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Why am I writing about Memory?
Memory is a very important part of our existence. Without memory, you will be at loss of words, may not be able to remember or recall what you did yesterday or today, what you ate, who you spoke to, what you spoke or many more things that you probably can’t imagine. I will discuss here 2 such cases to drive home the point.
A few days ago, I happened to visit a lady who had an accident with a head injury and concussion. This lady did not remember about the accident or anything about where she was for the past few days [she’s admitted in a hospital for 18 days with history of unconscious and bleeding from nose and ears].
She was very confused and agitated because she felt as if she was in the hospital for 6 months and nobody was telling her what actually happened! So, you see what happens if we lose our memory. This can be a short-term loss or a long-term one. The lady had a subarachnoid hemorrhage that was putting pressure on her brain!
And then are times when there is a decline in cognition due to aging or some brain illness like Parkinson’s disease.
Now hear about this case. A 76-year-old man was recently brought to my clinic by his son and wife with complaints of forgetfulness, repeating same things over and over again, not able to remember who these people were etc. This person could not remember that he had eaten a few minutes ago and was asking his wife to serve his meal again! Now, this is a case of classical Alzheimer’s disease. Here it is difficult to get his memory back.
But you need not be worried about getting Alzheimer’s. All you have to do is follow the tips I am sharing in this article.
So, how should you go about retaining our memory?
There are many different ways to sharpen your memory and increase focus. From meditation to checkers, there are a wide variety of activities that may help keep you on track and give you a sharper mind.
Even if you feel like your memory is declining or that it’s no good as it used to be, you can take steps to improve it, get more focused and have better recall.
Hi, I am Dr. Rao. I have previously written articles on Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. In these articles I have written about what causes these conditions and how to tackle them.
In this present article we will pay attention to improving memory as well as increasing focus so that you don’t develop Dementia or Alzheimer’s in future.
Memory and focus are skills that can be learned and improved with practice. No matter who you are or what you do, anyone can benefit from an improved ability to remember details, concentrate on the task at hand and focus on the present moment rather than worrying about tomorrow or dwelling on yesterday. Starting from an early age of say, 25 years, if you practice these natural techniques, you will easily overcome age related memory hurdles.
These natural techniques have been shown to sharpen the mind, improve memory retention and increase focus:
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment. It can be done sitting, standing or lying down, using any method that helps you slow your breathing and brings your attention to the here and now.
This simple practice trains the mind to be less distracted and to focus better. Practicing mindfulness can help you stay in the now, focused on what you’re doing, rather than worrying about the past or future.
It has been shown to improve attention, reduce depression, improve focus, reduce anxiety and help with a variety of other mental health issues like sleep disorders and eating disorders.
Play brain games
There are many different kinds of brain games you can play, whether online or offline. Some studies have shown that playing brain games can actually increase grey matter in the brain and improve your memory. Some of the best brain games to play include: –
- solving crossword puzzles,
- word searches,
- sudoku puzzles,
- works of logic,
- checkers and other board games,
- playing musical instruments and
- even games like solitaire. .
Any activity that challenges your brain is a good brain game. You can also try your hand at playing Sequence or solving Wordle to improve your memory as well as to increase your focus.
Meditation has become very popular in recent years as both a beginner’s guide and a therapeutic approach to improving focus and reducing anxiety.
There are many different types of meditation and techniques that vary depending on the person and the type of meditation they practice. Meditation is a practice in which a person trains their mind to be less distracted and stay more focused.
Most types of meditation involve focusing on your breath or another thing like a sound or a phrase. This trains your brain to be less distracted and to focus better overall.
I have read this book [and I still do] to help me meditate-Practical Meditation for Beginners by Benjamin W. Decker. If you have Amazon Kindle account, you can read it for free or listen to it if you have an Audible account.
Eat a brain-healthy diet
There is no magic pill for improving your memory, but there are some simple ways to improve your diet that can help.
One of the best ways to improve your memory and sharpen your mind is to eat a diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats are found in foods like salmon, sardines, walnuts, chia seeds and other foods.
Not only will they improve your memory and help you stay focused, but they are also good for your heart health and immune system.
It’s also important to eat foods rich in B vitamins, like whole grains, fish, chicken, nuts and vegetables to get enough vitamin B in your diet. This vitamin is essential for improving memory, especially when you’re stressed.
If you feel you’re not getting enough B vitamins in your diet, consider taking a B vitamin supplement.
Practice Good Habits Every Day
This might seem counterintuitive, but it’s true: you can improve your memory by forming better habits and breaking bad ones. When you form new habits, you’re actually changing the way your brain works. This is called neuroplasticity and it means that your brain is always changing and growing.
By forming good habits, like writing down a to-do list every day, setting aside time for reading, exercising or meditating and sleeping well, you can train your brain to get more focused and be less distracted by worries about the future or regrets about the past.
Exercise Your Brain
Exercising your brain is different from working out your muscles. Instead of doing a specific activity, you’re challenging your brain to work in different ways.
There are many different ways to exercise your brain, from reading challenging books to playing difficult puzzles. You can even make a game out of learning a new language or studying a new subject.
Exercising your brain is a great way to improve your memory, stay focused and reduce stress. It’s also a good way to keep your mind young by growing new neural pathways.
Here is another good book which I read to help me sharpen my memory-Keep Your Brain Alive by Lawrence C. Katz.
It is also called a Neurobic Exercise Book. It is somewhat similar to physical exercise called Aerobics.
Get Enough Sleep
Experts say that you always sleep like a baby when you do. Getting enough sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and is especially important for sharpening your memory. Your memory is actually pretty weak when you’re awake, so it rests while you sleep.
During sleep, your body and brain are actively repairing and restoring your body, including your brain. Sleep is also when your brain consolidates memories, making them stronger and easier to recall in the future. Getting enough sleep (about eight hours a night) is one of the best things you can do to improve your memory and stay focused.
However, how much you sleep depends on person to person and his daily job/work and it varies from 5 to 10 hours. Personally speaking, I sleep for 5 to 6 hours which is good enough to recharge me fully.
Learn Something New
Learning new things is the best way to keep your brain young, healthy and sharp. While there are many things you can do to improve your memory now, there is no better way to keep your brain healthy and sharp long-term than by learning new things.
Learning new skills, like playing an instrument or a sport, or taking up a new hobby like woodworking, reading poetry or photography will help keep your brain healthy and active. As you learn new things, you create new pathways in your brain and challenge yourself to grow new neurons.
Playing video games also sharpens your memory and focusing skills although you should do it sparingly as these games are very addictive.
This is a great way to improve your memory and stay focused. And if you can make it a habit to learn something new every year, you’ll keep actively growing your brain for the rest of your life.
Practice Memorization Skills
It’s important to not only strengthen your mental muscles but also challenge yourself and push yourself to grow and improve.
One of the best ways to do this is to memorize things like poetry, lines from a play or even a list of items. Practicing memorization is a great way to improve your focus, strengthen your mental muscles and even improve your confidence.
You don’t have to memorize something famous or long to benefit from this practice. You can even memorize grocery lists or to-do lists by writing them down, visualizing them and repeating them over and over again until you remember them.
Learn a New Language
Learning a new language is a great way to challenge your brain and stay sharp. You don’t have to master a language, even being fluent in one new language can help improve your memory.
Learning a foreign language works your brain in a similar way that puzzles, or word games do. It’s a great way to improve your memory and stay focused.
Moreover, learning a new language is a great way to open yourself up to new cultures and new ways of thinking. It’s a practice in being open to new ideas and new ways of thinking, which is one of the best ways to keep your brain healthy and active.
Useful Resource- read this or watch video-
You can watch this video of the same link here-
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and I sincerely hope that these tips will help you to improve your memory as you age. If anyone has any queries/questions, be sure to drop it in the subscription/suggestions box.
The topic for my next article is Cancer Basics, where we will learn what cancer is, what causes it and what are the various investigations being done to diagnose it.
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