Better talks to an expert about why we forget and how to get our brain power back.
Tags:How Stress Effects Memory Loss,Brian Exercises,Cross Train Brain,Day Dreaming and Memory Loss,memory loss,Phisical Activity and Memory Loss,Super Foods and Memory Loss
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Rhiannon Ally: We all had an attack of the forgetfulness whether its losing our car keys or forgetting where we parked the car, don't panic it's not because you're losing your mind. Catherine LeFebvre, senior editor lhj.com is here to explain why we forget certain things and how we can get our brains back and jump start our memory. Well, we have all been there, how about we Catherine? Catherine LeFebvre: Definitely. Rhiannon Ally: Let's talk first of all why are we forgetting things? Is it just as because we're getting older? Catherine LeFebvre: You know, not necessarily, it can be much simpler than that. It could be too little sleep, a little bit of stress never helps and then a lot of times people just spend their day on auto pilot. They do the same thing over and over so they are not really remembering the details of their day. Rhiannon Ally: Okay so stress we know is a big one. What are some things we can do to just get that brain power back? Reduce our stress level I am assuming is one. Catherine LeFebvre: Reduces stress always helps. It's actually the more you relax the sharper your memory is. So it's okay to just daydream for a little bit and say that you are doing it for your brain health. Rhiannon Ally: I see, I like that, you know, you often get in trouble thinking I should be doing this or that but you really need that for your mind. Catherine LeFebvre: Just relax and let your brain calm down. Exercise is another great one. Studies show that you can cut your lifetime risk for dementia in half by doing some sort of physical activity because it increases the blood flow to your brain and that can help with your ability to focus. Rhiannon Ally: Okay so not only you can look good but you are going to help your brain too. What about what we eat? Is that important too? Catherine LeFebvre: Definitely, there are so called super-foods for your mind health. So those are your Omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and soybeans. Antioxidants which is really easy this time of the year because berries are in season and then folic acids, so drink OJ in the morning. Rhiannon Ally: Now, I like to do crossword puzzles occasionally and I've heard that that's good for your brain, is that enough? Catherine LeFebvre: It's good for your brain and I love to do it too but just reading that everyday isn't really going to cut it. You have to cross train your brain in the same way that you would cross train your muscles. So - Rhiannon Ally: So what does that mean exactly that you need to also be -- reading a book, doing things like that? Catherine LeFebvre: Exactly, so find things that you like to do because if you don't like it you're not going to bother with it and be there also a little bit of a challenge and it also helps that if things are social, so start a book club or challenge your kids to a sudoku tournament. Rhiannon Ally: Anything that really uses that brain - Catherine LeFebvre: Uses your mind and it is also fun. Rhiannon Ally: Okay. So let's go through a few situations that I'm sure a lot of us have been in and you can tell us how to you know get pass that sticky situation. First of all, I throw out a party, we've all been there, where you are introduced to someone and then you forget their name literally, 2 seconds later, what can we do? Catherine LeFebvre: I hate that, it's so embarrassing. Rhiannon Ally: It's horrible. Catherine LeFebvre: So a good trick that I would like to use is to repeat their names three times to yourself silently and then as much as you can try and use their name in conversation. You are not going to stick. Rhiannon Ally: Oh! Because then you are going to remember, okay. So, what about, you know, you can't remember a short grocery list or if you are headed somewhere to an address unless you write it down or put it in your phone. Catherine LeFebvre: How you think about like some number of combinations that you have to remember, like your social security number or phone numbers, well they are stuck in your head no matter what and that works because you're grouping things in too little chunks. So take your grocery list and group it. Rhiannon Ally: Oh, so may be do all price items together. Catherine LeFebvre: Sure, or you can make an acronym like bread-eggs-apple-tea, is B-E-A-T, so I need to get B-E-A-T today and that's how you need to remember. Rhiannon Ally: Well, that's a good one. Okay so what about if your husband calls or your daughter calls and says, pick up some milk, pick up some bread on your way home and you forget and you know, you get home without it and you are in trouble. Catherine LeFebvre: What I like to do is think of the place where you're going to need to remember that. So if you put the post, that note that says pick up milk on your bag and then your bag is sitting next to you in your car you are going to see it. So that way you will remember to pick up the milk. Rhiannon Ally: Okay, so this is the big one because we have all done this. I know you at home have done this, you come in the door, set your keys somewhere and you forget where you put up, they're gone. Catherine LeFebvre: Yeah, I do that pretty much everyday. Rhiannon Ally: Yeah, so what can we do? Catherine LeFebvre: Its silly but you know it works. If you just say I am putting my keys on the table then you hear yourself and because you said it, you'll remember that. Rhiannon Ally: Okay so keep it; say that loud, that's easy enough. Thank you so much Catherine. Catherine LeFebvre: Thank you all. Rhiannon Ally: For other tips on jump starting your memory and getting your brain back, pick up Ladies Home Journal magazine or you can go to lhj.com.