Some conditions have been known to impair your mental capabilities. These include sleep apnea, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, and hypothyroidism. Anyone suffering from these conditions should protective their cognitive capabilities by following their doctor’s advice carefully. It’s frustrating when you start losing your memory, but with the following tips, you can learn how to keep your mind active. Here is what you need to know.
1. Keep Learning
If you have a high level of education, you will have a better mental capacity in your old age. Experts believe that getting an advanced education will keep your memory intact because you will be mentally active even as you grow older. You need to constantly challenge your brain with mental exercises.
That way, you can activate processes that will maintain individual brain cells and stimulate as much communication as possible between them. You might have a job that keeps you mentally active, but you should consider pursuing a hobby or learning a new skill. You can try volunteering for a new project at work to utilize new skills and functions that will improve your memory.
2. Take Advantage Of All Your Senses
If you use more of your senses when trying to learn something, you will utilize a bigger percentage of your brain to retain the memory. In a study, all the participants were given emotionally neutral images with a specific smell. However, they were not asked to remember what they saw. Next, they were shown a series of images without any odors and were asked to show which ones they had seen previously.
All the participants had excellent recall of all the images with an odor and especially those with a pleasant one. The piriform cortex is the main part of the brain responsible for processing odors. Brain imaging in this section showed that although the odors were removed, the subjects didn’t try to remember them. Whenever you are doing something new, try engaging all your senses.
3. Believe In Yourself
There are a lot of myths about aging, and most of them show a failing memory. Older and middle-aged learners will perform worse on any memory tasks with exposure to negative stereotypes regarding memory and aging. However, they will perform infinitely better when there are positive messages about memory preservation in their old age.
People who assume they are not in control about their memory function and often joke about senior moments will work less hard at improving or maintaining their memory skills. Eventually, they are more likely to experience cognitive decline. If you believe your memory can improve and practice it, you will keep your mind sharp even in old age.
4. Prioritize Your Brain Usage
Don’t prioritize your brain usage for issues such as where you kept your keys or your grandchild’s birthday party. However, use it for other things such as learning and remembering new things. You should take advantage of planners, calendars, shopping lists, maps, file folders, and address books to keep any routine information accessible. Choose a specific place in your home to keep your purse, glasses, keys and other regularly used items.
5. Repeat The Things You Want To Know
If you want to remember something you have heard recently or read or just thought about, you need to write it down or repeat it out loud. It’s a way of reinforcing the memory or connection. For instance, if you have just learned someone’s name, use it regularly when you speak with them.
6. Space It Out
When you time repetition properly, it’s a very good learning tool. Of course, don’t repeat something frequently in a short period, exactly like cramming for an exam. Rather, you should re-study the essentials after longer periods of time such as once every hour then after every few hours then once every day. Once you space out these periods of studying, you will improve your memory, a very valuable trick when you want to master very complicated information, including a new work assignment.
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