8 STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY


Ever misplace your keys, forget someone’s name, or lose your train of thought? Of course you have. Everyone struggles with their memory from time to time.

While they can be frustrating, these little slips are common and normal, says Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Longevity Center and author of The Memory Bible.

“We become more forgetful as we age, and by 45 the average person has a measurable decline in their memory ability, but we have more control than we think,” says Small. “The MacArthur Study of Successful Aging found that genetics only accounts for a third of memory success. The rest is our cognitive and physical health.”

Why I forget??

Why I forget??

The biggest reason we forget is because we’re not paying attention, says Small. Many of us rely on gadgets to help with memory–taking a photo of the parking garage level with our smartphone, for example–but they can also distract us, which can cause us to forget even more. Instead of relying on something external, Small offers eight strategies for improving your memory:

1. TRAIN YOURSELF TO LOOK, SNAP, AND CONNECT.

In his memory education program at UCLA, Small teaches the “Look, Snap, Connect” technique.

“’Look’ is a reminder to focus your attention, ‘Snap’ is a reminder to create a mental snapshot because we’re hardwired to remember things visually, and ‘Connect’ is a way of linking those mental snapshots so they have meaning,” says Small. “If it is meaningful, it will be memorable.”

For example, if you have two errands to run–pick up eggs and go to the post office–Small’s technique would have you picture an egg with a stamp on it.

2. GET INTO A GROOVE.

Routines and habits also boost memory, says Small. You can use the power of repetition to reduce forgetfulness. For example, remember your vitamins by always taking them with breakfast. Have a specific place to store glasses, keys, or purse. Or always check your to-do list before you leave the house.

3. BREAK A SWEAT.

Get into a daily exercise regimen. Small says aerobic workouts get your heart pumping, which brings nutrients to brain cells and helps grow nerves that connect them.

“Just 20 minutes a day of aerobic exercise will lower your risk for Alzheimer’s,” says Small.

4. EAT WELL.

One reason our memory fails is because free radicals wear down our DNA and cellular structure, resulting in oxidation of the brain, says Small.

“If you left a bicycle in the rain, it will rust,” he says. “Similar kinds of chemical processes go on in the brain.” Eating antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables help combat this issue.

Another problem with aging is an increase in inflammation, which can affect brain cells, says Small. Eating omega-three fats, found in fish or nuts, helps reduce this inflammation.

5. CHILL OUT.

While it’s impossible to totally eliminate stress, chronic bouts shrink the memory centers that are located inside the brain. To lower stress levels, Small suggests practicing meditation or tai chi, or doing breathing or stretching exercises throughout the day.

6. WORKOUT YOUR BRAIN (BUT NOT TOO HARD).

A lot of studies show that stimulating your mind boosts your brainpower and lowers your risk for Alzheimer’s. While you can find lots of games on the Internet, Small also suggests remaining socially active and involved with friends and activities.

“The idea is to train and not strain your brain,” he says. “Find activities that are engaging and fun–not too difficult and not too easy.”

7. GET THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SLEEP (WHICH MAY BE LESS).

Young adults usually need eight hours of sleep, but as you age, your body requires less, says Small.

“If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, you might need six hour of sleep instead of eight,” he says. “Instead of taking sleep medicine, take the time to figure out what’s going on with your sleep needs.”

8. GET GOOD MEDICAL CARE.

Finally, if you have a chronic condition such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, make sure you’re seeing a doctor. “Taking the proper medicines for your physical health will also make a difference in the health of your memory,” says Small.

This article was originaly posted on fastcompany.com

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Have Your Garden Fountain and Be Water Wise Too


Have Your Garden Fountain and Be Water

Water fall and fountains always give a sense of liveliness and feeling of cool.if you have garden then do condider to have some  water splashs snd fountains.
Here are some cool ideas on how to make it beautiful and optimum use of water
http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIwzef3sRo

3 ways to avoid distractions and be more productive


You’re at work, in the middle of tackling a project that requires intense focus. You’re on a roll. You’re in the zone. And then your phone rings, snapping you out of your flow. It’s just a telemarketer, so the call takes less than a minute. But then you check your email, your Facebook, look at your Twitter feed and decide you must text your friend.

When you finally get back to work – two, five, maybe 10 minutes after the initial interruption – it’s harder to focus. You pause to check your email again, peruse news sites and look at cute kitten pictures on Instagram. Consequently, you find yourself making more mistakes.

If that sounds familiar, you’re far from alone. Unfortunately, our brains are finely attuned to distraction and even the briefest ones have the power to decrease our productivity, a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests. Indeed, the research found that a mere 2.8 second interruption more than doubled the number of errors study participants — 300 undergraduate students — made when asked to recall precisely where they were in a sequence of tasks.

“This contextual jitter— being taken out of the moment and landed back in a slightly different place may be why even momentary interruptions can seem jarring when they occur during a cognitively engaging activity,” the authors speculate.

It’s no wonder focused productivity is hard to achieve in this day and age. We are constantly interrupted multiple times a day by a ringing phone, a Twitter update, an incoming email and a chatty colleague…the list goes on and on.

That said, it’s not impossible to focus. Before chalking up a flow state as something that happens to other people, try these three strategies.

1. Block off “distraction free” chunks of time in your schedule. Be it 20 minutes or an hour, be rigorous. Hide your phone, email and Twitter feed. In fact, eliminate temptation by blocking out the Internet altogether.

There is a bevy of application out there including that help with distractions, including Anti-Social, SelfControl and Freedom. (Read more about Freedom: The Surprising Strategy One Man Used to Eliminate Procrastination)

2. Identify where and when you’re most naturally productive. The majority of us can only truly focus for an average of six hours a week, says David Rock, co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute and author of Your Brain at Work (HarperCollins, 2009), so it’s crucial that we use the time wisely.

Most people focus best in the morning or late at night, which means we generally aren’t at our the most productive during the typical 9-to-5 work schedule. Rock recommends identifying where and when you focus best, then allocate your toughest tasks for those moments — even if that means getting some work done outside of normal office hours. Read more: How to Train Your Brain to Stay Focused

3. Quash your inner child. Distraction and procrastination are intertwined. It’s rare to find one without some trace of the other.

When we procrastinate, we’re often simply succumbing to the distractions around us, putting off work in order to feel good now. The quickest way to break the habit? Realizing that for many, if not most, getting started on important tasks, has nothing to do with how we feel, says Tim Pychyl, a psychology professor at Carleton University in Ontario, Canada, and the author of Solving the Procrastination Puzzle

“I don’t know where we learn this, but somehow we internalize the notion that our motivational state has to match the task at hand,” he says. “We don’t feel like doing something, and we think that’s a reason.”

He calls this six-year-old logic, and if we just grow up and realize that an unpleasant or difficult task will not be rendered magically more pleasant tomorrow, it will motivate us to concentrate now.

What three things do you need to do today?


You should be able to instantly answer this simple question, each day, every day, for the rest of your life. Without any tools other than the brain you were born with.

If you don’t have this skill, develop it. Practice, starting today. Right now.

What are you doing right now? Is it going to somehow result in one of those three things getting done today? Will this you get you to where you need to be by the end of the day?

I’m not asking you to admonish yourself or to make any changes to your routine. Just keep it simple, focus on the important things, and add a little layer of awareness.

So. Two items left. I’m doing pretty good today.