Here is a self-assessment on the six characteristics associated with successful aging and mental agility. For each one, list what you now are working on for developing these characteristics and then identify three things in each characteristic that you can start doing to regain your brain.

What am I doing now What can I start doing for my brain? to regain my brain?

Absence of cardiovascular and other diseases

High socioeconomic status

Involvement in a complex and intellectually stimulating environment

Flexible personality at midlife

High cognitive status of spouse

2. _________________________ 2. _________________________

3. _________________________ 3. _________________________

Maintenance of high levels of perceptual processing speed

In the next chapter, we are going to provide you with many, many games and activities to promote a strong, active, efficient mind and memory. Keep in mind, however, that as you learn something and become comfortable with that idea or technique, you need to move on into unexplored territory. Recall Figure 4-1, where a PET scan demonstrated the different areas of the brain that are activated for a verbal skill when it is new and when it is practiced. You need to keep trying new things. If you like to work jigsaw puzzles and you are very fast at it, move on up to 3D puzzles. If you have found great success with rehearsal strategies, begin to include listmaking or visualization strategies.

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