Throughout life there are occasions when memory fails us, but undaunted we continue on. Anyone for example who has, or knows children is well aware that they forget things on a regular basis. Parents often ask, "Where did you leave your mittens?" "Why didn't you bring home the books you need to do your homework?" "When were you told to be home?" The universal reply from children, punctuated in their unique ways is, "I forgot."
Forgetting doesn't seem to phase children, adolescents or young adults in the least. The same is true for adults until some point in time when they cannot recall on demand the name of someone, some place, or something so familiar to them that they begin to worry about the state of their memory.
"Senior-moment" is a popular socially acceptable phrase, used particularly among aging baby boomers, when one experiences public memory failure. While some make the appearance of taking memory failure lightly, covering it up with this catchy phrase, others publicly show their frustrations and concerns. Regardless of how one responds in public there is a great deal of anxiety about forgetfullness. With forgetfullness is the fear that it is an early sign of Alzheimer's Disease or another form of dementia. This anxiety and fear may be particularly acute for caregivers whose parent or parents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.
How can memory be enhanced with aging? Memory enhancement is comprised of many things and must be personalized. It requires keeping the mind active and providing the brain and the body with the exercise and supports needed for optimal functioning. It must being with acknowledging to yourself why you want to enhance your memory. To being any activities to promote healthy aging you need to be sufficiently motivated to be able to begin and sustain the changes you are making. No matter how simple the activities may seem, change does not occur without conscious intent. Conscious intent requires continuous reinforcement, as it takes at least three weeks to change or add a new behavior.
It is generally better to focus on one change at a time. Not only does this allow you to incorporate it into your activity pattern, it also allows you to see how you are responding to it. Trying to implement too many changes at the same time is not realistic and most often is doomed for failure. When we are not successful with implementing a change it can impact how we feel about our selves. When embarking on behavioral changes it’s important to remember to be realistic and to be kind to yourself. Think about which one of the several changes you would like to make will have the greatest positive impact for you. Start there and work toward your goal of changing or adding the new behavior. Success breeds success.
Food rich in Vitamin B6, B12 and Folic acid, such as spinach, broccoli, strawberries, black beans, soybeans and melons support the formation of oxygen carrying red blood cells as well as breaks down amino acids which are harmful for the nerve cells. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E contained in foods like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, green tea, berries, citrus fruits among others also help in memory enhancement as they interact with the free radicals and neutralize them before they damage our body cells.
Understanding the working of the brain, training it appropriately and supplementing it with proper nutrition can work wonders for the brain and thus, for our memory enhancement. So, consume a wide spectrum of nutrient rich foods and healthy fats which do not clog, but assist the clearing of arteries. No doubt, your memory will thank you for this.
Memory enhancement can also be done by doing some brain exercises. There are several ways of exercising your brain and just like your muscles, the more you exercise your brain, the stronger it gets. In order to exercise your brain, you need to make it work in different ways than it normally does. There are several ways to do this and all are beneficial.
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Change your routine – Try writing with your other hand or if jog around a track, change direction and jog the other way. Doing these kind of things may feel awkward at first, but it will cause your brain to build new connections that were not there before.
Brain Aerobics – This type of exercise forces you to use your senses in a different way. For instance if you brush your teeth with your eyes closed or plug your ears before you shower, it will be a different experience for your brain which again causes additional pathways.
Learn New Things – This is one of the best brain exercises there is. You can really improve your memory by learning a new language, learning a new game, or anything else new to you. The key here is to pick something that really interests you. The more you are motivated to learn the more you will involve your brain and which will help improve your memory.
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