Your Psychiatric Nurse

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After a long day at the office, you need to grocery shop, but you can`t remember what items you`re missing from the fridge.  While some herbal supplements that claim to improve memory may in fact work, there is no conclusive evidence that any of these are effective. Eliminate stressors and seek help for depression (if you have it).Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away at the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Among the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.They say that you can`t teach an old dog new tricks, but when it comes to the brain, scientists have discovered that this old adage simply isn`t true.  Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or playing” it mentally. Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Fortunately, research is yielding new ways to do that, to sharpen memory now and keep it strong as we get older.If you`ve seen one of those viral headlines claiming that three glasses of champagne a day will stave off dementia, forget them right now.  Studies have shown that doing either of these activities on a daily basis not only keep your brain active, but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia. Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away at the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate. It`ll give you the brain power to rethink other, less important matters in the future.However, problems with recall begin when we don`t practise retrieving this information and so the memories we had become lost. It`s been a long-held belief that memory loss is a natural part of aging, and there`s not much we can do about it. But the body and mind are intricately interconnected. Sarcasm aside, aerobic exercise (like running, biking, swimming… or HIIT ) is especially good for your memory. A good aerobic exercise session will increase blood flow to the brain, and has actually been shown over time to increase the size of the hippocampus, the structure in the brain responsible for memory storage and processing.As time wears on, it becomes more and more important to improve one`s memory.  Even when you`re not actively learning or attempting to remember something, your brain is filing away information for later use. Studies show the brain actually moves information to a more permanent storage space during sleep. Sleep depravation causes a decrease in leptin, the appetite-suppressing hormone, and an increase in ghrelin, the hunger hormone. If you`re limiting your carb intake, you may also be limiting your brain power.
Not exactly the best nutritional profile for optimal health or, as it turns out, for memory. A diet high in refined sugar has been linked to memory loss, and even long term brain diseases like Alzheimer`s! If you couldn`t care less about your memory and just want to be a beefy dummy, this tip would also be useful for you. So, limiting your carb intake - when you`re not yet fat-adapted - can make it more difficult to exercise which, as discussed above, is hugely important for improving your memory and preventing cognitive decline. Too much alcohol will impair memory; we all have a few fuzzy party nights that prove that point.While carbs may help your day-to-day memory by providing energy to your brain, they don`t actually improve your brain`s functionality, or protect it from future memory loss. I`m sure you`ve seen the ads for memory apps on TV. The ones that use the science of neuroplasticity” to improve your brain. The apps claim they will change your brain for the better just by playing their games. This act alone should trigger your memory when it comes time to look for your keys.The research suggests that, basically, you only get better at the games because you keep playing and getting used to their specific mechanics. Your memory can store facts, sounds, tastes, smells, touch sensations, what you see, and even your feelings. Using your memory is a bit like you storing files in different folders on your computer so that you can find them more easily when you need them. You can exercise your memory and label the information in such a way that you can find it when you need it. Your amazing brain does a whole heap of this without you really noticing what it is doing. Practise maths facts: eg tables need a lot of practising for them to stick in your memory.This is seeing something in your mind so that you will remember it - like when you take your maths book out of your bag and put it on the floor. Write words in a different way like down the page instead of left to right, or in a different font or on a computer or using a feather and paint or… Well, I`m sure you can think of lots of ways to make writing words and learning them a whole lot more interesting. It seems to me that as we get older and as our bodies` strength and agility begins to decline, the importance of memory and our ability to tell life stories increase.Losing your memory before your physical health and mobility would be a devastating tragedy; like losing a child, no one should have to go through that. We lift puzzles and word games and math problems, take classes, and study literature. The following infographic (click on it to download a pdf version) does a great job of explaining how writing and, in particular, storytelling, may positively affect memory. My process for writing lately is to pen ideas and sometimes a beginning of a story or memory in my journal. If the answer to either of these questions is yes, take a moment to read our tips on improving the vitality of your brain and consequently improving your memory.


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