Your memory is your ability to retain and recall things. It is who you are. It is your identity, your sense of self and your personality. Because it is a vital part of your life it is very important that you do not lose it. When you lose it you lose yourself. It is a good idea to try and improve, enhance and preserve it.
Currently, there is a lot of research on the subject which can increase your ability to be the best you can be, not only now, but as you age. Studies have shown that you need to challenge your brain. Doing crossword puzzles if you have always done them is not enough. You need to learn something new like a language. You need to have variety. Make sure you keep learning new and different things.
Physical, aerobic exercise for one hour, three times a week for three months produces increased blood flow to the brain, more neurogenesis or new cell formation, more protection for the carriers of the APOE gene, implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. It definitely lowers blood pressure, enhances cognition and improves memory.
Social interaction keeps your mind sharp and actually decreases mental decline and mortality age. If possible the interactions should foster discussions of some importance not just trivia or gossip. Remember the saying, “Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events and great minds talk about ideas.”
Memory also refers to the storage capacity of a computer. In addition to the memory in the computer you can also have an external component that will back up the stored memory. It is a good idea to have an external component in your real life that is separate from your internal memories. For instance, you might create a personal time line on paper for yourself and for your family. If you should lose your memory you will have a back- up for everything that has happened which could be invaluable.
Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305-788-4864, 212- 308-0309.