Six Memory Tips
These tips are for people young and old. It is true that memory
loss often comes with old age, but that doesn't mean it's always
a result of getting older. Often there are specific causes, and
a declining ability to remember things can be halted and sometimes
reversed. You can start with these six tips.
1. Learn to relax more.
Cortisol, which at high levels interferes with the part of
the brain that handles recent memories, is released when you
are stressed. That crucial brain has even been shown to shrink
after long periods of chronic stress. What can you do? Start
by taking several deep breaths through your nose several times
daily, while letting the tension drain from your body. You might
also learn to meditate, and practice regularly.
2. Quit smoking and avoid smoke.
Cigarettes are linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
and even before there is a diagnosis, there may be reduced blood
flow to the brain. This means reduced oxygen to the brain, which
decreases brain function in general, and memory specifically.
3. Reduce brain toxins.
Most illegal drugs are toxic to the brain, but so are many
prescription medications. These drugs have been associated with
memory loss after prolonged use: Lithium, digitalis, reserpine,
Inderal (propanolol), Aldomet (methyldopa), and Tagamet (cimetidine),
as well as some high blood pressure medications.
4. Eat well.
Many nutritional factors affect memory and general brain function.
For example, brain function can be negatively impacted by a deficiency
in vitamin B-12, folate and niacin (Vitamin B-3). Think your
memory lapses might be due to deficiencies? You can have a blood
test to check the levels of these vitamins in your system, or
try taking some good supplements to see if that brings improvement.
5. Get brain exercise.
Perhaps one of the easiest of these memory tips to put into
practice, this can also be one of the more important ones. Learn
something new, or start an intellectually challenging hobby or
activity. It has been shown that even doing crossword puzzles
regularly slows the decline of age-related memory loss.
6. Protect that brain case.
Severe head trauma can cause loss of brain function. No surprise
there. But the evidence is growing that the cumulative effect
of repeated minor injuries can do the same kind of damage. Put
on that helmet when bicycling or in any situation where your
head might get hurt.