by Suzanne Fisher
Most of us live anywhere but in the moment. We make lists for the future, we relive the past, we daydream about what we want, and we plan our lives out. Thus we often fail to take note of what is happening in this very moment in time, so when it comes time to remember what happened, we sometimes find it tough to do.
In today’s busy, busy world, we are confronted with an overload of sights, sounds, ideas, work, play, and everything in between, making it hard to grab hold of concepts and keep them firmly affixed in our minds. Translation: we forget things, sometimes important things. That is where a few tricks can come in handy to help you enhance your memory:
- Paying attention in the moment can be as simple as noting the sound of a bird’s song, the color of a friend’s eyes, the way someone looked at us, the license plate on the vehicle in front of us, or the sign we are passing on the interstate. When we daydream, we fail to attach ourselves to the Now, so we forget what is happening around us. So connect with the Now and record at least five things that are happening in this very moment in time. There is an interesting 12-step maxim that says when we have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, we are messing all over today. Learn to live today as if you own it and want all the goodness from it.
- Word association can help – associate whatever you want to remember with a specific word and repeat it over and over to yourself. So can making lists and notes to yourself. Busy people use whatever tricks work to help them remember important things, events and people.
- Too much of a good thing is just that – too much. Alcohol, drugs and even food can cause memory problems. Moderation is the key here.
- Conversely, too little of a good thing can also cause memory problems. Skipping meals creates havoc with your memory. Hunger slows down memory and other brain functions.
- Too little sleep can also affect memory and, strangely enough, too much sleep can impair it also. Get a recommended 8 hours a night to enhance your memory powers.
- Drink at least 8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day. Your brain is 75% water. When you are dehydrated (and most of us are to a degree), water is pulled from the brain to help other systems like the circulatory system. This impairs the brain’s functioning including the ability to remember things.
- Find something that challenges your brain to do every day. Your brain is like a muscle in that the more you exercise it, the more flexible it gets.
- You might want to try yoga and meditation. A recent study showed that yoga and meditation enhanced the memory of pre-Alzheimer’s patients more than crossword puzzles and other brain challenges.
You can retain a good memory for years to come with a little effort using these memory tips. A world renowned chemist, Charles Harold Fisher, had a sharp mind right up until his death at 104 because he did chemical formularies, drank enough water to hydrate his brain, and ate a healthy diet every day of his life.