If you’ve been reading our blogs, you know that we at REM believe in the importance of socialization. Talking with your peers and maintaining relationships through all stages of life are important parts of mental health. If you cut yourself off from the world around you, your brain will take the cue. Think of your brain like a muscle – if you don’t use it, it will atrophy.
When we say mental health, we mean it in a couple ways. By using your brain, by having an active social life, you will not only fight feelings or possibilities of depression, but you may also have an effect on dementia. According to Psychology Today:
“…There has been accumulating evidence that socializing is good for your brain health. People who connect with others generally perform better on tests of memory and other cognitive skills. And, in the long run, people with active social lives are less likely to develop dementia than those who are more socially isolated.”
We’ve written about socialization and brain training in regards to hearing aids before (you can find old blogs here and here). In those blogs we get into specifics, but the main takeaway is the difference between hearing and listening. Hearing aids will not only help you hear, but also help you listen. Struggling to listen, to comprehend speech in noise, can be a burden on your brain and your mental well being. But with the ability to hear, you can practice and improve your listening skills. You can – essentially – work out your brain.
Other than hearing aids, you can use services such as LACE to help tune your comprehension. LACE is training program “designed to retrain the brain to comprehend speech up to 40 percent better in difficult listening situations.”
Always remember, the ability to hear is only the first step. You hear with your ears, but it is your brain that decodes the information. It’s up to you, and the tools at your disposal, to train your brain towards a healthier future.