By Susan Heckler
Your memory shapes your identity as well as holds a record of your entire life. Your ability to form memories does not occur
until around the age of five.
Supposedly anyone can become a memory master by training their brain. Essentially, what you’re doing is improving and
expanding the connectivity between different centers in your brain. Memory training involves improving the connectivity in the brain.
Other devices to help you remember words, information or concepts include using:
• Acronyms – (such as ATD for “Ask The Doctor”)
• Visualizations – (such as imagining a comb to remember you have an appointment for a haircut)
• Rhymes – (remembering to tunes like “Thirty days haveth September”)
• Chunking – breaking up information into smaller “chunks” (such as organizing groups)
• Visualize – pay attention to photographs, charts, and other graphics to have visual cues
• Mediation/Bridging – a bridge is built in between the items given to be memorized
• Stop Multitasking it – it may actually slow you down, make you prone to errors as well as make you forgetful • REST
If you’re not quite ready to take up a foreign language, piano lessons or knitting, you may still be able to bolster the growth of new brain cells and neural connections by challenging your mind with various games and puzzles.
There is vast evidence that exercise produces large cognitive gains and helps fight dementia. Those who exercise have a greater volume of gray matter in the hippocampal region, which is important for memory and exercise also prevents age- related shrinkage of your brain. Research also shows that exercising four hours after learning something new helps you retain what you’ve just learned long-term.
The human brain has remarkable flexibility, and has the ability to regenerate and form new connections throughout your life. You lose certain memories but can make new ones and form new connections. Engaging in stimulating social activities, artistic pursuits and crafts keep your mind sharper with age and prevent cognitive decline, thus the importance of socialization versus social isolation for the elderly. Leisure activities that challenge the brain like chess and card games help maintain cognition.