Short-term memory loss can be a natural side effect of aging, or can be caused by disease, injury, stress, or as a side effect of drug use. Though it will take time, patience, and dedication, you can improve your memory. Here are some tips on reclaiming your short term memory.
1-Sharpen your mind. Your brain responds to activity and stimulation much like your muscles do—–it gets stronger with regular exercise. When you learn how to do new things, your brain forms new neural pathways, helping it to grow and make connections to other pathways. Take up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try, learn a new musical instrument, or enroll in a college or night class. This gives you longer-term goals that engage your brain on a regular basis, with measurable outcomes. More immediate activities such as a crossword or sudoku puzzles, or reading up on something you know nothing about stimulate your mind as much as doing new things. These tasks might seem difficult at first, and that’s good—–challenging means your brain is being forced to work.
2-Interact with other people. Unlike a hobby, or a crossword puzzle, or even learning new things, relationships stimulate your brain because they’re unpredictable and always challenging, forcing you to stay alert and engaged. Harvard School of Public Health researchers found evidence that elderly people who have an active social life may have a slower rate of memory decline than those who are isolated. In fact, they’ve found that not only do socially-connected people have slower memory loss, they also have a slower mortality rate. So get out there and meet people!
3-Use mnemonics. This is a great tool for everybody to master, not just for people who suffer from short-term memory loss. Mnemonics is the technique of attaching a word, phrase, or image to an object. This skill can be very powerful, and the memorization will stick in your brain like super glue. Perhaps you’ve never heard of mnemonics, but ask yourself: “Self, how many days are in September?” Chances are, the first thing that popped into your mind was “30 days hath September. “If you meet a woman named Zoe, rhyme a feature on her face with her name. It doesn’t even have to make sense. “Zoe, eyes aglow-y,” for example. Make yourself laugh with your mnemonic. Make your memory aid a rude limerick, as in “The new boss’s name is Vig Ronson, who’s rumored to have a…,” etc. (Fill in the blanks—–it’s good for your memory!)
4-Eat brain food. Unless you’re a zombie, this means eating foods that will help your brain function well. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids are recognized as very good for your mental acuity. You’ve probably heard a lot about fish being “brain food,” and it’s true! Cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, trout, herring, and sardines are all rich in omega-3s, and can even lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Don’t like fish? Many foods are including omega-3 supplements in them, like eggs and organic milk. Natural foods such as soybeans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseed (oil and seeds) all are rich in omega-3s––just be sure to consume every food type fresh to avoid rancidity.
5-Get plenty of sleep. An adequate amount of shut-eye each night will help your brain perform at its best the next day. Aim for seven to nine uninterrupted hours (the precise amount is dependent on your body’s own personal need, which varies from person to person). Importantly, get out of bed as soon as you feel well-rested, at the same time every day–the routine establishes a healthful, regular pattern. If possible, establish a solid routine in which you go to sleep at the same time every night.
Mrs. Sara Alabd-Almuhsin
English department- PAAET