7 ways to beat ‘senior’ moments
People now commonly use the term ‘senior moment’ for situations when someone young or old forgets something. The adjective ‘senior’ can be a misnomer because while the difficulty to remember things can come with old age, adults in general can suffer from poor memory health without them being aware of it.
Here are seven ways you can do, at any age, to boost your brain power for memory:
1. Increase your physical activity
In 2006, a study by the University of Illinois concluded that physical activity improves brain function in almost every way, including memory. Researchers in Netherlands likewise reported that simply walking for an hour, twice a week, could boost a person’s power of recall.
Do you recall the last time you took the stairs instead of the elevator?
2. Get enough sleep all the time
Chronic lack of sleep causes not only poor concentration, but also difficulty to introduce new information into the brain. Experts also say that sleep deprivation may prevent the brain from doing “memory housekeeping” essential to recalling information learned the previous day.
Do you recall the last time you slept for eight hours straight?
3. Sustain your social activities
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health published in July last year reports that older people with the most number of social activities had the slowest rate of memory decline over a six-year period. While experts cannot fully correlate social activities with a healthy memory, the inherent mental workout in social interactions (remembering names, engaging in conversations on a variety of subjects) seems to play a role in improving memory health.
Do you recall the last time you had a very engaging conversation with someone that you lost track of time?
4. Choose to be positive
A study by Rush University Medical Center in Chicago concluded that people who are often stressed or depressed are 40 percent more likely to develop memory problems than people with more positive disposition. Depression, experts say, saturates our bodies with high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can damage regions of the brain crucial to memory.
Do you recall the last time you laughed your heart out?
5. Do easier puzzles
University of Pennsylvania scientists found that people who solved word puzzles had a boost of blood flow to the brain, but those who tried and failed had reduced flow. They say that frustration to solve the word puzzle may interfere with the brain’s ability to store new information.
When was the last time you answered a crossword puzzle and completed it?
6. Avoid editing your ideas
A new study in Neuro-Image shows that when people brainstorm without editing their ideas, more blood flows to a memory-processing area of the brain. When you think you can’t fully share your ideas in a meeting, remember it or jot it down on paper and then discuss it with your boss or colleague after the meeting.
Do you recall the last time you participated in a free-flowing discussion or brainstorming at home, school, or in the office?
7. Eat dark chocolates
In a British study, people who downed a cocoa drink had a 50 percent increase in the blood streaming into memory centers of the brain. Flavanol content in chocolate varies, so try a bar with a high cacao content percentage.
Do you recall the last time you feasted on dark chocolate?
Keeping our memory healthy isn’t a ‘senior’ concern; the sooner we start doing it the longer we can enjoy the benefits of a sharp memory for our personal relationships and professional career.
This article was first published in Unilab’s website. Check it out here.