Developing resilience is essential for winning the fight to prevent Alzheimer’s dementia and improve cognitive function.
Resilience and health
Resilience is an essential factor in preventing Alzheimer’s dementia. So, let’s consider why this quality plays such a critical role in your cognitive and overall physical health.
Resilience can help you survive the detrimental impacts of numerous health conditions. Sadly, some of these develop incrementally and can take years before symptoms fully present. Fortunately, you can reduce or even reverse the effects of these conditions if you have the willingness to adapt your lifestyle as early as possible.
Alzheimer’s dementia and other cognitive diseases often call for self-directed interventions. Many of these interventions involve changes in lifestyle, requiring you to adapt to new routines and habits.
Imagine what could happen if you consistently add what is healthy and eliminate what is unhealthy to your body and brain. Undoubtedly, your efforts will result in better physical and cognitive health.
Resilience and your ability to adapt
However, there remains the question of your resilience. Do you have the mindset necessary to make changes that would prove beneficial to your health? In other words, “Do you have the capacity to adapt to a new, healthier lifestyle?”
People who lack resilience find such changes difficult, even if it is to prevent detrimental outcomes. Instead, they accept these outcomes as inevitable and surrender to the results.
According to the American Psychological Association, “Resilience is the human ability to adapt in the face of tragedy, trauma, adversity, hardship, and ongoing significant life stressors.” I can certainly understand how concerns about a family history of Alzheimer’s dementia, caring for a family member with the disease, or experiencing symptoms ourselves would qualify as life stressors.
I can assure you that you do have the ability to change your health outcomes for the better. Furthermore, you can develop the resilience you need to adapt to your new lifestyle fully. One that supports better cognitive function and prevents Alzheimer’s dementia.
I believe in your ability to improve your health
In a February post, I shared my story of the changes I made to improve my health. By adapting to a new, healthier lifestyle, I experienced positive outcomes in my physical health and my cognitive abilities.
As a practicing ER physician, I witness those who demonstrate resilience as they adapt to what is necessary to deal with trauma and disease. The changes they make help them survive their challenges. They thrive as they discover new opportunities and find greater satisfaction with their lives. Sadly, I’ve seen a lack of resilience limit the progress of too many patients, resulting in their unwillingness to make lifestyle changes.
Therin lies one of the most significant obstacles to change. When we do anything we can to avoid change, we end up doubting our capacity to do so when it’s essential.
It is tempting, in the face of adversity, to surrender to what appears to be an inevitably poor outcome. Nevertheless, when faced with a choice between “bad” and the hope of “better,” we can muster the resilience necessary to move toward the hope of improvement.
Unquestionably, you have the capacity for resilience and the ability to change. Moreover, the sooner you choose to adapt and make necessary lifestyle changes, the sooner you can begin winning the fight to prevent Alzheimer’s dementia. Furthermore, you will improve cognitive function and eliminate other risks to your overall health.
For example, you can improve your physical and cognitive health by adapting your lifestyle to address seven modifiable lifestyle factors:
- Eating healthy food
- Moving more (exercise)
- Improving your sleep
- Decreasing stress
- Detoxifying your air, water, and environment
- Improving your social connections (finding ways to stay in contact with others)
- Increasing your sensory and mental stimulation
More resources are available to support your efforts
I recognized the essential role of resilience when I wrote the book Dementia Action Plan: Give Your Brain a Fighting Chance. The book provides many resources to support your efforts in preventing Alzheimer’s dementia and improving your brain health.
Additionally, numerous articles and video resources are available on our website at interactwellcare.com.
As you demonstrate resilience, the changes you make will not only help you survive your health challenges; they will give you a sense of inner strength and improvements in your cognitive function. Undoubtedly, better brain health will better enable you to hold on to your memories.
Your memories define the person you have become. They are the record of your loved ones and the pivotal moments that determined the course of your life. Indeed, these memories are worth your efforts to adapt to a healthier life.