Memory – use it or lose it (and tips for keeping it)

As technology use increases, our memory decreases. There is a term for this – it’s called digital dementia, a term coined by neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer, who has written about how our cognitive abilities are breaking down, with our reliance on technology causing deterioration in brain performance, such as short-term memory dysfunction. People are relying on smart phones and other devices to remember information for them, which weakens the brain muscle, and can lead to short attention span, short term memory problems, and even emotional disturbances, like depression.

We need to rewire our brains to reverse this damage and keep our brains healthy. Here are some tips I personally use to keep the brain matter buzzing.

Write things down. I write in a daily diary at the end of the day, and make notes of things I may need to do for the next day. I also have a wall calendar where I note down my appointments, that I look at when I walk past it every day, which helps retain the information in my head.

Read a book – reading an actual book rather than a tablet has been shown to improve memory retention.

Learn a new language – this will make your brain work harder, which makes you smarter.

Learn an instrument – instruments require the use of both sides of the brain, which will help strengthen and balance.

Exercise – this increases blood flow to the brain, and accelerates the transport of nutrients.

I especially love jigsaws, and crosswords – really gives my brain a nice workout.

If we focus on disconnecting from technology, it will improve our brain health, emotional health, organisations skills, time management, and hopefully lead to better real-time connections with people, and places. Unplug, unwind, and remember…………..:).

memory

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I breathe, therefore I am

While we need to breathe to survive, breathing is also strongly related to our feelings and thoughts. If we are not in control of our breath, can we be in control of our emotions? I’m guilty of shallow breathing. Developed over a lifetime of feeling anxious, tense muscles, back injuries, and not feeling present. Notice how our breathing changes when we are confronted with stress, and anxiety. Where does our breath come from? More often than not, it will come from the chest, when it needs to come from the belly. We breathe fast and shallow in these instances and deprive ourselves of oxygen, and control over our body and mind.

Breathing fully involves our back muscles, intercostal muscles (the muscles between the ribs), and our pelvic muscles as these muscles cause the lungs to inflate and to deflate. Our breathing is the most relaxed when we awake, before we think about all we have to do that day.

While still in bed, and with your eyes shut, place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Where is your breathe coming from? Mentally go through the activities you have planned for the day. Slowly breathe in, counting to 5 in your head, and as you breathe out, count to 5 again. Repeat this several times to help your body get into a rhythmic breathing pattern. Notice any changes in your breathing, and where your breathe is coming from now. Become aware of how your body is responding to thoughts or movements. Make it a routine and notice any changes occurring over time, and incorporate any other exercises you feel will help your breathing.

Breathing correctly costs nothing, and is a great way to connect to yourself, and calm yourself. It can help with better sleep, as you are teaching yourself to let go, allowing yourself to rest, and soothe the body and mind. Learn to control your body to control your mind. To gain confidence in all aspects of your life. Breathe in positivity, breathe out negativity. Breathe in love, breathe out anger. Breathe deep, breathe freely. 2477352_9599199_lz