Memory

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Experts Reveal 5 Simple Ways To Improve Your Memory

Experts Reveal 5 Simple Ways To Improve Your Memory


Are you a forgetful person? Does your mind tend to discard lists, numbers, dates, names, or faces? Do you often forget appointments or pre-planned events? Have you sometimes found yourself merely not knowing what’s going on at any given time, despite knowing before? Today, we are sharing five easy ways to help you to improve your memory.

If you said yes to any of those, you might have a bad memory! Luckily, memory issues don’t have to be permanent, and you can learn to sharpen your mind and prevent cognitive problems. Here’s how experts reveal five simple ways to improve your memory.

1.    Learn Memory Techniques

There are a lot of different tips and tricks for memorizing certain things. Some of these tips and tricks might even expand into something that retain information long-term! If you’re looking to improve your memory, these techniques are the go-tos. Here are five of them:

·         Make Connections

Form connections between new information and information you already had. For example, if you are trying to remember your parking bay of H44, think about your friend, whose name starts with an H and is 44 years old. Connecting the new knowledge to something you already have memorized perfectly makes it much easier for you to remember it later. According to Mount Sinai School of Medicine assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and memory enhancement program founder Cynthia R. Green, Ph.D., who is also an author and the president of Memory Arts.

·         Simplify

It’s effortless for the brain to forget vast amounts of information that all come at you at once. Green recommends that you break down what you receive into manageable, smaller chunks of information that you can memorize one by one and put together later if needed.

·         Create Pictures or Movies

When you have something to remember, try to create a memory picture or a memory movie about it. For example, if you need to remember to buy five boxes of cake mix, imagine five cakes stacked precariously on top of each other. If you need to remember the name Rick, attach the person’s face to the image of Rick and Morty in your mind!

·         Review, Don’t Repeat

Reading the same thing over and over again doesn’t have a positive effect on how much information from it you retain. Instead, you want to review or “retrieve” the memory you have from the first reading if you want the memory to be long term. Memory researcher and University of Louisville professor Keith Lyle, Ph.D. recommends thinking about what you length at regular intervals, with the gaps increasing in size each time. This is much more likely to result in retention than simply relearning everything several times over.

·         Tell A Story

The storytelling technique involves taking a list of information and making them into a story, says Green. It’s the memory picture or memory movie technique expanded. For example, to remember the words “green, truck, violin, duck,” you might imagine a green truck driving by a duck playing the violin.

2.    Hack Your Memory

Hacking your memory isn’t as fancy as it sounds. It merely refers to the ability to use different actions and environmental factors to improve your memory in certain areas. Not sure what we mean? Here are some ideas:

·         Make Memory Spots

In your home, office, or other commonly frequented places, designate a particular spot as your memory spot. It’s where you will put all the things you typically forget, like your keys, your wallet, or your phone charger. It can take some getting used to, but Green suggests putting it into practice. Get used to putting items easily forgotten in these memory spots and visit those spots so you can check if you’ve forgotten anything. The next time you lose something, it’ll be waiting in that spot!

·         Exercise Your Brain

The brain needs to work out, just like the rest of the body, to stay healthy, says Gouras. Regular mental stimulation through puzzles, tests, and the act of learning new knowledge can help reduce cognitive decline’s effects. Over time, it will sharpen your memory and have positive impacts on brainpower. Think of it as a kind of mental training!

·         Write Things Down

Sure, technically, writing something down means you don’t have to remember it, but it’s an excellent way to practice building your memory. It ensures that you do remember what you have to do, letting you practice more memory retention in the future, says Lyle. The act of writing things can also make it easier for some people to commit things to memory – even more so than typing things out, according to studies!

3.    Cut Down On Some Foods

Did you know that certain foods can harm your memory? Through several components, these foods can damage the brain’s natural ability to remember things, often affecting parts of the brain permanently in the long run. Here are some food components to avoid:

·         Carbohydrates

Not all carbs are bad. The ones that can have a negative effect on your memory are the refined kinds. Think of white bread, white rice, white pasta, cereal, and baked goods. These all have a high glycemic index and are digested by the body at a swift rate, causing blood sugar spikes. These carbohydrates can all lead to an increased risk of cognitive function, including dementia and other forms of cognitive decline, according to studies.

·         Sugar

Added sugar has many downsides, but mostly it’s been linked to all sorts of chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Unfortunately, one of the conditions that it has been linked to is cognitive decline. Eating a lot of sugar can shrink the volume of your brain, especially the part responsible for short-term memory, according to research.

·         Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels can increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, especially at a younger age than typical. This is according to Weill Medical College professor of neurology and neuroscience and Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research adjunct professor Gunnar Gouras, MD. The consumption of statins, which can lower harmful cholesterol, has been linked in studies to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s development.

·         Alcohol

High alcohol consumption has been known to lead to many health problems, but binge drinking is especially worrying for the brain. This is because the natural neurotoxicity of alcohol can affect the brain’s hippocampus, which is responsible for many memory-related functions. The memory-shortening effects of alcohol are effective immediately when one becomes intoxicated, and excessively falling into a drunken state can be the cause for eventual permanent memory decline. It’s OK to have a drink once in a while, especially in a positive environment, but do so responsibly!

4.    Add More Of Some Foods

Just like you need to cut down on some consumables to improve your memory, there are some foods you need to add more of. Here are some that the experts recommend!

·         Eat A Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean diets have been known for years as a memory-boosting, brain-protecting, heart-healthy eating plan. This is likely due to the types of foods involved and their rich vitamin, mineral, and nutritional component content. If possible, try to incorporate aspects of a Mediterranean diet into your daily meals, suggests research.

·         Take Enough B Vitamins

B12 and other B vitamins play a significant role in positive memory functions in the brain. A lack of them can even lead to cognitive decline. Green states that the older you get, the more complicated your body may find it to absorb dietary B vitamins. Make sure you’re getting enough folic acid, B6, and B12. If you need to, you may want to take a supplement, but talk to your doctor about it first!

·         Take Enough Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights against free radicals and works to break down fatty substances and cholesterol buildup. It may also help bring down inflammation. With all these factors combined, vitamin E can slow or prevent the onset of cognitive decline and brain issues caused by inflammation, promising more positive memory strength. According to Gouras, you should try to get around 400 IU of daily vitamin E.

·         Get Enough Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fatty fish, fish oils, and healthy fat sources, are essential for many bodily functions. This includes cardiovascular health, positive thinking and mood, and even inflammation. On top of that, it has been found to be able to reduce mental decline. Most foods with lots of omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be brain foods for a reason, after all!

·         Stay Hydrated

The brain is full of water; in fact, 85% of it is just water alone! A lack of hydration can cause fatigue and brain fog, potentially affecting your memory in the long run with chronic dehydration. Make sure you’re drinking at least eight glasses of water daily and that you drink water as soon as you feel thirsty.

·         Try Some Ginkgo

Ginkgo is a herb that has been found to have scientific links to brain cell enrichment, meaning it can keep the mind healthy while boosting circulation throughout the body. Just make sure you consult a doctor before going through with supplementation!

5.    Manage Your Mental Health

Mental health and positive thinking can play a huge role in whether your memory stays sharp or not. Those who experience chronic or frequent anxiety and stress have a heightened level of the stress hormone cortisol in their body. A lot of cortisol production means the body goes into fight vs. flight mode, and this means directing energy to your body staying alive, not to more satisfactory brain function. Green explains that this pattern may affect the hippocampus, damage sleep ability, and even directly affect your ability to retain memories.

On top of that, did you know that depression and cognitive impairment have been linked by research? In fact, according to Grouras, many times, depression can be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease! Many people who are very depressed can completely forget some moments of their life.

If you think you are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, or chronic stress, seek mental health aid from a therapist, counselor, or similar qualified professional.

Final Thoughts On Some Simple Ways To Improve Your Memory

Memory problems can range from inconvenient to frightening. Luckily, you can learn tips, methods, and habits that will slowly improve your memory over time until you’re a sharp-minded machine! Of course, note that if you think that your memory problems are degenerative or severe, you should speak to a doctor for an opinion.

Health

When Memory Lane Disappears: 7 Early Signs of Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease

When Memory Lane Disappears: 7 Early Signs of Dementia or


When Memory Lane Disappears: 7 Early Signs of Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease

There are more than 44 million people worldwide living with some sort of dementia, including Alzheimer’s. Are you worried about your memory or a loved one’s memory? About 5 percent of people with dementia develop symptoms before they turn 65.

Memory problems are known to be common as we age, but that doesn’t make them less heartbreaking. Look for these early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

1. Forgetting Relevant and Recent Events

It’s probably the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially early on. The person will start forgetting something that just happened.  The person may start to forget things like relevant dates, events, and daily tasks.

The person will start relying more on family members for things he or she used to remember. It’s not uncommon for an older person to begin forgetting a few things like appointments or names, but typically, he will remember later.

2. Changes to Personality and Mood

It’s common as we age to get very specific in the ways we want to do things and to get irritable when that routine is interrupted. However, those with Alzheimer’s can start to change their mood and personalities. The person starts to become depressed, fearful, anxious, suspicious, and confused. 

They can easily become upset when out of their comfort zone whether they are at work, home, or with friends. The person may want to stay at home more because of fear or depression. 

3. Poor Choices and Decisions

It’s not uncommon for people to make bad decisions every once and a while, especially as they age. Some people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia will start making bad choices with things like money. Others start making bad choices with hygiene and stop grooming and keeping clean.

For example, someone with early symptoms of dementia may give large amounts of money away to telemarketers when they used to be frugal with their finances. If the person used to be clean and all of sudden starts to smell or look dirty, it’s time to start investigating.

4. Losing Track of Time

In addition to forgetting things that just happened, the person may start to forget where he is and how he got there. It’s not uncommon to forget what day of the week it is sometimes, but typically, someone without dementia can figure it out quickly. A person with dementia has a hard time understanding something that is not happening at the current moment.

A person with dementia starts losing track of the passage of time including dates and season. She may not remember how old she is and starts talking about the past like it is current. 

5. Unable to Solve Problems

It’s normal for someone to need help from time to time on simple problems like recording a show. Someone with dementia can start to find it hard to solve daily tasks like driving to a known location, remembering rules, keeping track of monthly bills, and managing typical tasks at work.

A person with dementia may take longer to do simple tasks. It may hard for the person to complete simple math problems.

6. Withdrawing Socially

It’s not uncommon to sometimes feel weary of social obligations or work. Someone with dementia may start avoiding social situations and failing to finish work assignments. She may start removing herself from hobbies or other activities she used to enjoy.

A person with dementia may have trouble remembering how to do a favorite hobby, so he avoids being social because it is not as enjoyable. 

7.  Struggling to Hold a Conversation

Sometimes people struggle to find the right word when holding a conversation, but someone with dementia has a hard time following or joining a conversation. This person tends to repeat the same stories or start calling people by the wrong name.

The person may stop mid-conversation and have no idea what to say next. She may start calling items by the wrong name.

Is This Just Mild Cognitive Impairment?

If you notice a notable decline in just one area like memory or thinking skills, this could just be the onset of aging and not dementia. Mild cognitive impairment should not prevent a person from being socially active and completing everyday tasks. 

Some people’s memory loss does not progress, so they do not get a wide range of dementia symptoms. It’s important to note any changes to the memory and watch for any progression. You should talk to your loved one’s doctor if you notice them struggling with something that used to be easy. 

Other Causes of Memory Loss

There are other medical problems that could cause memory loss, but some of these are treatable. Here are some possible explanations for memory loss that can be reversed:

  • Minor head traumas – even if the person didn’t lose consciousness
  • Medications – a combination or certain medications can cause confusion
  • Emotional disorders like depression, stress, and anxiety
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency- this vitamin maintains healthy nerve cells
  • Alcoholism – or mixing alcohol with certain medications
  • Hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid can cause thinking problems
  • Brain diseases – things like a brain tumor or an infection

When you first meet with a doctor, he or she will try to rule out any of these conditions. Make note of any medication changes before you visit the doctor. 

After the doctor rules out any of these causes, it will be time to explore options for dementia care. This includes future plans like finding a memory care facility such as Seasons Memory Care.

Benefits of Recognizing the Early Signs of Dementia

People getting the onset of dementia may experience all of these symptoms or several. The severity of these symptoms varies. This is why it is important to recognize the early signs of dementia—to start treatment as soon as possible.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia. Starting treatment early can help maintain independence for a longer time. The person can also have a voice to plan his or her future before memory loss worsens.

If you are worried about your health, you should never wait to see what happens. Check out our website for women’s health advice like symptoms you should not ignore.

Health

How Brain Training Games Boost Memory and Productivity

How Brain Training Games Boost Memory and Productivity


How Brain Training Games Boost Memory and Productivity

It may sound silly at first to hear that you can boost your memory and productivity just by playing brain training games, but Austrian researchers would disagree.

In February of 2018, a research center in Vienna published their findings – Dogs who play brain games have more energy and sharper minds.

But if dogs can benefit from playing a game or two, you can, too.

In fact, studies have shown that video games can help stroke victims increase their mobility.

How It Works

Your brain actually has the ability to keep changing throughout your life.

It’s called brain plasticity, and it refers to the growth of brain tissues when you undergo new physical or mental activities.

Just like working out to strengthen your muscles, you can actually exercise your brain to strengthen its cognitive abilities. Most of the time, brain training games work to improve your sensory perception. Sensory perception is what makes your brain so quick to process and digest information.

How much information and how fast that information can travel to the brain are important for developing a better memory and increasing productivity.

These games help in those areas by involving you in different scenarios where you have to remember things in order to complete a task. They also train you to recognize things you may not notice your first time around.

Used in combination with nootropics, your brain can really gain some memory and productivity skills (Check out this nootropics blog if you are interested in finding out the benefits of supplements that help your brain perform better).

Brain Training Games Examples

A good brain training game should have the ability to speed up your processing capabilities, improve your recognition functions, and teach you to ignore distractions like noises and people.

So what can you play?

Here are some examples of brain training games that work.

Escape Rooms

If you are a social person who likes group activity, you can try hosting an escape room party.

Escape rooms are incredibly popular with thrill-seekers, but few people realize that these life-size puzzles are actually good for your brain.

They require you to problem-solve and think critically. You also have to train your memory in trying to escape by remembering various clues you collect along the way.

Not only do you have to remember the clues you found, but the clues your peers found.

Escape rooms are sometimes locally provided, so be sure to look around in your area.

Trivia

Another game for the social butterfly – host a trivia night with your friends.

You can find loads of trivia questions online and have multiple categories so that you and your friends can test your brain’s knowledge across the board.

Not only is it a brain training game, but it’s also one of the better known team-building games.

What You Can Do

Beyond games, you can also learn more about your brain by researching online.

Several health blogs are available for you to start your research and find out more information on how to keep your brain in good condition.

Don’t let your brain down. Start playing!