You must exercise your brain just as you would your body for the ultimate fitness and function. Research has proven that regular brain stimulation can keep the brain active and healthy far into later years – a great piece of news for our aging population who are worried about memory loss.
The way the brain works properly is to create new neural pathways which can connect with the stored information. When stimulated, the brain tends to create new pathways to a sort of savings account in the brain, where knowledge is stored and retrieved through the pathways.
When people maintain brain function by exercising the brain throughout their lives, a higher level of brain functioning is found.
We depend on our brains to remember people’s names and faces and even the most minimal things such as where we put our reading glasses.
There are many ways you can keep your brain active and vital well into your later years. Here are a few that you may want to try:
Mnemonic devices – The use of mnemonic devices such as puzzles that involve both numbers (Sudoku) and words (crossword puzzles) can stimulate the memory portion of your brain and are fun to do.
Brain tricks – Some studies show that you can trick your brain into remembering things. Chewing gum while you study is one way – moving your eyes back and forth when trying to memorize is another.
Focus on one thing at a time – Unfortunately, multi-tasking has become prevalent in our uber-busy society, but studies show you’re much more apt to remember things if you focus on one task at a time.
Speak aloud – When you say aloud what you’re attempting to remember something. For example, after you’re introduced to a person, repeat his or her name as you’re shaking hands.
Chunking – The art of chunking involves grouping things or numbers together so you remember them better. For example, if you have trouble remembering your driver’s license number, break it down into two or three number at a time.
Acronyms – Use this mnemonic device when you need to remember large amounts of information. For example, the word,
HOMES can be an acronym for the Great Lakes – Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior – or make up your own.
Acronyms – A mnemonic device that’s great for remembering a large amount of information. You can use acronyms which are already in place (such as H-O-M-E-S, for remember the Great Lakes – Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior) – or make them up.
Ingredients in a recipe can be remembered by making up an acronym such as, B-R-O-C-H for the ingredients: Beans, Rotel, Olives, Chili powder and Hominy to make chili.
The brain is a perfect example of the old saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” Learn something new each day and focus on every task to ensure that your brain keeps busy making new pathways and connections for your memory.