As we age, we all notice short-term memory loss – it is a natural side effect of aging. It can be increased with injury, stress, or as a side effect of drug use. The good news is that you can actually improve your memory – try these Life Hacks:
- Work on Sharpening the Mind You Have.Your mind responds well to regular exercise. Stimulate it with learning how to do new things – this forms new neural pathways and grows connections to existing pathways.
- Learn a new musical instrument
- Take up Sudoku or Crossword puzzles (this won’t work as well if you’ve always done puzzles – it needs to be a new skill that you are learning)
- Take a Language Class – specifically a conversational class because of number 2.
- Get into Relationship with People. Relationships stimulate your brain by challenging it unpredictably, in conversations and debates. This forces you to stay alert and engaged. The Harvard School of Public Health researchers found evidence that elderly people who have an active social life may have a slower rate of memory decline than those who are isolated. Not only do they have slower memory loss, they also have a slower mortality rate.
- Use mnemonics. Attach a word to an object. An example of mnemonics is the lines on the musical staff: Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (E, G, B, D, F) or the order of math operations: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiply, Divide, Add, and Subtract)
- Laugh a lot. When you laugh, it engages multiple areas of the brain. Psychologist Daniel Goleman writes in his book Emotional Intelligence, that “laughter seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely.”
- Eat Brain Food. Fish and natural foods like soybeans and flaxseed all are rich in omega-3s. Fruits and veggies have antioxidants that protect your brain cells from damage by free radicals. Limit fatty, processed foods or refined sugar. Have a glass of red wine with dinner because it contains antioxidants and resveratrol, a polyphenol that may help protect the lining of blood vessels and increase levels of good cholesterol.
- Exercise. Any kind of physical activity will increase blood flow to your brain and improve function. Stretch when you get up and do 30 minutes of brisk walking, cycling, or dancing, three times a week.
- Lastly, Get Plenty of Sleep. Your brain performs best with adequate sleep. The precise amount your body needs varies, but the important thing is to establish a similar pattern and healthy routine. This creates better rest. Shoot for seven to nine uninterrupted hours.
Do you have a mnemonic that you use, frequently?
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Rolf Kramer, REALTOR®, ABR, SRES, e-PRO 757-564-4455 Licensed in Virginia with Liz Moore and Associates, 5350 Discovery Park Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23188 Williamsburg has become a Mecca for retirees over the past dozen years because of its history, charm, vacation amenities, proximity to major cities and airports, and affordable cost of living. Check out www.retiringinwilliamsburg.com for information about the Williamsburg community, lifestyles available, and search for homes for sale.