As we age, most of us notice a drastic change in our ability to remember things. Fortunately, there are quick, simple, effective things we can do to help us remember things. Keep reading to learn how to keep your mind sharp with five little changes.
How to Keep Your Mind Sharp With 5 Little Changes
Economize Your Brain Use
No matter how old you are, you can only remember so many things. If you do not expend your limited mental energy remembering where you put your keys or what time you need to attend your granddaughter’s middle school graduation, you will be able to concentrate more on learning and remembering new, important things. Use address books, planners, calendars and other tools to help you easily access routine information. You should have a designated place for things such as your glasses, keys and wallet in your home so you do not need to remember where you put them last night. To minimize distractions, declutter your home and office so you can focus on what you want to remember.
Make a Mnemonic
Mnemonic devices are an effective method for how to keep your mind sharp no matter your age. It is a way to remember lists of information with either acronyms or sentences. For example, RICE is a mnemonic device used to remember first-aid advice for injured limbs. This well-known acronym stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. Similarly, “every good boy deserves fudge” is a common mnemonic device in the form of a sentence to help people remember the musical notes E, G, B, D and F on the lines of the treble clef.
Space It Out
Repitition is an incredibly effective way to keep your mind sharp. However, just like kids should never cram for an exam, you should never try to learn too many things at once. Research has proven that spaced rehearsal improves recall in both healthy people and those with physically based cognitive problems. If you are learning something complicated, space out periods of study that are a few hours apart.
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
When you hear, read or think about something you want to remember, repeat it. Write it down or say it out loud. This reinforces the connection or memory. For example, if someone tells you her name, use it when you speak to her – “So, Ashlyn, I heard your daughter graduated from Alabama.” If you put your wallet on your desk instead of your nightstand, tell yourself out loud that you have done that. If you are worried you will still forget, set an alarm for the morning with the memo “wallet on desk.” Also, if you need information repeated, never hesitate to ask.
Research has shown that keeping your mind active is the best way to keep it sharp. Start every morning with a crossword or number puzzle to challenge your brain and stimulate communication among your individual brain cells. If your job does not keep you mentally active, pick up a hobby or learn a new skill. Learn how to play the piano. Read a book. Volunteer your time while practicing a new skill you are learning. Keep it fun.
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To improve your memory, use your mental energy for learning new, important information. Use mnemonic devices and repetition to help cement new information, but do not try to learn too many things at once. However, the most important thing you can do to keep your mind sharp is never stop learning. We hope you have enjoyed learning how to keep your mind sharp with five little changes. If so, create an account with Senior Life News to be notified of new blog posts and follow us on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.