4 Tricks to Rev up Your Memory
We all have moments of forgetfulness. A lot of it is a reflection on age-related changes in thinking skills. Dr. Joel Salinas, a neurologist specializing in behavioural neurology and neuropsychiatry at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, says that "In terms of brain function, everyone has a decline over time in all areas, with the exception of vocabulary.”
How memory works
Memory involves the processes of encoding, recording, and retrieval. The brain receives and takes in or encodes new information; the brain then records or stores the information. The final step is your brain retrieving information when you need it.
The aging memory
When you hit your 50’s, you may be able to notice a change in your memory. This is the time when age-related chemical and structural changes can begin in various regions of your brain. These changes may slow processing speed, which will make it hard to recall familiar names or words.
A lack of sleep can also affect the brain's retention and use of information.
- Repeat what you hear out loud as repetition increases the likelihood you'll record the information and be able to retrieve it later.
- Make a note of errands you need to run, chores you need to do and appointments. Your brain is much better at recognition than recall.
- Make associations between old and new information.
- Manage stress and get a good night’s sleep
When tricks don't help
Forgetting something minor from time to time is probably normal. It's not normal when memory changes interfere with day-to-day functioning. It is recommended that you talk to your doctor if you're making more mistakes than usual at work; having difficulty paying the bills; or having trouble completing tasks, cooking, emailing, or doing general chores. Very often, there is a solution to these memory changes such as managing stress, getting better sleep, changing medication.
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