Memory Loss Prevention
February 19, 2014

Memory Loss Prevention

Nobody likes that moment when we go to ask a friend, colleague, or family member something, and the question just floats away into the endless well of forgotten questions. Nobody likes to forget important dates or important memories. Nobody likes to forget. From misplacing our keys to missing an event to a forgotten due date, memory loss is just a pain. In an effort to help prevent memory loss, the Mayo Clinic provides seven tips to improve our memories.

Number 1: Stay mentally active

Almost nothing is as important to memory functioning than making sure to stay mentally active. We keep our bodies in shape by staying physically active thus it only stands to reason that keeping our mind in shape is equally important. The Mayo Clinic suggests the following mental activities: do crossword puzzles, read sections of the newspaper you might normally skip, take alternate routes when driving, learn to play a musical instruments, and volunteer. Additionally, having a hobby like wood-working, crocheting, drawing, sculpting, writing, and many others provides mental activity.

Number 2: Socialize on a regular basis

Social interaction not only stimulates the brain, and thus the memory, but it also wards off depression and stress. As the Mayo Clinic notes, “both [depression and stress]…can contribute to memory loss.” Join a club, go to church, have regular lunch dates with friends, and participate in activities with others. Find time to be social at least once a week.

Number 3: Get organized

The Mayo Clinic put it best: “You’re more likely to forget things if your home is cluttered and your notes are in disarray. Jot down tasks, appointments and other events in a special notebook, calendar or electronic planner. You might even repeat each entry out loud as you jot it down to help cement it in your memory. Keep to-do lists current, and check off items you’ve completed. Set aside a certain place for your wallet, keys and other essentials.”

Number 4: Focus

The more distractions we have (television, internet, phones, music, et cetera), the harder it is to try to remember. We should not do too much at once so that we can really focus on the conversations and activities we participate in, which often helps us to remember and connect to the experiences. Focus is key.

Number 5: Eat a healthy diet

A healthy heart leads to a healthy brain, so consume more fruits, veggies, and whole grains as well as eating low-fat protein sources like fish, and make sure to drink enough water to support a healthy body and mind.

Number 6: Get physical

With physical activity comes increased blood flow to all parts of the body, including the brain. More blood means more oxygen, both of which may help support the memory. Incorporate 150 minutes of moderate activity (like brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (think jogging). It is most helpful to spread these out throughout the week. Daily activity is most beneficial.

Number 7: Manage chronic conditions

Again, the Mayo Clinic nailed this one: “Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations for any chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression. The better you take care of yourself, the better your memory is likely to be. In addition, review your medications with your doctor regularly. Various medications can impact memory.”

Of course, always talk to your doctor if you notice significant memory loss or issues. The memory is so important, so take the healthy steps to protect and preserve it. You’ll thank yourself later on.

Image Credit: John Gomez / Shutterstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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