Beset by mindless distractions in the modern era is just part of living in it. Cell phones, texting, social media, TV, movies, music – we’re surrounded by it. Social beings that most of us are, we want and need to know what is happening. We want to be entertained – to be informed, to be taken out of ourselves, so to speak. One would think, or least hope, that with all variety of entertainment, news, cable, and internet offerings, Americans would be at the top when it comes to intelligence. Yet with all the offerings available to us, collectively, we’re, to put it nicely, lacking in smarts.
And it is these mindless distractions that are dumbing us down, mindless distractions that warp the mind – more permanently than one might think.
“Dementia starts in the brain 30 to 50 years before symptoms appear”
- Every 3 seconds someone gets diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia
- Dementia starts in the brain 30 to 50 years before symptoms appear
- Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death
- The average burden on families dealing with late-stage dementia is $300,000
- 46+ million people are losing their minds (this will double every 20 years)
- The “silent epidemic” of early-onset dementia is on the rise
It has been scientifically proven (noted here and here) that cognitive (the act or process of knowing) activity throughout one’s life can be a key factor in keeping dementia at bay. But the amount of cognitive activity that one probably does on a given day, week or month, is negligible. As a result, we’re regressing.
But how to escape the onslaught of mindless distractions that start from the minute one awakes, checking our cell phones, until we go to sleep, laying down those cell phones that are nearly an appendage of ourselves? How does one start saying ‘no’ to mindless activities and start doing activities that will increase “the process of knowing”? The easy out here is to say that common sense should rule the day and one simply stops doing what is hurting them. Sadly, common sense is not in vogue these days and humans continue to do things to hurt themselves every day, as they have from the beginning of time.
I didn’t grow up with cell phone appendage addiction. I don’t have the fixation of having to be always attached to a mechanical device. I don’t feel the need to tell a friend or family member what I’ve done, will be doing or am thinking of doing at any given point in time via text or social media. I figure that people need their private time, need their space, need silence, need quiet – and unless it’s something important that needs to be addressed right now, I won’t bother another. And I also know my life is boring enough without having to spell out that boredom to another. Obviously, it’s different for a younger generation who grew up with technology and social media that begs for the discovery of every tedious detail of another’s daily grind. Tuning out and turning on to a bit of the “old school” is probably too much to hope for, especially given the current insanity of our distraction-addicted culture…but it may be, not just the younger generations only hope to avoid the increasing ‘silent epidemic’, but everyone’s only hope.
Probably the most startling and disturbing bullet point in the chart above is the one that states: “Dementia starts in the brain 30 to 50 years before symptoms appear”. The mindless distractions that our children have been growing up with during the past 30 years or so don’t foretell that they will be able to avoid this horrible disease, especially with current appendage addiction levels increasing, rather than decreasing.
Mindless distractions keep us from thinking, keep us from real experiences, keep us under the dome of of the absurd that is modern life. Our educational system has students memorizing and regurgitating memorized information back to the teacher, rather than teaching and challenging students to be original thinkers. TV “programming”, insipid movies reveling in death, zombies, murder and depression are the order of the day. Sad that we’ve allowed ourselves to be slaves to a media with an agenda that, for the most part, isn’t truthful and mostly downright ugly. With Six corporations controlling 90% of the media – even I, with my limited intelligence, understand this is the globalist’s dream of complete control. We’re fed lies, garbage, idiocy, and ugliness, and when those who seek out the 10% that isn’t part of this nightmare, they’re labelled every kind of vermin imaginable because they won’t buy into the Orwellian gulag being pushed.
Kicking it “old school”, though not hip, and requiring more than 2 thumbs on a keyboard to accomplish, might serve as a vehicle to escape the ravages of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Cognitive reserve theory aims to explain why some individuals with full Alzheimer’s pathology (accumulation of plaques and tangles in their brains) can keep normal lives until they die, while others -with the same amount of plaques and tangles- display the severe symptoms we associate with Alzheimer’s Disease.
…Individuals who lead mentally stimulating lives, through education, occupation and leisure activities, have reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Studies suggest that they have 35-40% less risk of manifesting the disease.
And more from the interview:
– Lifetime experiences, like education, engaging occupation, and leisure activities, have been shown to have a major influence on how we age, specifically on whether we will develop Alzheimer’s symptoms or not.
– This is so because stimulating activities, ideally combining physical exercise, learning and social interaction, help us build a Cognitive Reserve to protect us.
– The earlier we start building our Reserve, the better; but it is never too late to start. And, the more activities, the better: the effect is cumulative.
Living for the moment might bring temporary satisfaction but living for the moment in place of sustained learning – in place of participating in hobbies that expand the mind, could lead to an early exit from the “thrill” of the moment to a place down the road where you don’t remember who family members and loved ones are, or who you are.
Stay mentally active – Keeping your brain active can help fend off dementia and Alzheimer’s. Engaging in activities that challenge your mind helps strengthen the connections in your brain, and can create new connections and even generate new brain cells. Research has shown that those who more frequently engage in “brain-stimulating activities,” such as reading, doing crossword puzzles, or playing a musical instrument, were found have less amyloid in the brain, a protein that has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Whether we’ll be able to go from a place where nearly every moment of our lives is consumed by electronic, media and technocratic forms of diversions to one where we choose to tune out the mindless distractions and turn on to sustained learning opportunities such as: reading, learning to play a musical instrument, painting, conversation, writing, quilting, sewing, woodworking, acting in a theater, photography and more is a very tall order. But the flip side of not doing these things is taking a sobering walk through any assisted living facility to witness how dementia and alzheimer’s can ravage the lives of the person suffering from it and the lives of their loved ones.
In addition to the sustained learning activities that one can do, there are other means provided to us that can curb, and possibly eliminate a future where one no longer knows who they are and, in fact, have lost their minds.
Photo Credit (front page): By Allan Ajifo [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Unsplash.com/@ismaelnieto
Photo Credit: Unsplash.com/@eduardo_mekmuffin
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be used in place of the advice of a healthcare professional. Always consult a doctor or your trusted health guru if you have health concerns.