Aging often leads to certain memory problems. As people age, the body changes, and that includes the brain as well. As a result, some people may find it more difficult to learn new things, that they don’t remember information as well as they used to, or that they miss things. But this decline can be avoided, or at least slowed down.
That’s what neuroscientist Richard Restak, a professor at the George Washington University Hospital School of Medicine and Health, said after treating patients with memory problems for decades.
Restak, author of more than 20 books, recently published “The Complete Guide to Memory: The Science of Brain Strengthening”, which includes tools that can help “overcome daily memory problems”, such as performing mental exercises, following regular sleep habits or healthy sleep. diet.
As reported by American media The New York Times, the expert looks at all aspects of memory, considering how memory relates to creative thinking, the impact of technology on memory, and how memory shapes identity.
Restak focuses on working memory, which he defines as the “most important” type of memory that lies between immediate retrieval and long-term memory, and is related to intelligence, focus, and achievement. Although the expert emphasizes that it is necessary to do daily exercises to strengthen working memory, he also points out that it is very important to strengthen all memory skills to avoid problems that may arise later. The tricks a neurologist recommends for maintaining a healthy memory are:
Daily Memory Exercises
There are many memory exercises you can incorporate into everyday life. As an example, the expert suggests making and maintaining a shopping list. When shopping, try to do it from memory and avoid looking at the list. It’s also nice to drive without GPS and try to navigate the streets from memory.
Pay More Attention
Some memory lapses are actually attention problems, not memory. For example, you may have forgotten the name of someone you met at a party because you were talking to several people at the time and didn’t pay attention when you heard it. “Inattention is the main cause of memory difficulties, it means you’re not encoding memory correctly,” says Restak. One way to pay attention when learning new information, such as a name, is to associate the word with an object or phenomenon and visualize it. In addition, there are several treatments for lack of focus.
Read More Novels
“When people start to have memory problems, they tend to switch to factual reading,” Restak says, emphasizing that novels are helpful because they require active interaction with the text. “You need to remember what the character did on page 3 when you get to page 11,” he explains.
Games like bridge and chess are very useful for memory, but they are also simpler games. The teacher suggests a game in which a group or a person thinks of a place, thing or person, and the others have to find out using 20 yes or no questions. To win, explains the expert, the questioner must keep all previous answers in memory to guess the correct answer.
Beware of Technology
The expert points out that the biggest problem with memory today is distraction, and says that technology plays an important role. According to a neurologist, keeping everything on the phone can harm our memory. “Why bother focusing, focusing and straining to visualize something when a cell phone camera can do all the work for you?” wrote the expert. The second “technology distraction” is that technological tools distract us from the task at hand.
Work With a Mental Health Professional if Needed
There are scientific studies that show that depression causes memory problems. “Depression is one of the most common causes among people who are referred to neurologists for memory problems,” says Restak. Obviously, getting professional help would be the right step to get out of depression. Treating depression, whether chemical or through psychotherapy, tends to restore memory.
Determine if There is Any Cause for Concern
It’s also important to know when to worry because not all memory lapses are a problem. For example, not remembering where you parked your car in a crowded parking lot is perfectly normal. However, forgetting how to get to the parking lot indicates possible memory problems.