Forgetfulness is a pretty hot topic when you hit middle age. We struggle to remember what we did yesterday, who told us something last week, and why we walked in here a minute ago. Details fill our day at a crazy rate, and they often fall to the wayside just as quickly. Sometimes you wonder if you’re going crazy or just need to laugh.
To further aggravate the issue, our culture tends to emphasize hard times more than the good ones. We’re more apt to talk or write about our struggles and worries instead of the victories and pleasures. While it’s important to process difficulties and use what we’ve learned to help others, focusing on negative memories can cause you to subconsciously shut down your memory function to avoid more pain or loss. In the end, both good and bad memories get lost in the back corners of your mind.
Although there are a number of causes for memory loss, from sleep deprivation and nutritional deficiency to head injuries and medication, you can fight back with simple, healthy choices. Like any habit, you’ll have to intentionally make room in your schedule and lifestyle for some of these changes, but the benefits are far-reaching. Like any injury or loss, you don’t realize how wonderful clarity of mind is until you don’t have it.
Tips to Improve Memory
- Focus on the Positive — Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist who is changing the way we think about our brains. From helping transform the lives of patients with traumatic brain injury to teaching us how to deal with stress, Dr. Leaf emphasizes the importance of our thought patterns. The biological makeup of your brain actually responds to your thoughts, negatively or positively. For more information, I highly recommend checking out Dr. Leaf’s website.
- Physical Activity — Exercise increases the blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. Walking, biking, and exercise classes are all good to keep your memory sharp. Getting out in nature stimulates your brain both spiritually and physically.
- Mental Stimulation — Just as exercise keeps your body strong, mentally inspiring activities keep your brain in shape. Word puzzles, reading, exploring new places, learning new skills, playing musical instruments, and stimulating conversation are all good for fighting off forgetfulness. Creativity and learning should never be a thing of the past. Make it a habit to learn or do something new every day.
- Being Organized — Clutter is not your friend at any age, but especially when fighting forgetfulness. Simple organizational methods help you remember where you’ve put things, what’s coming up on your schedule, and to recall what you did last year. Take notes, keep a calendar, mark things off when you finish, and store your belongings in specific places. Also limit your multitasking. The more you focus on one conversation or activity at a time, the more you will remember afterwards.
- Adequate Sleep — Good sleep helps to clear toxins from your brain and consolidate your thoughts so you can recall them at a later date. Don’t skimp when it comes to rest. Practice winding down the last hour before bedtime so you’re ready to sleep when you lay down. When you’re tempted to stay up too late, remember how good it feels to wake-up refreshed and ready for a new day.
- Healthy Diet — A healthy diet is as important for your brain as for your heart or any other organ. Fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and fish are all good choices. Nutritional supplements and oils, such as coconut, olive, hemp, and avocado oil, are also beneficial. Avoid processed foods and excessive alcohol. Just like putting the right kind of oil or fuel in a car makes it run well or not, feeding yourself the proper diet on a daily basis affects the way you feel and function.
- Agree with God — You have a choice when faced with an obstacle: you can focus on the obstacle and let it bring fear or dread, or you can get God’s perspective and agree with Him. So many times I’ve caught myself, silenced my fears, and laughed as I recalled that the resurrection power of Jesus abides in me. Instead of empowering fear or anxiety, I silence it with the truth of my Father’s love and power toward me. No, I’m not ignoring that I just forgot something. But in turning my gaze toward God, I open the door for His limitless knowledge and wisdom. I choose to agree with His Life and have seen my health and memory restored again and again.
A certain level of panic can hit when you start to misplace things and forget everyday information. Instead of getting frustrated, I found that a few, simple changes helped restore my memory and set me up for the fullness of life still ahead. Don’t think of forgetfulness as an inevitable end, but a reminder to become more intentional. Choose an active, organized, positive lifestyle and reap the rewards for years.#Forgetfulness is not an inevitable end, but a reminder to be intentional about your health. #emptynest #empowerednester Click To Tweet