Our memory helps to shape and define who we are, provide us with comfort, and guide us in our daily lives. While there are many different types of memory we tend to rely primarily on a type of memory that enables us to recall information presented to us either recently or sometime in the distant past.
Memory can be affected by many factors including level of stress, rest, nutrition, medical status, medications, alcohol, exercise, sensory function, hormones, and information processing ability. Common types of memory difficulties include inability to remember names, forgetting directions, forgetting where the car or other object is, and forgetting to complete a task in a specified order.
While it is true that our memory ability tends to decline as we age, a healthy older adult can recall quite well, particularly when given cues and prompts. Memory in late life should not be confused with disease such as Alzheimer’s that can impair memory. Here are some strategies and tips to assist you with your recall on a daily basis regardless of age:
1. Recognize what types of information and situations increase forgetfulness for you. You may be able to identify particular factors that lead to your memory problems and a change of these factors might help your recall.
2. Make sure your brain is well rested. You might be surprised to learn that a fatigued brain will not process as deeply or as efficiently as a well rested brain.
3. Eat brain healthy foods such as fish, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
4. Information that you need to encode will be recalled better if you repeat the information to yourself several times.
5. If you have problems remembering names of people you meet continue to use their names in every sentence when speaking to them. This is a type of normal repetition that is polite and helpful to your processing.
6. Do not be ashamed to admit to someone that you have forgotten their name and need to hear it again. Simply tell the person you are bad with names, but you are trying and can benefit if they provide his or her name again. At that point, refer back to point # 5.
7. Lists are fine or small pocket book with cues and prompts can be very useful to assist your recall.
8. Develop routines and fixed places for placement of items such as car keys. Your brain will develop a subconscious process to place and retrieve objects with such routine. This will then free up the conscious part of your brain to learn new
9. Engage in memory exercises such as learning an increasingly larger list of words, faces on cards, facts such as state capitals, and names of neighborhood family members.
10. Learn how to relax and remove stress from your life. Memory is directly affected by chronic stress and you will make mistakes when your brain is stressed.
11. Engage in a regular physical exercise routine as cardiovascular health can increase learning and memory ability.
FitBrains has several mental exercise games that can assist your memory if you engage in a daily or regular brain fitness routine. Consider the following games by FitBrains for your memory workout:
Good luck and do not forget these memory tips!