A recent Special Health Report, Improving Memory, by Harvard Medical School has outlined the six simple steps to keeping our minds sharp at any age. While lapses in memory can happen at any age, significant memory loss in older adults tends to occur due to disorders, brain injury, or neurological illness – not aging itself.
Studies have shown that there are methods to prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia, including staying physically active, getting enough sleep, having good social connections, not smoking or drinking more than one drink a day, and eating a Mediterranean style diet. In addition, Harvard Health Publishing has outlined the 6 simple steps to keep your mind sharp at any age:
- Keep learning – Experts believe that challenging the brain and advanced education helps keep our memory strong by staying mentally active.
- Use all your senses – Studies show that the more senses we use while learning, the more our brains will work in retaining the memory.
- Believe in yourself – Older adults who don’t believe they are in control of their memory function are less likely to work at improving their memory skills, therefore we have a better chance of keeping our minds sharp if we believe we can improve our memory.
- Prioritize your brain use – Use your mental energy to prioritize learning and remembering new and important things, rather than trying to remember things that can be added to your calendar or put on a to-do list.
- Repeat what you want to know – In order to remember something new that you heard, read, or thought about – repeat it out loud or write it down to reinforce your memory.
- Space it out – Rather than repeating a thought or action many times in a short period of time, re-study the essentials over longer periods of time.
Read more about boosting your memory and other health tips at www.health.harvard.edu.