Everybody experience memory lapses in different times and occasions, maybe you went into the kitchen but can’t remember why, or can’t remember a familiar name during a family conversation, these lapses can occur at any age and they are not caused by aging exactly, cognitive decline or significant memory loss when occur in older people mainly happen as a result of brain injury or neurological illnesses and that explains why many old people still have good functioning memories.
Studies have shown that applying a few changes to your lifestyle can effectively reduce your risk of cognitive decline as you age and put you at a safe side of diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s, good health habits like having enough sleep, avoiding stress, staying physically active, not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption to one drink a day or less, eating a balanced diet and maintaining strong social connections help in keeping your mind always sharp at any age.
Certain health conditions that can trigger cognitive decline include diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, hypothyroidism and high (LDL) bad cholesterol levels, if you have any of these conditions then you should pay good attention to protect your memory by following your doctor’s advices and adopting the following habits.
– Keep Learning.
Higher levels of education is associated with an active mental function, getting involved in advanced education for your lifetime even as you age helps to protect your memory by maintaining your brain always active, challenging your brain with activities and tasks was shown to sharpen the response of the cells in the brain over time and improve the communication among those cells, many people have jobs that force them to stay mentally active, but if you are retired or unemployed then consider pursuing a hobby or learning a new skill to keep your brain active.
– Involve All Your Senses.
The more senses you involve in your learning the more your brain will get involved in retaining the memory. In one study, a group of participants were shown several neutral images, each image was presented with a different smell, the participants were not asked to remember the images they saw, later they were presented with other set of images this time without any smells, then they were asked to indicate which images they’d seen before, and they had an excellent recall for the images that were presented with an odor specially the ones with a pleasant odor.
– Prioritize Your Brain Use.
If you are not spending all your time trying to remember where you played your keys or when is your grand daughter’s birthday you will be able to use your brain studying and learning something else of value, spend your time with brain challenges or reading and learning new and random things.
Repeating helps to reinforce the memory to register something, for example if you want to make sure you remember something or you register something in your long-term memory make sure to involve other senses, so repeat the thing loud while writing it down and looking it at, this way you have easier time trying to remember it later.
– Space It Out.
Repeating is an important studying tool but when it is correctly spaced out, while studying something or trying to memorize details in your work assignments, I stead of repeating it over and over in a short period of time, space it out in a way that you repeat it for example ten times first every hour, then every few hours, then every day and so on.