According to a study led by a cognition expert, Ronald C Petersen, Between 15% and 20% of people over the age of 60 see a doctor because they are concerned about changes in their memory that become more severe with age.
There is no doubt that cognitive decline occurs naturally over the years It’s a public health problemBut experts confirm that there is a lot to do To maintain the brain’s capabilities, if not intact, in a good way.
Richard RestackNeuroscientist, College of Medicine and Health George Washington Hospitalconfirmed it Cognitive decline is not an inevitable fact. in his book The Complete Guide to Memory: The Science of Strengthening Your Brain He detailed several keys that allow memory enhancement.
Restak, as detailed New York times, He is the author of more than 20 books on the mind, and has decades of experience advising patients with memory problems. The tool has collected some tools that can help improve memory.
The neuroscientist confirmed that his goal in this book was Overcoming everyday memory problems Therefore, consider every aspect of memory and how it is It relates to creative thinking, the impact of technology on memory, and how memory shapes identity.
The expert said that the most important types of memory, for which he urges daily exercises to strengthen it, are: Working memory, which lies between immediate recall and long-term memory, and is associated with intelligence, focus, and achievement. He added that strengthening all memory skills is key to avoiding later problems.
Restack pointed 10 “sins” or “stumbles that can lead to the loss or distortion of memories.” Seven of them are taken from a psychologist and a student on the topic of memory Daniel Lawrence Schacter. On the one hand , “Sins of Omission” such as distraction, and other “Sins of Omission”, such as distorted memories. Restak added three more: Technological distortion, technological distraction, and depression.
“We are what we can remember,” the author emphasized, and after his book, these are Some tips for developing and maintaining a healthy memory.
1- Pay more attention
sometimes Attention problems are confused with memory lapses. And he gave the following example: if you forgot the name of a person you met at an event, it may be because you were talking to several people at the time and did not pay attention when the name was mentioned.
“Inattention is the main cause of memory difficulties,” Restak said. “It means you didn’t encrypt the memory correctly,” he explained.
One of the methods he recommended is to remember information such as the name, Pay attention and visualize the word or associate it with a picture. He recounted personal experience: Recently, he said, he had to memorize the name of a doctor, which is Doctor King (Admit an easy example). So I imagined a male doctor “wearing a white coat with a crown on his head and a mace instead of a stethoscope in his hand,” she tells.
2- Challenge your memory on a daily basis
Suggest the following: When you go out shopping instead of writing it down on paper or on the phone, save the things to buy. But, in the event that you decide to take what is written, when you arrive at the store, the list does not immediately come out of your pocket, but remember what you should buy.
“Try to see the items in your mind,” Restak said, only pointing to the list at the end, if necessary. Another way to exercise is Save the recipe. She said that frequent cooking is actually a great way to improve working memory.
Another daily method is Do not turn on GPS When he gets out in the car but Try to save the way. A small 2020 study suggested that People who used GPS over time showed more pronounced cognitive decline. in spatial memory after three years.
3- Mind games
Some board games like bridge or chess Good for memory, but it is More games Simple, the expert confirmed. For example, he said that one of his favorite games is one in which one or more players play Think of a favorite person, place, or thing and another starts questioning to guess it, which will be answered by Answer yes or no. from that way In order to understand them correctly, the investigator must memorize all the answers that appear.
Other memory exercises tested by Restak . require pen and paper or tape recorder My voice. I explain it as follows: Remember all the presidents of the United States (Of course, it can be replaced with which country)starting with President Biden and going back in time to Franklin D. Roosevelt for example. It will be written or recorded. Then do the same in the opposite direction From Roosevelt to Biden. then the name Only Democratic and Republican presidents. Finally, they will be named alphabetical order, He said.
Suggest that the challenge can also be done with the players of the favorite sports team, favorite authors, etc. The important thing is to engage working memoryHold the information and move it through your mind. Restak Books.
4- Read more novels
“When people start having difficulties with memory, they tend to switch to factual reading,” he said. For this reason, this is He considered that one of the early indicators of memory problems was the abandonment of imagination.
The doctor emphasized that during the many decades in which he treated patients, he made sure of this Fiction requires an active behavior of the reader with the text from beginning to end. “You have to remember what the character did on page 3 by the time you get to page 11,” He explained, otherwise the thread of the story would be lost.
5- Beware of technology
As mentioned above, Restak added to Schacter’s “sins of memory”, and three others, two of them related to technology.
The first is what he called “technological distortion”. Stacking everything on your phone means you “don’t know,” Restack said, and it can erode mental skills. “Why bother focusing, focusing and effort to visualize something when a cell phone camera can do all the work for you?”wrote in his book.
The second method Where technology impairs memory due to It often distracts from the tasks we perform. “Today, the biggest obstacle to memory is distraction,” he wrote. Since many of these tools are built with The purpose of creating the addiction on the person who uses it, and as a result, people often get distracted from it. Today people can check their email while watching Netflix, talking to a friend, or walking down the street. All this prevents you from focusing on the present moment, Which is necessary for encoding memories.
6- Consult before emotional situations
The expert warned that Mood is an important component of what is remembered or forgotten He recommends seeing a mental health professional if you think this is necessary.
He also noted that depression, among other psychiatric conditions, can reduce memory capacity. Among ‘people referred to neurologists for memory problemsOne of the main causes is depression.
thenEmotional state affects the type of memories you remember. The hippocampusor “memory input center,” according to Restak, amygdalaThe part of the brain that manages emotions and emotional behavior are linked together “When they are in a bad or depressed mood, they tend to remember sad things,” It is to explain. Treating depression, either chemically or through psychotherapy, often restores memory as well.
7- Determine if memory loss is a concern
Restak emphasized that not all memory problems are a problem. For example, I don’t remember Where did you park your car? In a huge garage full of vehicles is totally normal. however, Forgetting how you got to the parking lot in the first place indicates possible memory problems, He said.
Restak highlighted this There is no simple solution to what should be a concern about memory lapses, and much of it depends on context. For example, it is normal for a person to forget the hotel room number, but not their home address. He concluded that if you are concerned, it is best to consult a medical expert.