Where Are My Keys? 3 Tips to Improve Your Memory
By Emily Battaglia, LifeScript Staff Writer
Do you constantly misplace your car keys, forget appointments and can’t remember what you were about to say to someone a second earlier? Don’t blame it on a “bad memory” – there’s no such thing. A memory isn’t bad, it’s just not exercised properly. Because there’s no cure for age-related memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, it’s essential to keep your mind strong. So whether you want to improve your memory now or preserve it for the future, exercise your memory “muscle” with these 3 memory-boosting tips. Plus: Are you smart about sleep?
The Health Influence
When you take proper care of your overall health, your brain – and your memory – function at their best.
Eating healthy by incorporating antioxidant-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and fish into your diet helps protect your brain cells and fights off age-related memory loss.
In addition to eating right, getting your eight hours of sleep also has a positive influence on the brain’s ability to focus, so get enough shuteye even if you’re busy. Exercising daily is also good for your brain in a couple of ways:
- Exercise increases circulation, which in turn helps your body pump nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to your brain. Adequate blood flow to the brain is also necessary for nerve cell growth.
- Exercise also reduces stress, which otherwise negatively affects your long-term memory because cortisol, the stress hormone, limits the number of cells in the hippocampus, the area of the brain where memory is stored.
- Not only is daily exercise effective in reducing those stress levels, it also increases the production of endorphins. These feel good hormones are released when you exercise, and have also been shown to sharpen the memory.
If you’re looking for a natural supplement to help increase your memory, try ginkgo biloba. This herb has been shown to benefit those who suffer from age-related memory loss, as well as Alzheimer’s disease, and has also been shown to increase blood circulation to the brain and sharpen concentration. Phosphatidyl serine, an amino acid, is also known for its ability to improve mental performance and nerve connections to the brain. You can find both of these supplements in our Neuro Pro pill by taking our Free Personalized Vitamin Profile.
Memory works when brain cells make connections to other brain cells, building synapses, or “contact points.” These connections can be strengthened in a variety of ways, and a great way to reinforce these synapses is to use associations related to your senses like touch, taste as well as emotions.
Think about it. You always forget phone numbers and items on a grocery list, but you can always recall the way your first love smelled or every word of the conversation you had before you said goodbye to a loved one.
If a smell or emotion doesn’t come naturally to a memory, create one on your own. For example, try smelling an onion from your fridge to remind yourself to pick up a new one at the store. If one connection fails, you can always fall back on another connection like a taste or touch. Research has actually shown that arming yourself with a variety of associations protects against memory loss.
When you learn something new, try to link this new knowledge with other knowledge you’ve acquired that relates to the new information. Always challenging yourself to learn something new also does wonders for your memory. If you’re prone to losing items like keys around your house, an easy way to save time and frustration is to designate specific spots for each item.
Reduce Brain Clutter
It’s easy to forget the small stuff when you are overwhelmed with task upon task. To improve your memory, make a list. Getting the info out of your brain and onto paper will help ease stress, and the less stress you feel, the more you’ll be able to concentrate. Lists also make your tasks seem that much more tangible.
- Try to really understand the material instead of just memorizing it. You’re more likely to remember the information.
- Your brain learns better in short cycles, so if you’re trying to memorize information for a test or for a speech, rather than sitting down for hours at a time going over the information in your head, break up the time.
- If you’re memorizing a list, continuously mix up the items because people tend to remember only the first and last items.
- Use mnemonics such as rhyming and acronyms. Remember ROY G. BIV? He’s an acronym representing the spectrum of visible colors. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.) Acronyms like this can help you relate to important data, and it’ll stay with you for a lifetime.
Are You Smart About Sleep?
Do you wake up feeling rested on most days of the week, or are you just not a morning person? Getting a good night's sleep affects every aspect of your day, including your mood and your ability to be productive. And if that doesn't get your attention, listen up: Your sleep habits can even affect the number on the scale.
To dream anything that you want to dream. That is the beauty of of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do.That is the strength of the human will. To trust youself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.
"Yesterday is but a vision, and tomorrow is only a dream. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a dream of hope."
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not;nothing is more common than unsucessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always and always will solve the problems of the human race."
"Accept triumph and defeat with equal grace."
Would you sell both your eyes for a million dollars... or your two legs... or your hands... or your hearing? Add up what you have, and you’ll find that you wouldn’t sell it for all the gold in the world.”
Dale Carnegie, 1888-1955
American Motivational Author
If people offer their help or wisdom as you go through life, accept it gratefully. You can learn much from those who have gone before you.
But never be afraid or hesitant to step off the accepted path and head off in your own direction, if your heart tells you that it’s the right way for you.
Always believe that you will ultimately succeed at whatever you do, and never forget the value of persistence, discipline, and determination.
You are meant to be whatever you dream of becoming.”
Thank you very much Dr and all.
My respects, Justice.
THE WOLVES WITHIN
An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice. "Let me tell you a story..."
"I too, at times, have felt great hate for those who have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It's like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times."
"It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way."
"But ... the other wolf ... ah! The littlest thing will send him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all of the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing."
"Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather ?"
The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."
~ A Native American Tale Told Many Times Around the Sacred Fire ~
(Contributed by Jim who lives in Galena, Illinois.
When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. And if perchance you see no reason for giving thanks, rest assured the fault is in yourself.”
Shawnee Indian Chief
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE LUNCH BREAK
Do you take a lunch break? If you don’t, you might want to reconsider because there are definitely health advantages to taking a breather away from work at lunchtime. Of course, to a degree, the need may very well depend on the demands of your job. Jobs that take acute concentration, like an air traffic controller, demand more “break” time than say a night watchman in a factory does. The more intense and demanding the job, the more necessary it is to take breaks!
A recent survey found that 60% of the respondents eat lunch at their desks and less than 10% take a full hour or more. It appears that the lunch break is becoming a thing of the past. If you find yourself among those who don’t break away for lunch, you may be doing yourself more harm than good. The professionals seem to agree that it is absolutely beneficial to take a lunch break. It’s good for your brain as well as your spirit. For example, researchers believe that one of the reasons that we sleep at night is that our brains need the downtime in order to rest and repair themselves. A lunch break gives your brain a similar opportunity. And emotionally, the lunch break provides you with time to get away from the cognitive demands of your job, relax a bit and recharge your emotional batteries. I think taking a lunch break should be part of everybody’s wellness program. Just make sure you’re eating healthy during that lunch break!
~Dr. John H. Sklare~