WELL BEING: Remember

15 May

How often has it happened? You walk very purposefully into the next room and by the time you get there, you can’t remember why you went in the first place. 

Just yesterday, I accidentally gave someone the wrong phone number to my office. Fortunately, my mother overheard the conversation and corrected me. 

My clients often lament over not being able to remember whether they took their medications, what the date is and some even struggle with the spelling of common words.  In fact, I can’t recall all the times I’ve heard “It’s gonna drive me crazy if I can’t remember.” 

Somebody's Memory by luvpublishing / flickr

Memory loss can result from a number of causes.  Some folks are overstimulated by the barrage of information so readily available on TV, radio and the internet. Others have something they’ve dubbed “Pain Fog”, struggling with medications and pain management. Many people are such hard workers and so busy raising children they just plain forget some of the basics.  It’s also common for women to speak of a sharp loss in memory after menopause.  

Not only is forgetfulness stressful but it can cause a real loss of self-esteem.  “People tend to be hard on themselves, particularly so as they get older.”  Stanley Berent, Ph.D 

Fortunately, there are a few methods that can jog your memory and activate your mental super powers.  

Crossword Puzzles:  Reading the crossword puzzle clues will take your mind on a journey to find the answer, recollecting stories, shows and people from the past.  In addition, it can be a satisfying accomplishment to complete a crossword puzzle. 

Rosemary:  Yes, good old-fashioned Rosemary from the herb garden has been shown to improve memory skills dramatically in students taking tests.  Across the board, students who inhaled the scent of Rosemary oil just before taking a test were able to recall more easily, feel revived and awake and scored higher than those not using the essential oil. 

Enjoy Rosemary while it wakes up your memory.  Try Rosemary oil in an oil burner, bake up some delicious Rosemary Chicken or put a few drops of Rosemary essential oil on your dresser drawer liners. 

Talk to Yourself: Sure, it may look silly, but go ahead and talk to yourself. You can recount your favorite stories, ask the important questions and remind yourself of what you’re doing during the course of your day.  Also, you can be assured that you’re always in good company talking to yourself. 

Sing and Count: In the stress de-fusion work I do called “One Brain Therapy”, we were trained to help our clients to tune their left and right brain by having them alternate between singing and then counting from 1 to 10. This method helps to encourage the creative and mathematical aspects of the brain to harmonize with each other. 

My clients always laugh when I have them sing “row, row, row your boat” followed by counting from 1 to 10.  It’s fun and there’s no harmful side-effects. 

Affirmations: The brain is incredibly literal. In fact, research has shown that the brain reacts similarly to imagined experiences as it does to real life experiences. Which means, through carefully worded positive affirmations, we can motivate our mind to help us remember. Writing down & repeating positive affirmations can be soothing and highly effective. Why not try “I remember easily”, “My mind is sharp” & “I love to remember.” 

Keep in mind, just as most skin irritations are not cancer, the majority of forgetfulness is not Alzheimer’s Disease.  In any case, it may be very helpful to inform your physician about the extent to which you are experiencing memory loss and get a professional opinion.  Besides that, it never hurts to make a list. 

Send questions and comments to lynnvannoy@gmail.com or visit www.lynnvannoy.com 

The information in this column is not intended as medical advice. Its intention is solely informational and educational.

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