The Most Common Techniques for Memory Enhancement
by Amanda Box, N.D.
We’ve all done it. I certainly have. You walk into a room and you have absolutely no idea why you’re there. Or how about those times when the word you’re looking for is on the tip of your tongue, yet you just can’t seem to find it in your mind.
Some of you may call these “senior moments.” I have even heard them humorously termed “brain farts.” Having these forgetful moments once in a while is normal. However, this really doesn’t have to be. You can begin now to preserve your short term memory … before your forgetfulness becomes more frequent.
Most people wait until their lack of short term memory is affecting their daily life before they do something about it. But memory loss can be prevented! Nutrition, natural supplements and brain exercises can preserve your memory well into your senior years!
Consider how amazing and complex the human brain is! Even when you aren’t actively thinking, your brain:
- Works constantly 24/7
- Processes 2000 messages a second
- Sends information throughout the body at a speed faster than 200 mph
- Maintains your respirations, your temperature and the digestion of your food among hundreds of other functions
Truly, nothing in the body works without your brain!
From infancy into childhood, our brain is constantly developing, growing and learning. Even into adulthood, our brain continues to develop. For example, the cerebral frontal cortex of the brain, which contains our reasoning and impulse control, does not fully develop until we are 24 to 25 years old! Looking back I’m sure many of us can relate to seeing a change in our decisions once we reached our mid-twenties. Social lives, parties, and spur of the moment decisions gave way to rational, more mature decisions.
As we continue to age, a variety of influences begin to affect our brain negatively. I remember my first moment of what I like to call “momnesia” after I had my first child. I left for the grocery store with a mental list of what I needed to purchase. But when I got inside the store, I could only remember a couple items! Prior to having kids, I had such a fantastic memory that I never needed to make lists or write anything down.
Disruptions in short term memory can be caused by:
- Surges in hormones
- Poor nutrition
- Maternal instinct development during pregnancy
Into our late adult years an even greater decline in short term memory can begin to occur. People in their 50s typically begin to feel their memory slipping more often than ever before. However, this so-called normal decline in memory doesn’t have to be the case. The brain has an amazing capacity to continue to develop, but we must be willing and take the initiative.
Training the Brain to Remember
Memory occurs in 3 stages:
- Encoding: This is when a person takes in information.
- Consolidation: This is when the brain takes the information it encodes and processes it so that it gets stored.
- Retrieval: When a person recalls the stored information.
Most of the time, poor memory issues occur in the retrieval stage. The information is still taken in and stored. However, retrieving that information can be difficult. You can enhance the retrieval of this information and increase your memory into later adult years with mental training techniques.
These techniques can be used over and over in any situation to improve your memory and keep your mind sharp. People almost always remember an image or picture better than they do mere written or verbal information. So incorporating a mental image works best for retrieval.
The most common mental techniques for memory enhancement include:
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