I feel stupid ….Can’t find your car keys? Forget what’s on your grocery list? Can’t remember the name of a well-known acquaintance you like? You’re not alone. Everyone forgets things occasionally. Still, memory loss is nothing to take lightly. If you remember just one word from my talk here today it’s because of your hippocampi Ground Zero for your memory now, annual dementia risk in the future. It comes from the Greek word hippo for horse and Kampos for sea monster.
One reason I keep calling my dog Nick which is my son’s name, and I call him Buck which is my dogs name is because my hippocampi is shrinking at about .5% per year beginning at age 50. And yet according to Harvard and the Mayo Clinic you can help your Hippocampi grow by following some simple day-to-day procedures.
- Stay mentally active
Memorize something every day. Just as physical activity helps keep your body in shape, mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape — and might keep memory loss at bay. Do crossword puzzles. Read a section of the newspaper that you normally skip. Take alternate routes when driving. Learn to play a musical instrument. Volunteer at a local school or community organization.
- Socialize regularly
Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with loved ones, friends and others — especially if you live alone. When you’re invited to share a meal or attend an event, go!
- Get organized
You’re more likely to forget things if your home is cluttered. Jot down tasks, appointments and other events in a special notebook, calendar or electronic planner. You might even repeat each entry out loud as you jot it down to help cement it in your memory. Keep to-do lists current and check off items you’ve completed. Set aside a certain place for your wallet, keys and other essentials.Limit distractions and don’t try to do too many things at once. If you focus on the information that you’re trying to remember, you’ll be more likely to recall it later. It might also help to connect what you’re trying to remember to a favorite song or another familiar concept.
- Sleep well
Sleep plays an important role in helping you consolidate your memories, so you can recall them down the road. Make getting enough sleep a priority. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a day.
- Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet might be as good for your brain as it is for your heart. Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry. What you drink counts, too. Not enough water or too much alcohol can lead to confusion and memory loss.
- Include physical activity in your daily routine
Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. This can help keep your memory sharp. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (think brisk walking) or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity (such as jogging) — preferably spread throughout the week. If you don’t have time for a full workout, squeeze in a few 10-minute walks throughout the day.
- Manage chronic conditions
Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations for any chronic conditions, such as depression or kidney or thyroid problems. The better you take care of yourself, the better your memory is likely to be. In addition, review your medications with your doctor regularly. Various medications can impact memory.
- Meditate 10 min. per day
Practice this routine that I will call the 5-5-5 sit up straight, close your eyes, and then inhale slowly for a count of five, then exhale for a count of five slowly do this for 5 min. stay with the count and the movement of your breath, even if your mind wanders. Practiced this twice a day or, if you’re stressed all the time, perhaps three or four times a daily
- Get 1,500 mg of omeg-3s daily.
Harvard University has concluded that people who have higher levels of DH a and EP a bounded fatty fish also have larger Hippocampi.
You should have known I would tie hypnosis in. To eliminate stress, which can cause memory loss, and to learn self-hypnosis to guide you into that meditative state faster by design.
- Helping to remember Names
When you meet someone new what are you fixated on, yourself you may be thinking about your handshake, making eye contact or having spinach in your teeth we are so busy with thoughts about herself and our first impression that their name never gets locked in. You can change that.
Say their name back to them three times asking questions with associate one or two things with this person what is distinctive about this person. And later when you walk up to this person, do not say “what is their name”, think of the association you had made. Focus, focus, focus and again hypnosis will help with this.
- Another great way to grow your Hippocampi
Do this memory trick for 20 min. every other day. Regular deck of cards. Turn one card face up and memorize that card, place another card face up on top of. Now name the first card aloud. Cover the second card with a third face up. Name the second card get it. Not do the deck.
When that becomes too easy you can deal another card face up, noted and cover with another card face up. But now deal a third face up begin naming the first call. Go from there, naming the card two cards back and each new deal.
Every four weeks, increase the number card to cover. If you can get up to 10 covered, all the brain experts say you are an ace.
13 Juggling three objects, for 5 min. a day.