Dealing with forgetfulness

Three experts gave advice to The Times on how to best keep the mind active and deal with forgetfulness.

The neuropsychologist

Dr Eli Jaldow is a memory clinic consultant at St Thomas’ Hospital and advises that we ‘Repeat and rehearse’ . As we age we find it more and more difficult to remember things. Walking into a room full of people and struggling to remember the names of everyone is natural but there are certain things we can do to try and prevent this from happening. To begin if you feel anxious about forgetting someones name before you even learn it then it is harder to record things. Try to store things in your memory by repeating them as often as possible. For instance if someone introduces themselves to you then say “Nice to meet you…” and repeat their name back to them.

Whilst reading try to do so aloud as this what it is easier to log what is happening. Another helpful technique is to form pictures that link or represent what you want to remember. If you meet a lady called Holly then perhaps picture a holly branch at Christmas or the Hollywood sign.

The nutritionist

Head of the Nutrition Communications Consultancy, Dr Carrie Ruxton advises people suffering with memory issues to ‘Eat oily Fish’ as the oils in fish such as salmon, trout and mackerel improve blood supply to the brain and help the synapses.

The main foods that cause memory reduction are alcohol and drugs. Even prescription drugs for cold and flu can have this effect.

Up to 400mg of caffeine a day (the equivalent to eight cups of tea) will improve reaction time and reduce perception of fatigue.

The life coach

Leanne Lowish, a health and wellbeing coach for Hothouse group explains that when emotional we find it harder to access the cognitive part of the brain which subsequently makes us forgetful. She suggests that when emotional we identify the emotion and decide what to do with it.

For instance if you know you are angry then you may think to yourself “I’m angry and frustrated and I know that going to the gym and working out will be a release and help me to feel better”.
Another tip is to use triggers. You could leave post it notes scattered around or photographs. Wear odd or different socks, wear your watch on the wrong hand. Anything which takes you out from your routine will jog you out of your pattern.

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Written by Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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