Increase Mental Function Using These 5 Fun 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

It’s easy to notice how your body ages over time. You get wrinkles. Your hair turns gray (or falls out). Your knees begin to be a little more sore. Some sagging of the skin begins to occur in certain places. Perhaps you begin to observe some fading of your eyesight and hearing. These indicators are difficult to miss.

But the affect aging has on the mind is not always so evident. You may find that you are having to note 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 sadly, you may not even recognize this gradual onset. For those with hearing loss, the psychological consequence can often worsen this decline.

As you age, there are, fortunately, some exercises you can do to help your brain stay sharp. And the good news is, these exercises can be utterly enjoyable!

The connection between hearing and cognition

There are a number of 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 several invisible risks of hearing loss.

  • When you’re dealing with neglected hearing loss, the portion of your brain that processes sound begins to atrophy. Occasionally, it’s put to other uses, but generally speaking, this is not great for your cognitive health.
  • Untreated hearing loss can easily lead to a sense of social isolation. As a result of this lack of social interaction, you can begin to detect cognitive lapses as you disengage from the outside world.
  • Mental health problems and depression can be the outcome of neglected hearing loss. And an associated risk of cognitive decline can be increased by these mental issues.

So is dementia the outcome of hearing loss? Well, indirectly. But cognitive decline, including dementia, will be more probable for someone who has neglected hearing loss. Those risks, however, can be significantly decreased by getting hearing loss treated. And, boosting your overall brain health (known medically as “cognition”) can decrease those risks even more. A little preventative management can go a long way.

Enhancing mental function

So, how can you be sure to boost your cognitive function and give your brain the workout it needs? Well, the good news is that your brain is the same as any other part of the body: you can always achieve improvement, it simply calls for a little exercise. So boost your brain’s sharpness by doing some of these fun activities.


Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be extremely fulfilling all on its own (it’s also a tasty hobby). Your cognition can be enhanced with this unique mix of hard work and deep thinking. Here are several reasons why:

  • Gardening involves modest physical activity. Whether it’s digging around in the ground or moving bags of soil around, the exercise you get when gardening is enough to get your blood pumping, and that’s good for your brain.
  • Anxiety relief and a little bit of serotonin. This can help keep mental health concerns including depression and anxiety in check.
  • You have to think about what you’re doing as you’re doing it. You have to analyze the situation utilizing planning and problem solving skills.

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

Arts and crafts can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of artistic ability. You can make a simple sculpture out of popsicle sticks. Or perhaps you can make a nice clay mug on a pottery wheel. It’s the process that matters when it comes to exercising the brain, not as much the specific medium. Because your critical thinking skills, imagination, and sense of aesthetics are developed by doing arts and crafts (sculpting, painting, building).

Arts and crafts can be good for your cognitive ability because:

  • It requires the use of fine motor skills. And while that might feel automatic, your brain and nervous system are truly doing lots of work. That type 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 employ your imagination to do that. This requires a ton of brain power! There are a number of activities that activate your imagination in just this way, so it offers a unique kind of brain exercise.
  • You have to stay focused on what you’re doing while you do it. You can help your mental process remain clear and flexible by engaging 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. The most important thing is keeping your brain sharp by engaging your imagination.


Going for a swim can help you stay healthy in a number of ways! Plus, it’s always fun to hop into the pool (especially when it’s so unrelentingly hot outside). And while it’s obviously good for your physical health, there are a few ways that swimming can also be good for your cognitive health.

Any time you’re in the pool, you need to do a lot of thinking 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. How long can you be underwater before it’s time to breathe? That sort of thing. Even if this type of thinking is going on in the background of your brain, it’s still excellent cognitive exercise. And cognitive decline will progress more slowly when you take part in physical activity because it helps get more blood to the brain.


Spending a little quiet solo time with your mind. Meditation can help calm down your thoughts (and calm your sympathetic nervous system at the same time). These “mindfulness” meditation methods are designed to help you focus on your thinking. Meditation can help:

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

You can become even more conscious of your mental faculties by practicing meditation.


It’s great for you to read! And even better than that, it’s really enjoyable. There’s that old adage: a book can take anywhere. In a book, you can go everywhere, like 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 creating characters, you’re using a lot of brain power. A big portion of your brain is engaged when you’re reading. You’re forced to think a lot and utilize your imagination when you read.

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

What you read doesn’t really make a difference, fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, so long as you spend some time each day reading and building your brainpower! And, for the record, audiobooks are essentially as good as reading with your eyes.

Treat your hearing loss to minimize cognitive risks

Disregarded hearing loss can increase your risk of mental decline, even if you do everything right. Which means, even if you swim and read and garden, you’ll still be struggling uphill, unless you get your hearing loss treated.

When are able to have your hearing managed (usually because of a hearing aid or two), all of these fun brain exercises will help increase your cognition. Improving your memory, your thoughts, and your social skills.

Are you dealing with hearing loss? Call us today to schedule a hearing test and reconnect to life!

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.