Tuesday, July 19, 2016

16 Actions You Can Do to Improve Your Memory

Be the Butterfly - Enjoy life and remember
I've been studying memory and what I can do to maintain and improve my own. My mother and father-in-law have both suffered from Alzheimer's related dementia and memory loss. It has been heartbreaking. What has been even more an issue is the effort those around them go to looking for ways to hold back or even turn back the loss of memory our loved ones suffer.

My father-in-law's memory of all children, grandchildren, friends and even his wife was completely gone in the last year, and his death in late last year was gut-wrenching. For all of that loss, we kept reminding each other that it was his last three years that were the most troubling. Not such a long period of time when we remembered that he lived to 93 in good health and gleeful about life and family.

What did he do that probably helped stave off a disease that had been diagnose early in his 70's?
  1. He was active all his life and played competitive tennis into his 70s, practicing daily when not competing in seniors tennis.
  2. He played tennis into his 80s. Then played vicariously via watching the US Open and other major tennis meets. Did you know your muscles will actually be stimulated if you watch a sporting activity with interest and interaction?
  3. He watched his diet, eating balanced meals and taking appropriate levels of vitamins, minerals and herbs.
  4. He treated everyone respectfully and with kindness.
  5. He was strongly involved in his church and spent many years with his wife as a marriage-encounter teacher.
  6. He wrote his children letters often (not typing or email).
  7. He maintained a positive attitude and encouraged others to as well.
But as I said I've been studying memory. And there are numerous ways to maintain memory even against debilitating diseases.
  1. Stay active - tennis, walking, indoor skydiving, yoga, jogging, jumping rope, ping pong - get your heart rate up and move around. Physical activity and Risk of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Elderly Persons
  2. Eat intelligently and selectively. There are numerous foods that are said to help your body combat illness and disease - blueberries, cranberries, cherries, coconut oil, olive oil, fish, garlic, oatmeal, broccoli (I'm one of those people who think broccoli is nasty tasting, but broccoli spears don't seem to bother me) Can blueberries assist in maintaining memory?
  3. Listen to music, classical, instrumental, music from your favorite memories, jazz, new age, etc.
  4. Learn to play a musical instrument - kazoo, harmonica, guitar, flute, piano - anything that forces you to learn the musical language and reproduce it with sound. Heck, play your armpit. How Music Affects the Brain for the Better
  5. Reduce stress in your life and develop ways to combat and deal with it when it arrives - exercising maybe or the next suggestion Chronic Stress Can Hurt Your Memory
  6. Get enough sleep, not too much nor too little too often. Routine sleep habits that provide the amount of sleep your body needs can help deal with stress, reduce stress and even help you not approach stressful situations as stress inducing Too Little Sleep, and Too Much Sleep, Affect Memory
  7. Hang around positive people who care about you and enjoy your positive company Optimism and Your Health
  8. Marry the person that makes your life complete and whose life you bring happiness and security to
  9. Take vitamins (cautiously, of course. Do your research) Vitamin Bible
  10. Challenge yourself daily to recall memories important to you The Effects of Aging on Memory
  11. Write a book - you'd be surprised how demanding it is to create lives for several other people, plot out the difficulties they are going through and figure out how to get them out of the inescapable corners you back them into. Write flash fiction if you want the same challenge but on a much tighter scale
  12. Meditate - you don't have to turn your legs into a pretzel. Lay down on the couch and decompress for fifteen minutes. Meditation Benefits
  13. Simplify - I don't mean sell everything and move into a tiny house. Just remove some of the complications in your life
  14. Research your family history - keeping track of all those ancestral lines is going to work your mind and give you an alternative to think about when life is handing you tough stuff.They got through it; you will too.
  15. Garden, keep a bonzai or raise koi - being involved with something that takes time, and takes it slowly will give you time to reflect and gain strength in watching your efforts create beauty in nature
  16. Don't do everything listed above - pick out a few to add to your life (activity) and a few to alter your life (diet)

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