Regularly reviewing your thoughts is good for mental health
London: Elderly people who regularly examine their thoughts, feelings and behaviors are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, a study has revealed.
A team led by researchers at University College London found that just 10 minutes of daily self-examination can lead to better mental performance and mental health, even though there is currently no cure for dementia.
Experts say the research findings could pave a way to reduce the risk of developing the disease through psychological treatments.
In the study, the team of researchers reviewed data from two clinical trials involving 259 people over the age of 70. The trials asked participants how much they tried to think about and understand their thoughts and feelings.
The findings, published in the journal Neurology, showed that people who observed more had better mental health, along with memory, attention and problem-solving skills.
The study’s lead author, Harriet Diemnitz-King, said there is growing evidence that positive psychological factors, such as a sense of purpose in life and a sense of duty, can reduce the risk of dementia.
They argued that anyone can engage in the process of self-observation and potentially increase the process because the process is not dependent on physical health or socioeconomic factors.
The researchers said it was unclear why personal observation had a protective effect. However, it may be associated with a sense of relaxation and reduced stress levels in the body or it may improve mental health.