Keeping Your Memory Sharp
We all have days where we can’t think straight or where we walk into the kitchen,Â get there, and forget why we went there in the first place. As we age, we automaticallyÂ question whether we are losing our minds. However, have no fear; most fleetingÂ memory problems we experience with age reflect normal changes in the structureÂ and function of the brain. These changes can slow certain cognitive processes,Â making it a bit harder to learn new things quickly or screen out distractions that canÂ interfere with memory and learning. Want to keep your memory sharp? Use theseÂ five suggestions and break the myth that old dogs can’t learn new tricks.
1. Keep learning
This doesn’t mean you have to sign up for classes at the closestÂ college. It does, however, mean you should take a break from aÂ Netflix binge and instead pick up a hobby that makes you thinkÂ and problem-solve. Try reading a captivating book.
2. Put all senses to work
The more senses you use while learning something new, theÂ more your brain is involved in the process. Does a song on theÂ radio remind you of a specific time? Or do you smell a certainÂ food and remember an event? It’s because more than just yourÂ ears were being used. Give woodworking, sculpting, or ceramics a try. Notice both the feel and the smell of the materials youÂ are using and the experience will stick with you longer than ifÂ you only utilize one sense.
3. Economize your brain use
Misplaced your keys? Take an extra second and purposefullyÂ set your purse and keys down when you arrive somewhere.Â Can’t remember what time your doctor appointment is? ThereÂ are many useful smartphone apps available to manage yourÂ schedule (and lots of them are free!). Download one and have aÂ smooth-running day.
4. Repeat what you want to remember
Meeting someone for the first time? Repeat his or her name.Â For example, “It is nice to meet you too, Elizabeth.” Use his orÂ her name later in the conversation to make it stick! RepetitionÂ (‘Practice makes perfect’) will help the new information stay.
5. Make a mnemonic
When learning the piano, many students often have trouble remembering the notes of the treble clef (E, G, B, D, and F). PianoÂ teachers help their beginner students remember these notesÂ with the simple mnemonic, “Every good boy does fine.” UseÂ this tactic any time you have to remember a list. The strangerÂ the sentence, the easier it will be to remember.