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... Because it's All in Your Mind!

 

Memory Spring Monthly

Contributors to Increased Forgetfulness

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We all suffer from forgetfulness.  Every day we have our senior moments.  Some days are better than others.  It’s when we get a sense that our forgetfulness is increasing that throws us into a panic. We begin to freak out and believe that we’re on the road to Alzheimer’s.  Calm down! In most cases we’re not on that road, however, it makes sense to begin evaluating what might be contributing to increased forgetfulness.
 
Here are a number of known contributors to forgetfulness:
 
Alcohol – It’s commonly known that alcohol impairs brain function.  One or two servings of wine (or other alcohol beverage) per day are considered good for your health, however, chronic alcohol consumption can seriously impair memory functions. If you’re on medications at the same time you’re consuming alcohol, you could be serving yourself a true memory numbing cocktail. 
 

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Memory Keys to Improve Test Taking

 
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Test taking is something we all do. Whether it’s for school or a certification or a license, we all take tests.  While some of us are really good at it, most of us don’t get the results that we want.  The key to performing well on tests is preparation.  
 
With good preparation our brain can store information in a way that it’s easily retrievable.  Poor preparation makes it virtually impossible to access key data when you need it. 
 
Here are some things that you can do to make information easier to store and recall: 
 
Avoid Cramming - Many times we cram before tests.  We spend countless hours reading and reviewing at the last minute. Then when we take the test we blank out or only remember a small portion of material. The problem is that our brain needs the data stored in our head in a recallable way. In most cases, when you reach the point where you have to cram, you have run out of time to structure the information the right way.  Consequently, you’re all night cramming session becomes a waste of time and energy. 
 

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Improve Reading Recall Through Proper Previewing

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Our memory is wrapped around everything  in our lives. One area that most of us struggle with is reading recall (retention). It seems like every time we read something it goes into our eyes yet never sticks in our brain. We end up having to read something multiple times before it sticks. As a result, we burn valuable time and energy. In addition, we never get the retention, comprehension rate, and test scores (if testing) that we need. Proper previewing can help.
 
Previewing reading material is a simple process that prepares the mind for reading and establishes a framework for reading effectiveness and comprehension. While it takes a little bit of time upfront, you gain huge time savings in faster reading speed, better recall, and improved reading comprehension. Just follow these simple steps for non-fiction books and you will experience significant improvement in a short period of time.
 

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Why Do We Walk into Rooms and Forget?

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“What did I come into this room for?  What was I going to do?” 
 
These are questions we ask ourselves every day.  Almost every time we’re working on something in one room and then walk into a new one we forget why we came into that room.  Of course then we beat ourselves up and/or we freak out and begin worrying that we’re on our way to Alzheimer’s land.  Well, it’s time to stop worrying.  Recent research shows that it’s a common occurrence and that our brain struggles with changes of scenery. It’s called the “doorway effect.”
 
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame found that when we change our scenery (rooms) our brain forgets things. The researchers tested people in real environments and virtual environments (video games).  It didn’t matter what environment (virtual or real), when people switched rooms they tended to forget many of the things that they had with them and why they were in the new room. 
 

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