When you have a parent who has Alzheimer’s, getting forgetful is more than just a nuisance. It creates a mild panic within me.
The other day I was mailing letters and a package…got distracted with the package (automatic postal machine)…and I can not for the life of me remember what I did with the letters! I retraced my steps, looked in the car, even checked the garbage. No sign of them! I had no memory of mailing the letters…which, apparently, I did. Some were bills and I double-checked to see they had been delivered.
Those are the moments when multi-tasking gets a little scary.
Anyway…I found a great article on AOL news about memory tips. Simple to do and very helpful. I posted it quickly before I forgot!
Can’t remember where you put your keys or what you had for breakfast? Before you panic, keep in mind that age-related memory loss is not totally inevitable! There are actually many things you can do to keep your brain sharp as a tack when you’re 87.
Studies show that, as with your old laptop, the brain loses memory ability when there’s a lack of storage space (i.e. why you can remember all the lyrics to Madonna’s “Like a Virgin,” but can’t remember where you parked your car). Short of a mental spam folder, however, there are a few things you can do to make the memory space you’ve got left function more efficiently.
The Two-Word Trick
Turns out, if you believe you can remember something, you may actually have better memory recall. By saying “Remember this!” you’re actually actively creating a memory with two little words. The next time you need to remind yourself of something, try saying “Remember this: The telephone bill is on the fridge,” and the act itself will help remind you. Attitude really is everything — studies show that adults who just accept memory loss as a part of aging have been shown to be more forgetful than those who don’t.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
Stressed? Chances are you’re also forgetful. People who are chronically fried are more likely to develop cognitive impairment. Cortisol, the hormone produced in times of high stress, interferes with memory formation. So, taking time to breathe and relax when frantically searching for your earrings may actually help you find them next time. Proven stress-management techniques like exercise and yoga can keep your memories and your body healthy.
Try a Java Jolt
Do you find your performance and memory lag around 4 p.m.? You’re not alone. Studies show that memory recall in the morning lags by late afternoon. The answer? Take a coffee break! A study from the University of Arizona has shown that not only is a nice afternoon latte a welcome change of pace, but it may also boost your memory.
Surround yourself with a vibrant social circle, and chances are your brain will stay vibrant, too. Studies from the Harvard School of Public Health found evidence that people who have an active social life may have a slower rate of memory decline. Make good friends now, and with any luck, you’ll still remember their names when you’re 90.
Tomorrow…a few more tips to jog the memory. Assuming I remember to post them.