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We cannot be expected to hold on to all the information we have accumulated in our lives, at all times.
As we age, memory slips usually become common and can be embarrassing as well as stressful. Some amount of memory lapse is normal and does not automatically mean that one is having dementia.
Insomnia, anxiety, depression and various mental health issues can lead to memory loss, as well as a decline in other cognitive skills like attention, language, and executive function.
The many memory-related problems are absent-mindedness, blocking of a certain piece of information, fading memories, and incorrect recall.
... by a set of criteria and habits known as DANCERS:
D: Disease Management by maintaining your weight along with blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
A: Activities like walking, swimming or exercising at the gym.
N: Nutrition of the body, with focus on whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.
C: Cognitive engagement and challenges to your brain.
E: Engagement, social interaction and avoiding isolation.
R: Relaxing your mind, by yoga and mediation
S: Sleeping properly, adequately and in a fixed schedule, while avoiding electronic devices in those hours.
Sometimes a piece of information is stuck in our minds but is not getting recalled. We know the information but cannot label it or remember the actual name.
This can be helped to an extent by associating a piece of information (like a person’s name) to something that can help trigger the recall. Connecting the name to a similar name, or a celebrity name, or even a song, helps us remember.
Certain facts or events simply fade from our minds, something known as transience. The brain cannot store all information infinitely.
The way to label the information as important, so that the brain keeps it for long, is to make it emotionally charged, making it feel important and worth hanging on to. It also helps to revisit the memory.
We often jumble up the information, a common error known as misattribution, when we recognize someone incorrectly or swap pieces of information.
The way to handle this is to write down important details on the fly, or aid recall by recording voice notes or clicking pictures/videos.
On a side note, do not share any personal information on the phone or the internet, as many scamsters exploit this failure to recall, and try to gain information.
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