it requires to strengthen cognitive function? Well, the good news is that your brain is the same as any other part of the body: you can always accomplish improvement, it simply requires a little exercise. So increase your brain’s sharpness by engaging in some of these fun activities.


Growing your own vegetables and fruits can be very fulfilling all by itself (it’s also a tasty hobby). Your cognition can be enhanced with this unique mix of hard work and deep thinking. This occurs for a number of reasons:

  • You get a bit of modest physical activity. Improved blood flow is good for your brain and blood flow will be increased by moving buckets around and digging in the soil.
  • As you’re working, you will need to think about what you’re doing. You have to apply planning skills, problem solving skills, and analyze the situation. This gives your brain a lot of great practice.
  • Anxiety relief and a little bit of serotonin. This can help keep mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety at bay.

The reality that you get healthy fruits and vegetables out of your garden is an additional bonus. Of course, not all gardens have to be focused on food. You can grow flowers, wild grasses, cacti, or anything your green thumb desires!

Arts and crafts

Arts and crafts can be appreciated by anyone no matter the artistic ability. Something as simple as a popsicle stick sculpture can be fun. Or you can take up pottery and make an awesome clay pot! It’s the process that matters when it comes to exercising the brain, not as much the particular medium. Because your critical thinking skills, imagination, and sense of aesthetics are developed by partaking in arts and crafts (sculpting, painting, building).

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

  • You have to use many fine motor skills. And while that may feel automatic, your brain and nervous system are truly doing a lot of work. That type of exercise can keep your mental functions healthier over the long run.
  • You need to manage sensory input in real time and you will have to employ your imagination to do that. This requires a lot of brain power! There are a number of activities that stimulate your imagination in exactly this way, so it offers a unique kind of brain exercise.
  • You will have to keep your attention engaged in the exercise you’re doing. You can help your mental process stay clear and flexible by participating in this kind of real time thinking.

Your talent level doesn’t really make a difference, whether you’re creating a work of art or doing a paint-by-numbers. What matters is that you’re using your imagination and keeping your brain sharp.


Going for a swim can help keep you healthy in a number of ways! Plus, a hot day in the pool is always a great time. But swimming isn’t only good for your physical health, it also has mental health advantages.

Whenever you’re in the pool, you need to think a lot about spatial relations when you’re swimming. Obviously, slamming into somebody else in the pool wouldn’t be a good thing.

You also have to think about your rhythms. When will you need to come up to breathe when you’re under water? Things like that. Even if this type of thinking is happening in the background of your brain, it’s still excellent mental exercise. Plus, physical activity of any sort can really help get blood to the brain pumping, and that can be good at helping to slow down cognitive decline.


Spending a little silent solo time with your mind. Meditation can help settle your thoughts (and calm your sympathetic nervous system too). Sometimes called mindfulness meditation, these techniques are designed to help you concentrate on what you’re thinking. Meditation can help:

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

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


Reading is great for you! And it’s also really fun. A book can take you anywhere according to that old saying. In a book, you can travel anywhere, like outer space, the ancient world, or the bottom of the ocean. When you’re following along with a story, manifesting landscapes in your imagination, and mentally creating characters, you’re using a lot of brain power. A big portion of your brain is involved when you’re reading. You’re forced to think quite a bit and use your imagination when you read.

Hence, one of the best ways to sharpen the mind is by reading. You have to use your memory to monitor the story, your imagination to visualize what’s happening, and you get a sweet dose of serotonin when you finish your book!

What you read doesn’t actually make a difference, fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, as long as you devote some time each day reading and strengthening your brainpower! Audiobooks, for the record, work just as well!

Improve your cognition by getting your hearing loss treated

Even if you do every little thing right, neglected hearing loss can keep increasing your risks of cognitive decline. Which means, even if you garden, swim, and read, you’ll still be struggling uphill, unless you manage your hearing loss.

Your social skills, your thinking, and your memory and cognition will get better once you have your hearing loss addressed (typically with hearing aids).

Is hearing loss a problem for you? Reconnect your life by contacting 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.