Memory loss is something that plagues a large percentage of the American population. In fact, recent studies have shown that about one out of every nine people over the age of 45 reports experiencing at least some memory issues.
This can obviously be frustrating beyond belief. People enjoy recalling memories from when they were younger and talking about them. And if they’re not able to do this, it can feel like they were stripped of certain parts of their lives.
It can also be frustrating because it can, unfortunately, indicate the presence of serious health problems. There are millions of Americans every year who are diagnosed with dementia, which is a condition that can affect both short term memory loss and long term memory loss.
Regardless of whether you’re dealing with a condition like dementia that is taking a toll on your memory or just having a hard time recalling memories like you used to, there are things you can do to make it a little easier to remember things. Here are some ways to get around memory loss.
Share Your Memories With Other People Early and Often
If you don’t talk about your memories on a regular basis, it’s not going to be long before they fade into the background and become distant memories. It’s going to be tough for you to remember what happened a few years or even a few decades ago if it’s been years since you talked about it.
With this in mind, it’s very important for you to share your memories with other people as often as you can. They’ll usually enjoy hearing you speak about things that happened to you in the past.
You’ll get something out of sharing your memories with others, too. You’ll be forced to take a step back in time and discuss something that you may not have discussed in a little while now. And that will help to crystalize a memory in your brain for the long haul.
Your family might joke around with you and tell you that they’re tired of you telling the same stories over and over again. But you’ll be doing a good thing for yourself when you keep your mind sharp by retelling old stories multiple times.
Ask People to Fill in the Blanks When You Forget Certain Memories
One of the reasons why it’s so important for you to share your memories with others is so that they get familiar with them and can almost recite them word-for-word after hearing about them a few times. This will give them a chance to step in and fill in the blanks if you ever have a difficult time remembering a certain aspect of a story that you always tell.
They’ll be able to jog your memory in an instant so that you remember a detail that you might have left out otherwise. You’ll be so glad that they’re able to do it because it’ll prevent the frustration that can come along with struggling to remember something.
You might be tempted to yell at a family member or friend for filling in the blanks without your consent and ruining a good story (at least in your mind!). But the truth is that you’ll be happy to have someone to help you recall memories at times.
Find Ways to Trigger Memories Whenever Possible
There are so many different things that can trigger a memory when you’re going about your business on a regular old day. You might be walking down the street and hear an old song that instantly sends you back in time by making you remember a memory that you made long ago.
This happens because your brain has a tendency to package sights, smells, sounds, and more together in an effort to make stronger memories. It’s why you might remember a date that you went on 20 years ago simply because you hear a certain song playing in a store or smell a certain type of food being cooked in your kitchen.
To keep your memory strong and to make it easier for you to recall memories, you should surround yourself with things that will trigger memories all the time. These things can include photographs, yearbooks, records, and more.
The more of these things that you keep hanging around, the more likely you’ll be to sit and share your memories with others. It’ll go a long way towards strengthening your memories and your ability to remember things as a whole. It’ll also spread happiness throughout your life.
Take Part in Brain Exercises Designed to Give Your Memory a Boost
As we mentioned earlier, people tend to start losing some of their working memory as they get older. Even if it never develops into full-blown dementia, age-related memory loss is a very real thing that affects millions of people.
If you’re determined not to have to deal with this type of memory loss, you might benefit from participating in brain exercises in a big way. There are dozens of different brain exercises that you can do day in and day out to keep your brain sharper.
Here are just a few of the brain exercises that you can take part in:
- Doing puzzles
- Working math problems out in your head
- Attempting to memorize short lists of things
Many studies have also suggested that learning a new skill is something that could produce great results for those having memory problems. Whether you choose to learn a new sport, learn a new language, or learn a new recipe, you’ll be doing something that could very well work wonders for your brain.
Talk With Your Doctor About Any Memory Issues You’re Having
If you ever start to notice that you’re having difficulty remembering things all the time, you might be tempted to keep that information close to the vest. Most people don’t want to believe that there is anything wrong with their brains.
But you’ll be doing a huge disservice to yourself if you don’t speak with anyone about the memory loss problems that you’re having. These problems could spiral out of control and get way worse if nothing is done about them.
Your first step should be to discuss your memory loss issues with someone you trust (a spouse, sibling, best friend, etc.) before turning to your doctor for help. You might even want to have your loved one come to see your doctor with you to make sure you understand everything that is said to you.
In a perfect world, your doctor will be able to come up with a plan for helping you slow down memory loss. There is still so much work to be done in this area from a research standpoint. But doctors have made great strides in the area of memory loss lately, which is why seeing a doctor could really help you.
See If There Are Any Supplements That Can Help Improve Memory
There aren’t any magic pills (yet!) that are going to eradicate memory loss for you and allow you to enjoy all of the memories that you ever made. But there are some supplements that you might be able to take to stop memory loss from slowing you down as much as it does now.
After speaking with your doctor, you should get more info on how some of these supplements work so that you can take full advantage of them. They could be worth a shot for you if you’re finding that it’s becoming harder and harder to recall certain things.
Continue Making New Memories and Embracing Them
As people get older, they sometimes tend to slow them and stop making many new memories. This is a real shame because it doesn’t give them much of an opportunity to share their latest memories with people.
If you’re physically and mentally able to do it, you should continue to make new memories by going on new adventures. Getting out and seeing the world will give you an opportunity to do this.
And who knows? Making new memories might even jog some old memories and bring them back to life. It won’t be long at all before you’re sharing both your new and old memories with those around you and spreading all of the happiness that you feel.
You Don’t Have to Let Memory Issues Keep You Down
You aren’t going to be able to remember all of the memories that you’ve ever made in life on a whim. That’s just not how your brain is designed to work.
But you should be able to remember at least some of your memories so that you can share them with others. If you can’t, it would be a good idea for you to do some of the things we’ve talked about here. They might be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to keeping your memory intact.
Read through the other articles on our blog to get more great advice on living a healthier and happier life.