Everyone has memory gaps from time to time — the word that’s on the very tip of your tongue, or the house keys that aren’t where you swear you left them. Memory gaps and errors refer to the incorrect recall, or complete loss, of information in the memory system for a specific detail and/or event. Try 9 simple steps that can help keep your brain sharp:
1. Step It Up
A 30-minute daily walk is one of the best things you can do for your body, including your brain. Some studies suggest that physical activity also triggers the release of a protein called BDNF, which promotes healthy nerve cells in the brain. That could give your memory a boost.
2. Go Mediterranean
A healthy diet is always good for your brain, but one eating style in particular may be best for preserving memory. One study found people who closely followed this diet were nearly 20% less likely to develop thinking and memory problems than people who didn't stick to a Mediterranean eating plan.
3. Engage Your Brain
"Just like physical exercise, mental exercise is good for you," says Winnie Lim Khoo MD FPNA, Brian, Spine & Nerve Specialist in Manila Doctors Hospital. Play cards, join a book club, watch a basketball game with friends and discuss the score, or play a brain-training app. Any mentally challenging activity will keep your mind sharp.
4. Stay Social
Card games and book clubs also keep you socially active -- another plus for your brain.
"The more social connections someone has, the better they are at preserving mental function and memory," Dr Winnie says. Social interaction also enhances memory through its effects on mood. "We see a lot more depression in people who are socially isolated," Dr Winnie says. "Depression itself can cause dementia."
5. Sleep Right
Try to get a good night's sleep. Attention and concentration go down when sleep is restless, and mental function is not as sharp as it is in those who have normal, restful sleep.
6. Stop Stress
“Being under stress is very bad for your brain," According to Dr Winnie Lim Khoo MD FPNA. High levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, make it harder to pull out information from your brain's memory. To relieve stress, try different ways to relax, like meditation, yoga, or massage.
7. Quit Cigarettes Now
If you smoke, quit. Smoking speeds up memory loss as you age. Smoking's effect on memory is probably due to small strokes it can cause in the brain, Turner says. Try nicotine replacement, medicine, or counseling to help you kick the habit for good.
8. Get Checked
Sometimes, medical conditions like thyroid disease, diabetes, depression, or a vitamin deficiency can trigger memory loss. Certain medicines, such as sleep and anxiety drugs, can also affect your ability to remember. See your doctor to get checked and treated for these problems, and to go over all your medicines.
9. Use Memory Tricks
When you have trouble with everyday memory, it helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Every time you learn a new name or word, say it out loud to seal it into your brain. Mentally connect each new name with an image. If you meet a girl named April, picture a tree in bloom to represent the month of April. #memoryloss #memorygap #dementia #neurologist #manila #winnielimkhoo #metromanila #brainfit #brainbooster