What’s The Best Job In The World That’ll Keep Your Brain In Top Shape In Your 60’s?
The answer to this title-question would seem like it’s a no brainer. Of course, it’s doing something you love and getting highly compensated for it. Plain and simple. right? But wait … recent studies have shown that what you choose to do for a living could have a strong influence on your mental acumen or sharpness of perception as you grow older.
What the research says:
It’s funny. We go about running after college degrees and chasing careers without so much as a pause to ask ourselves how our career choices will affect us when we’re old and gray. Research studies are beginning to say that careers requiring more mental complexity (surgeons, lawyers, civil and mechanical engineers, astronauts, writers, etc.) could help protect our brains from deterioration as we get to be senior citizens. People with mentally demanding jobs stand a better chance of having better memory in old age, the studies further indicated. In other words, if you had decided to pursue a career as an executioner, bringing death convicts to the gallows, you won’t stand a ghost of a chance that your memory and other mental faculties would still be in good shape when you’re in your late sixties (or, perhaps, with such a job, it’s all for the better).
Other things you should do to keep your faculties working in your old age.
Seriously, these emerging clusters of information should help us choose our careers wisely. Obviously there are a lot of other things we could do to protect our minds as we grow older. Among these, research has cited getting regular exercise, learning new things, engaging in a lot of social interaction, living a more mentally and interesting lifestyle along with a complex career choice. All these have been associated to much better cognitive abilities during the latter part of our lives.
“Cognitive Reserve”: How does this work?
The specific mechanisms that work behind this protective shield is not yet fully understood. Some researchers and psychologists who have delved into this subject are saying the mental stimulation that happens when people perform complex jobs helps build up what they call “Cognitive Reserve”. This then aids in protecting the brain against the bad effects of aging and the pathological results of diseases which may occur over time. Others suggest that the factors that were pre-existing and which draw people to such mentally engaging work in the first place, are the very same elements that protect the brain from the ravages of time. What seems to be accepted with reasonable and rational conclusion is that complex jobs protect aging brains.
So, if you’re thinking of walking dogs in the park as a career choice, think again!