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If you are not a senior but are still experiencing “senior moments”, you are in good company, according to the recent Wall Street Journal relationship.
“Our brains are like computers with so many tabs open right now,” said Dr. Sara C. Mednick, a neuroscientist and professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Irvine.
“This slows down our processing power and memory is one of the areas that falters.”
“Important moments”, otherwise known as fleeting explosions forgetfulnessthey are becoming more common, according to memory experts.
Sometimes we may find ourselves struggling to remember the names of our friends, co-workers, words that usually come out of our language, or how to perform tasks that are usually instinctive, according to the Journal.
It’s a time of great transition for many as they return to work and settle into new routines, but add to the uncertainty of the war in Ukraine, it’s no surprise that our brains are in cognitive overdrive, according to the news.
The brain consumes energy just like the other cells in our body and it’s a lot more than we think, according to neuroscientists.
Stress is a big culprit, partly because of the pandemicbut also because research shows that those who have experienced “recent life stressors” have memory problems, according to Dr. Grant Shields, assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Arkansas, who has done research on the subject.
Stress reduces our attention span and sleep, but chronic stress can damage the brain, causing memory problems, Shields added.
Because our brains are cluttered with so much information from a variety of sources, like being constantly on our phones, neuroscientists note that it’s harder for our minds to crystallize memories.
And the routine created by the pandemic doesn’t help.
“Memory benefits from novelty,” says Zachariah Reagh, a cognitive neuroscientist and assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
“When all of our experiences come together, it’s hard to remember them as distinct.”
As we get older, our memory will suffer, but there’s no set time for everyone’s brains to age at different rates, according to the news.
But if you’re worried about your memory, it’s always a good idea to do a appointment with your doctor, especially if other people notice it too, according to the Journal.
Here are some expert tips to help your memory, according to the Wall Street Journal.
If you can’t remember, don’t insist because we often get frustrated, which means the emotional part of the brain takes precedence over the part of our brain that retrieves memories, said Dr. Jennifer Kilkus, clinical health psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine.
Instead, calm the brain because that strengthens the frontal lobe, which is the part of the brain that helps encode memories and regulates stress, Mednick said.
He recommends breathing deeply for at least ten minutes each day, talking about a walk in nature or getting in touch with a loved one, but also reminds us to sleep well at night because it cleanses the toxins in our brains that can “clog” the our mental processing.
And put the phone away and try to do only one thing at a time, paying more attention to those activities we don’t think about, like brushing our teeth.
“When you practice paying attention in those moments when it doesn’t matter, it will get easier in those moments when it does,” Kilkus said.
Finally, try to be there when you talk to other people too, which means turning off the television and focusing on what our loved ones are saying, said Dr. Jeanine Turner, professor of communications at Georgetown University.
“We have to approach every conversation intentionally,” Turner said. “If we don’t have a deep connection, how can we ever expect to remember what happened?”