10 Easy Ways to Boost Your Memory

Worried about fading brain power?
If you’re older than 27, you have good reason.

That’s the age when cognitive skills start to decline, according to new University of Virginia research. But while some changes in thinking and memory are inevitable as we age, the good news is that lifestyle seems to be able to blunt those effects — and keep many minds working sharply well into old age.

That’s reassuring, given headlines from the Alzheimer’s Association’s new annual report showing that every 70 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia). Debilitating memory loss doesn’t happen to everyone, though. Learn what you can do to preserve yours.memory .

Booster #1. Take the stairs

Exercise benefits your head as much as the rest of your body, a growing number of studies indicate. Overall cardiorespiratory fitness also lowers the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems — all known risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Theories on why that’s so range from improved blood flow to the brain to less brain shrinkage.

Experts recommend making regular aerobic workouts part of your routine. Failing that, it appears that even small efforts add up. So avoid elevators. Park at the far end of the parking lot. Start by walking around your block in the evenings, and add a few minutes more each day.

Memory Booster #2: Change your wallpaper

When doing routine things, the brain runs on autopilot. Novelty, on the other hand, literally fires up the brain as new data creates and works new neural pathways.

So shake up what you see and do every day: If your computer screen background is “invisible” to you, run a program that mixes it up every day or every hour. Take a different route home from work. Brush your teeth with your nondominant hand. Buy, borrow, or download a book that makes you think about new ideas.

Memory Booster #3. Steal some zzz’s by daylight

It’s while you’re sleeping that your brain sorts, consolidates, and stores memories accumulated during the day — that’s why eight hours at night is so valuable. But a mere six-minute nap is as valuable as a full night’s sleep to short-term recall, according to German research. And a 90-minute nap has been shown to speed up the process that helps the brain consolidate long-term memories.

Memory Booster #4. Take a mental “photograph”

Memories aren’t just stored in one spot in the brain; bits of data are processed and stored in different areas. To help make the memory of an incident last, take a “snapshot” of it while you’re in the moment, using all your senses. Look around and think about what you see. Notice colors and textures. What do you smell? If you’re eating or drinking (or kissing), what’s the taste?

This “mental camera” trick can help you hang onto a happy memory longer. But it can also help you remember where you parked your car.

Memory Booster #5. Eat less – Eat Right

After only 12 weeks, healthy volunteers (average age 60) who reduced their daily calories by 30 percent scored 20 percent better on memory tests, University of Munster (Germany) researchers reported in January. The possible reason: decreased levels of insulin, created when the body processes food, and of the inflammation-associated molecule C-reactive protein. Both factors are linked to improved memory function.

The people in the study were cautioned not to consume fewer than 1,200 calories a day. If cutting back on your diet by nearly a third seems too daunting, focus on eating less fat, meat, and dairy products. Earlier this year, Columbia University Medical Center researchers reported that in a long-term study of more than 1,300 participants, those with the highest adherence to a Mediterranean diet — rich in vegetables, legumes, fish, and monounsaturated oils (like olive oil) but low in fat, beef, and dairy — had the lowest risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.

Memory Booster #6. Try a “brain-training” game — or join a “brain gym”

The science is promising, if not conclusive, as to whether so-called brain-fitness software can actually improve memory. A study in the April 2009 *Journal of the American Geriatric Society* shows that people over 65 who used a computerized cognitive training program for an hour a day, over a period of eight weeks, improved memory and attention more than a control group.

Memory Booster #7. Spend some time online

Neuroscientist Gary Small, director of the UCLA Memory & Aging Center and author of *iBrain*, says searching the Web is a bit like using a brain-training course. His researchers used MRI to measure brain activity in Web users ages 55 to 76; the net-savvy users showed twice as much brain activity, especially regarding decision making.

Memory Booster #8. Stop and sip a cuppa

Green and black teas have a protective effect on memory, possibly by influencing enzymes in the brain. The caffeine sparks concentration, too. And people who drink moderate amounts of coffee at midlife — as many as three to five cups — have lower odds of developing dementia in late life, Finnish and French researchers say.

Another benefit: Taking a coffee or tea break in your day (or three times a day) is a good opportunity for destressing.Memory

Booster #9. See a doctor if you feel depressed

Maybe it’s “just a mood.” But untreated depression is common and can impair memory. Talk therapy and/or antidepressant medication can resolve the problem. Two red flags worth mentioning to a physician: a loss of interest in things that once gave you pleasure and a persistent sense of hopelessness.

People at higher risk for depression include caregivers of older people and those who have a family history of depression.

Memory Booster #10. Take the “multi” out of your tasking

Especially when they’re trying to learn something new, people remember less well later if they were multitasking while learning, UCLA researchers have shown. If, for example, you’re studying while listening to the radio, your memory recall may be dependent on the music to help you later retrieve the information during the test — except, of course, that you can’t usually replicate the same circumstances (like music during a test).

Try to learn something new — reading a contract or directions, copying a skill — when you can give it your full concentration. Cut out distractions like the TV in the background or pausing every few seconds when you hear the “ding” of your e-mail or text-message inbox.

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Factors that Contribute to Memory Loss

Here are some factors that contribute to memory loss:

• Age According to FamilyDoctor.org, we actually begin to lose brain cells as young as our 20’s, the same time our bodies begin to make less of the chemicals the remaining brain cells need to work, affecting our memory as we age.

• Hormones As if that’s not bad enough, a study done by McGill University found that decreasing estrogen levels also do a number on our working memory, which can explain why many women complain of “mommy” or “menopause” brain.

• Sleep 
Without adequate sleep, your brain has a harder time absorbing and recalling new information, according to WebMD. But sleep does more than help sharpen the mind. Studies show that sleep (or lack therof) affects physical reflexes, fine motor skills and judgment, too. One studyshowed that participants who were sleep-deprived were more likely to think they were right when they were actually wrong. (Not that any of us would do that.)

• Stress The need to get it all done and perfectly is enough to send anyone over the edge. Think you’re a great multitasker? According to a Huffington Post article, a recent study says you’re wrong. (Maybe you just think you’re right because you’re sleep deprived.) In fact, the study found that the better a person thinks they are at multitasking, the worse they actually are. “The people who multitask the most tend to be impulsive, sensation-seeking, overconfident of their multitasking abilities, and they tend to be less capable of multitasking,” said study researcher and psychology professor David Strayer.

But what if overextending ourselves isn’t really the issue. How do we know the difference between a common occurrence and something more serious like dementia?

brain-circulation-110818-02Could I Have Early-Onset Alzheimer’s?

According to FamilyDoctor.org, memory loss can become a more serious problem as it affects your daily living. If you find that any of the following apply to you, it’s best to consult your doctor.

  • No longer remember how to do things you’ve done many times before (losing your way to work even though you’ve taken the same route over and over, not being able to follow directions in a recipe…)
  • Changes in mood and personality
  • Memory loss tends to increase over time (from several months to years)

What are some things we can do to thwart memory loss and keep our minds sharp? Some foods and food-based multivitamins are said to be helpful in boosting memory and sharpness.

  • Allspice (promotes memory)
  • Avocado (remembering details)
  • Flax (assimilation of information and memory improvement)
  • Papaya (memory retention)
  • Rosemary (forgetfulness)

working-memory-2

There are also other lifestyle tweaks that can go a long way in keeping your mind sharp.

• Find a system For some, writing things down is enough to keep them on track. For me, I’ve channeled my inner-nerd, creating spreadsheets for everything from homework, paying bills, grocery lists and work assignments (Now, if I could only remember to open them…).

• Use it or lose it Like muscles, your brain needs to be exercised in order to stay sharp. Consider skipping an hour of those mindless online games and use the same time to learn a new skill, start a hobby, read a book or even challenge the kids to a game of Scrabble.

• Get healthy It’s not exactly breaking news that healthy diet, regular exercise and clean living is said to keep you on your game. While you’re at it, decrease or cut out the mind-zapping alcohol.

• Maintain a sense of humor While memory loss can be extremely difficult, don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember, we’re all getting older, don’t take it so seriously.

For additional information on the topic of memory below is a Mind Map:

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Everything in Your Life, Is Your Life!

I’m sick, very sick. Sick enough that after twenty years my team of doctors still have little idea what’s wrong with me. I am unable to work and unable to properly function at home. This is a challenging scenario for me. But, there are benefits here. There’s purpose in experiencing life in these ways. I am convinced of this because of a learned awareness of spirituality.

I grew up seeing spirits, astral traveling, feeling other people’s emotions, and hearing their thoughts. These experiences were so normal for me that I had to be taught how to “properly” interact with others. I learned that very few people could do the things I could, and that there were things I shouldn’t say to others. I had to curb my comments, very often just sharing knowing smiles.

These days it seems fewer people take responsibility for their life.
It seems less and less people master their emotions.

They don’t run their lives, they allow life to run them. Their problems are blamed on everyone and everything. Most never take responsibility for their own life. More importantly, they never take responsibility for how they feel.

Does life happen to you, or does life happen for you?

Think very carefully before you answer. The answer you give will shape your life.

Do you believe everything happens for a reason? I believe that life is hard. That we all are going to go through things that are hard and challenging. But, what if every painful experience in your life was actually sent to benefit you?

  • To make you stronger.
  • To make you wiser.
  • To make you better.

What if the challenge you are facing was sent to make you grow? What if the difficult person was actually sent to teach you things?

Things like:

  • Compassion
  • Patience
  • A reminder of how not to treat people

What if the loss you experienced was sent to make you appreciate the way we feel.

Everything in your life is your life!

Every human being decides how they are going to live their life.

It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.

We all decide what meaning we give to each and every moment in our lives. We do not decide what shows, but we do decide how we show it. We do not decide the circumstances that arrive each day, but, we absolutely decide how we are going to react to each circumstance.

There is no such thing as actual reality, there’s only our perception of reality.

Think about any event in your own life.

Your version of it, is only your opinion of it and will be completely different to many other people.

Two people could attend the same event, see the same things, speak to the same people, and leave with absolutely opposite thoughts about that event. How could this be it was the same event? That is because it’s an interpretation. The meaning both people gave the event is different. That meaning is based on the life of conditioning and personal experiences. A life of absorbing other’s opinions and therefore making our own.

The point is:

  • We decide that meaning.
  • We decide our perspective.
  • We decide our reality.
  • We decide OUR TRUTH!

The experiences I’ve had, force the point for me. I don’t ‘believe’ there’s more out there. I KNOW! I’ve had contact with various attuned and enlightened people who guided me through things.

They explained the subtle realms:

  • How energy in life flows
  • Why we are here on earth
  • The various and multiple layers of existence
  • The true nature of the soul and how we are connected
  • That there is no one formal religion that is right for everyone.

I’ve seen and experienced things that many people so readily disregard. People say ‘spirits aren’t real’ because they can’t know anything else. But, I know they are there, not just because I’ve seen them. I know they are there because the universe gave me teachers. Mentors that have been there with me. Coaching me through life’s interactions.

The universe guided me by:

  • Explaining that I should try things and see what happens
  • In learning to protect myself
  • To help them when they needed it
  • Most importantly, teaching me how to identify who they are and what they want.

There’s a great degree of science behind spirituality. Much more than you could think possible. That science, the understanding of connections and interactions between things, being able to control and shape them means I don’t have a choice. I don’t ‘believe’ anymore, I know!

Bob Marley said…

“Some people dance in the rain,
others just get wet.”

This is true for everything in life. Some people hate life. Some people just get by. But, some people live life to the fullest. Those people appreciate the little things, which in turn, make a huge difference in their lives. Don’t worry about what other people do!

What do you do?

  • Do you appreciate all the good in your life?
  • Do you look for the good every day?
  • Do you wake up expecting great things?
  • Do you believe every tough moment in your life is it to make you stronger and in some way improve your life?

Every meaning, you give to everything in your life, makes your life!

I know that my sickness is a part of my spiritual journey. It serves a purpose by improving me and those who interact with me. Every life and death, no matter how beautiful or tragic is a wonderful experience for the soul.

Don’t feel sorry for yourself or try to blame others for your misfortune. This is your doing and it’s an amazing thing that you’ve chosen for yourself.

There is no fault!

You need this experience in your life to evolve mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You’ve got people around you who also chose to be there and experience a different reality to the situation with you. They’re also benefiting from you, learning and evolving as a result of your situation.

Choose empowering meanings, because the better your meanings, the better your life. The stronger your meanings, the stronger your life.

Between stimulus and response,
there is a space where we choose our response.

In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
It’s our decisions, not our conditions,
that control life and fulfill destiny.

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Everyone Has Something To Teach You

People Are Reflections Of Each Other.

We are all human in the sense that we can feel the same things. Our perception, however, differs from person to person. One person in the same situation as five other people will each take away their own experience/truth. What also should be noted is that each person has an impact on the other people in the situation. A different impact will be had by each person., It is up to the person being impacted to keep or discard the impressions left on them by others.

Be Aware Of Your Own Intentions

It is important to be aware of your own intentions versus the intentions of others. There are different ways a person indicates their own feelings and thoughts through body language, verbal language and a general personification of their emotions. It is a person’s emotions which influence their thoughts and thoughts that influence emotions.

By Opening Ourselves Up To Others We Grow

It is a lonely world to isolate yourself from others. It stifles individual growth when we shut ourselves off in the dark. By opening ourselves up to others we grow as well as promote growth within others. We also help each put a stop to the loneliness which naturally plagues a person who is closed off from others.

Make The Most Of Social Interaction

It is important to take the opportunities we have to influence other people. It is also important to note the impact we allow them to have on us. A person should make the most of social interaction and use it to their benefit and the benefits others should they be open to it. We may not be able to control other people but we can do our part to bring them peace of mind and allow them to help us in doing the same. Even at the grocery store, a smile may spark a new beginning to a passerby who was having an incredibly hard day. Allow the same smile from a stranger to inspire goodness within yourself and you will see that others are truly here to help you in any way you allow.

People Are Attracted To Commonalities

People are attracted to commonalities. It is important to be aware of what commonalities have drawn you and another person together. Allow the growth of relationships that are mutually beneficial. End relationships that cause you frustration, stress, or pain. You can grow from any interaction you allow if you reflect upon it in a positive light.

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