Harvard Health Publications has put out a list of “tricks and tips” for helping us to be more effective in remembering everyday events like where we put our glasses, or the name of the person we just met at a barbecue. “As we grow older, the ability to learn new information and recall it declines somewhat. Most people notice it around age 50. One reason for the change is that the rate at which the brain processes information slows down a bit starting in middle age,” says Dr. Anne Fabiny, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.  Maybe a few of these tips can help you navigate your life with a little less anxiety, and frustration…..

Take time – Slow down and pay attention when learning new things.  Give the brain’s memory system the time it needs to get the job done.

Be a better listener – In conversation, really focus on what you are hearing.  Use active listening techniques: “So, if I hear you right, what you are saying is…”

Use a digital brain – Transfer some of the demand on your memory to a “digital brain.”  The calendar and reminder tools in smartphones or tablets can take on some of the responsibility for the mundane memory tasks that forgetfulness affects.

Avoid distractions – Don’t have important conversations, listen to podcasts or the radio, or read in a noisy, distracting environment.

Do one thing at a time – Multitasking and absentmindedness often go together.  If you take on too many mental tasks at once, it overwhelms your memory.

Create memory cues – Use an object, place or event to remind you to do something else. A classic memory tip is putting your medications next to your toothbrush.  That will remind you to take evening drugs when you brush your teeth before bed, and also your morning prescriptions when brushing in the morning….. Harvard Health Publications     August, 2012




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