‘I did call you‘, I said to the voice at the other end of the line.
‘Check your phone he said,’ not believing me for an instant. I did call but he never received it. I thought he was not answering my call and then I realised the amount of lousy signal was to blame.
I have been thinking about my memory lately, In just one week, I had mislaid my passport, picked up the wrong set of keys (twice), left my phone in a cafe, and forgot to bring my friend over her protein bars, I had promised her. I also had been accused by one of my friends for not remembering about a photo I took of her last year. Stupidly that has injured our friendship and I was surely hoping I would be excused. Not so, the issue had got stuck in her brain and my bad memory was just too much for her to cope with.
Is this old age? Do I need to do some work on my brain or am I developing some scary disease? Is my brain mass, shrinking in the frontal lobe and hippocampus? areas involved in higher cognitive function.
‘I am losing it,’ I cry to my friend Debs.
‘Stop telling yourself that or you will believe it‘ she remarks.
OMG she is so right. If I keep thinking my memory is awful, it will be. We are what we think we are, is that not so?
‘Get off Google,’ I can hear you shout, but please let me tell you I have just read that problems can often start at the age of 60 and I need to voice my fears now, Before I forget about them next week. I need to start researching.
Firstly, let me go back to mentioning about my wonderful walk this morning. Yesterday I had researched the symbolic meanings about the number SIX, as yesterday was our sixth day of our walking challenge. Please read my former post DAY SIX so you can keep up here.
The TURTLE which symbolises health and creation, and the WOLF, which symbolises leadership and direction. I had favoured the turtle. I have never felt like a leader and as for direction, well, I should tell you, never give me a map to follow. We will get lost.
Before my walk this morning, I engaged in some conversations with my Indian friends in Jaipur, over finding teachers for the children. I have now managed to find them four. It made good news to wake up to.
What is so special about this?
All the teachers I have found I have met through my travels. This is why I love traveling so much. I would tell you this is leadership and direction. Maybe I am a bit of a wolf after all. I just need to tell myself that.
So as a bit of an exercise mantra, Here goes……….
I have a great memory and I am a brilliant leader and I know exactly where I am going.
With that mantra in my head I am going to give my memory a work out and try and teach this old dog some new tricks, (Forget I said Dog, in fact forget I said Old)
Brain workout tips
1. Learn something new.
Doing something you are already good at will not do it, sorry. Find a new skill, Anything that will challenge your brain. Maybe you could learn to read maps. Make sure it is something you can build on. Rewards are great for your brain (like this) so it is important to find something that will monitor your progress in some way. Your memory is like a muscle, as they say, use it or lose it.
2 Keep up with physical exercise.
This keeps your brain sharp. Aerobic exercise is particularly good and keeps your blood pumping. Anything good for your heart is also good for your brain. Exercise where you need to practice good hand to eye co-ordination is also helpful. (Dance the Tango Lauren, remember? you put it on your bucket list TWO YEARS AGO) I have spoken before about the effects, exercise will have on your stress hormones but it also plays a role in neuroplasticity stimulating neuronal connections which are linked to your learning and memory. Impressed with these long words. (Give myself a spelling test)
3. Get your Sleep sorted.
If you are anything like me, I have developed a really bad habit of sleeping with my phone. I know it is bad and it is on my list of new habits to address. Shutting my laptop and phone off an hour before I go to bed. Ouch that is going to hurt.
Sleep is critical to keeping our memory healthy, whatever age we are. We have been telling our kids this for years, on every school night. Now I must start practicing what I preached all that time ago.
4 Stay social and make time for your friends
Countless studies now show that staying social and having fun with friends is as important for your cognitive skills, as attempting the Times crossword every day. We are social animals. During the pandemic we hear too many stories of unfortunate people suffering from mental health problems and depression. Often this is because of fear and isolation. If you know of somebody suffering in isolation, Please reach out to them, if only for a chat. Sometimes we do not know they are suffering, but call anyway. Social media is a great tool for this. Here is a little memory exercise for you to do.
Write down as many names of people you have not heard from in a while, now send them all a friendly message. Interaction with others is one of the best brain boosters. A supportive social network of caring friends around you helps you not only stay healthy but will improve your cognitive skills. You have to return the favour to the network of friends remember. It is a two way streak.
5. Look for the funny side.
Laughter is the best medicine so they say or Laugh and the whole world laughs with you. Smile, when you really do not feel like it and see what happens. I used to be a face painter, and I always said the magic is in a child’s smile. Have you ever wondered why, children loved having their face painted, it is because people generally smile back at them, whether they are painted as a monster a tiger or a princess. the faces are always happy ones. Your brain starts to convince itself it is happy and all the feel good chemicals start activating. Take up Laughter Yoga, Remember stay happy. Stress can destroy brain cells and causes damage to the hippocampus, this is the part of the brain where we form new memories and find the old ones.
5.Learn to Meditate
It is not difficult and you actually do get better at it. My tip, sit in a comfortable chair. If I lay down I will fall asleep. Meditation is a fantastic way to empty your mind and clear all the dust out. I have always had a better experience if I go to a guided meditation, a group or a private session. However there are plenty of online recordings free on YouTube for you to listen to.
Healthy eating healthy eating healthy eating.!!!!
Yeah, you know it is my answer to everything. Our body needs good nourishment but so does our brain. Feed it well and your brain will let you know about it. Whenever I start to feel a bit foggy brained I take a look and see what I have been eating or drinking. For me I have to watch alcohol. If I have more than a glass in the evening I can feel the difference to my mood the following day
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