Thursday, May 8, 2008

Aging Gracefully - Improving Memory

Despite what society says, as we age we don't lose our memories, we merely have a slowing in the ability to absorb, store, and retrieve new information. You can still make and recall new long-term memories; the process just takes a little longer. The good news is, with each new experience or memory that you store, you are able to associate it with your depth of past experiences, and become wiser than those younger than you.

Here are some simple tips for keeping your memory agile:

Memories are consolidated at night. A proper nights sleep helps ensure short term memories become long-term. Practice good sleep hygiene, by relaxing the hour before you go to bed, avoiding alcohol, caffeine and sleep medications. Sip on chamomile or valerian tea if you have trouble falling asleep. See your naturopathic doctor or family physician if you have difficulty falling asleep or have sleep apnea.

Socialize! Engaging in conversation with others is very stimulating to the brain. Asking relevant questions and practicing descriptive narratives of daily events will keep your brain active and your memory engaged.

Stimulate your mind by learning something new! Can you do crossword puzzles in your sleep? Try Sudoku. Have you played Hearts for years? Try Bridge. Is your favorite game Checkers? Maybe it's time to learn to play Chess. Take a cooking class, an expressive arts class, learn another language or take music lessons. Keep learning!

Manage your stress. Come to a meditation, a yoga class or a drum session. These classes teach you mental focus while helping you relax and lessen the stress in your life.

Believe in yourself! You have a good memory. You can memorize easily. You are a wonderful, caring, active and intelligent being. Have you told yourself that today?

If you're interested in learning more, come take a class at Life Sculpting, or stop by for a free consultation. We look forward to seeing you.

Be well!
Dr. Weeshoff

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