Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thanks for the Memory

What Do You Remember?         

          You know how I love books. I think of the brain as the Library of Congress. How much information we encounter every day of our lives is overwhelming. There’s no way to really know all that you know. Conversely, there’s a ton of stuff we can’t seem to remember. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a library’s worth of information, be it important, entertaining or nostalgic. Why is it we can remember where we were the first time we heard the song Louie Louie but we can’t remember what we had for lunch yesterday? Or why can’t I remember the safe place I put that thing I wanted to be sure not to lose?

          There is a significant amount of scientific data as to why we have trouble remembering stuff, but, in my opinion, it’s pretty boring data. I guarantee there are several easy and fun ways to improve your ability to routinely remember more than you currently do, regardless of whether you’re a senior citizen or younger, and I'll share a few of those in a moment.

Woo Woo Questions

          Besides the practical, there are a couple of ‘woo woo’ things to consider first. To me ‘woo woo’ means touchy feely or sort of psychological things that might impact our ability to remember something.

          The first thing is having the right attitude. Do you really want to remember? A friend of mine needed some help learning something on his computer but he’d repeatedly have to be shown how to do what he needed to accomplish. He was frustrated and, as it turns out, any work with a computer made him feel unqualified and not capable of doing the simplest of tasks. He kept throwing his hands up in despair and opted for a different, less electronic way to accomplish his task. While he felt he couldn’t remember what I’d shown him, in truth, he didn’t see the value of doing this task on the computer to begin with. So, be sure to ask yourself: How important is it for me to remember this? And, do I really want to remember this?

          The second woo woo question I ask is: Who is telling me to remember? If it’s a grouchy spouse or the ghost of a cranky teacher or parent, there is a good chance you won’t let whatever it is really sink in enough to remember it in the future. However, the opposite might be true as well: the experience may have been so unpleasant you’ll never forget it! I’m sure you’ll be able to tell the difference.

                   Now, before we get to the fun stuff, here’s a little sidebar. I believe the
                   same techniques that will help you remember stuff will also help improve
                   you hearing, if that’s a problem for you. Test it out and see if it works.

Suggestions for Remembering

          Okay, where was I? Oh, right, practical suggestions for exercising your memory muscle. It’s no surprise that reducing stress, eating a healthy diet, playing stimulating games and getting sufficient sleep all contribute to your ability to remember things. Here are a few other suggestions you might not be aware of. Some may seem a bit wacky, but different things work for different people, so reserve judgment please.

           - Smell some rosemary or get some rosemary oil. It contains eucalyptol which
                    stimulates memory.

           - Laughter. I think of laughter as cerebral exercise, it cleans out the cobwebs
                    and stimulates all parts of the brain not just those parts related with
                    specific activities.

          - Getting a grip: clenching your right fist right before you want to remember
                    something and then clenching your left fist when you need to recall it
                    (Google this for more info)

           - Acronyms:  Such as: KPS, KPS, KPS
                   – whenever I leave the house, it's keys,
                   phone, sunglasses

          - To remember someone's name when you
                   first meet them, picture their name
                   written across their forehead

           - When you wake up in the morning move your eyes from
                   side to side for just 30 seconds.  This will align the two
                   parts of your brain and make your memory work more

          - Say things you want to remember out loud.

          I hope you'll find one or more of these memory tips useful. After all, who doesn’t want to improve their memory? It’s not just seniors who forget things. And, like everything else, use it, or lose it!

Also check out:  Causes of Senior Moments?
You may contact me at antoniasseniormoments@hotmail.com or Antonia on Facebook


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