Where are my keys! What did I do with my wallet? What’s all this in my purse? Hey! It’s not just you – everyone loses, forgets, neglects, and is otherwise confused at most parts of the day as to what is going on, or even to what day it is! We have a lot of things we have to constantly remember and stay on top of throughout the day from our personal life to our work life. It’s a bit of a pain sometimes, but we all go through it.
Our memory as a whole and our memories as a fraction are very important to us. Perhaps you have known someone who has suffered from alzheimer’s or memory loss. It really changes who they are, and sometimes they become different people. We won’t all necessarily suffer from these ailments, but there are a lot of things we can do to keep on top of our game and keep memory failure at bay. Through various small active practices through our life we can keep our brain feeling fresh and full, active and strong, and with that have the ability to have sound memory for years to come. Let’s take a look.
Writing a daily journal
Something a friend of mine started doing when he was younger was scribing a daily journal each day. He was worried that he would develop alzheimer’s like his mother did, and began journaling at a young age, to stave off any growing effects of memory loss. After a few years of doing it, alzheimer’s was certainly at bay, as he could recite off the day’s temperature, his financial situation, acquaintances and much more from any day of years before simply by re-reading the short stories of his life and keeping them fresh in his memory.
Doing daily diary writing not only helps you relieve stresses and concerns of the day but also helps you recreate an idea of your day to day life. No more “oh… I can’t remember!” when someone asks you what you did last week. It creates a sort of visual of your life and at the end of each day can help you reflect on your strengths, weaknesses and goals.
Practicing puzzle games
Whenever I see elderly people playing cell phone games, I get excited. Not only are they showing that you can never be too old to immerse yourself in contemporary culture, but they are doubtless also restoring and practicing their health at the same time. Popular games like Candy Crush and 2048 are not only entertaining ways to pass time, but the simple practice of memorizing patterns, recalling activity, thinking about level progress and developing strategies are all just great exercises to keep using your brain power and exercising that great muscle we have in our head.
Outside of phones, Sudoku has taken the world by storm for years for a good reason. People of all ages buy books of it to increase their brain power and keep working their memory muscles. We train ourselves with it to memorize huge patterns of numbers and construct strategies and plans to bring ourselves to complete the grid. If you haven’t tried it yet, you’ll see how difficult even the easiest one is! It’s all about practice, though; the more you work at it the stronger you become at it. Everyone is capable of solving the most simple pattern or the most complex – it just takes practice and brain power.
Engaging your memory is also about how situationally aware you are throughout the day. Do you live life actively or passively as you go about your surroundings? Try to pay explicit attention throughout the day to everything around you – the sounds of the city, what’s on the radio, the colours, temperatures and people. Notice what people do and keep on your toes about local pedestrian traffic and activity. What time does the baker put out his sign? Haven’t you seen that blue Subaru before? Are they on the same pattern as you? You’ve seen that girl order that coffee before… why? What’s that sound near the third corner from your house? Are they repairing pipes? What’s happening in Europe?
Staying on top of local and international news is all a great way to fill up your head with active information that keeps your brain working when you might normally turn it off, and makes you more conversational in public.
Coffee isn’t for everybody, but caffeine has been proven for years to increase memory and brain power. There are certain times that drinking coffee is particularly good for you – and it’s not first thing in the morning. When we wake up we should drink water or juices to rehydrate ourselves, and coffee should be reserved for early afternoon and after meals for an energy boost. There’s a reason you see many people typing away on their Macbooks at coffee shops – the coffee gives them a boost of mental energy that they can use to produce information and use it to create their projects quickly.
A lot of people suffer from sleep depression when they can not get enough sleep. Our bodies feel tired and our brain suffers consequently. It is so important for us to get adequate rest that it should not be neglected for another responsibility. People who sleep properly have great mental and physical health and live longer, experience less stress, and, as the point of this article, have a great memory. Their brains function at a healthy and balanced level throughout the day. We do not have to be on our game 24 hours a day – we need to rest and go with the ebb and flow of our bodily energies throughout the day. Proper rest and even the option to take daily naps for ten minutes a day greatly improves our mental health for the rest of our lives.