By the time we reach middle age, our brains have already processed all kinds of trivia. So the circuits can get a little jammed.
We may have a bit of trouble recalling the name of someone we just met. We may drive to the grocery store because we need a jar of mayonnaise. However, once we’re there, we put our items in the cart and head to the check-out line. Back home, we realize we forgot to get the mayonnaise, the one thing that precipitated our trip to the grocery store.
Fortunately, these little lapses usually don’t mean anything serious. If we’re aware of our forgetfulness, enough to be worried about it, then we probably don’t have anything to worry about.
How Can I Improve My Memory?
(This post contains affiliate links.)
Many of my readers are looking for ways to improve their health. A lot of them have chronic health problems. They’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or told they have adrenal fatigue. So they may be battling something known as “brain fog.” This is when you feel as if clouds are in your head, along with difficulty focusing on a particular task.
Brain fog is something I’ve dealt with, at the worst of my illness. I have chronic nerve inflammation, which I manage with natural remedies. I’m feeling so much better than I did years ago. My pain is nearly gone and my brain fog has lifted. If I’m working, and want some extra help focusing, I reach for my rosemary essential oil. (I’ll tell why in a minute.)
How to Help Your Memory
I do need to point out that I’m not a doctor. So I can’t give medical advice, make a diagnosis or promise that any of the products or suggestions on this page can help or cure severe memory loss. All I can do is share my own experience of what I do to increase my own focus and concentration. Here’s what I do. I put a couple of drops of rosemary essential oil on a tissue and keep it by my computer while I’m working. (I did this while working on this post.)
Rosemary essential oil has been scientifically proven to increase memory recall, at least in the short term. The University of Maryland Medical Center website notes that rosemary has an historical use in folk medicine as a memory aid. Modern researchers have found that inhaling rosemary essential oil increases the ability to perform certain cognitive tasks.
Rosemary Oil for Memory
So, rosemary essential oil is my favorite aromatic for focusing. I wouldn’t use this right before bed, because it does seem to increase my level of alertness. Instead, I’d use a calming aromatic, such as lavender essential oil. I also wouldn’t use rosemary essential oil on a child younger than 10. Instead, I’d use a focus blend made especially for children.
If you’re looking for a good brand of rosemary essential oil, I highly recommend either of the brands shown below. I’ve used both of them myself. Both Plant Therapy and Aura Cacia make excellent products, and I feel very comfortable telling my readers about them. Neither brand sells its products through multilevel marketing distributors.
Plant Therapy Rosemary OilAura Cacia Rosemary Oil
How to Sharpen Your Memory – Play the “Name Game”
Here are some other memory sharpening tips I’ve compiled, from searching the Internet.
When you are introduced to someone for the first time, make sure you say their name out loud a few times. “Hi Mary, nice to meet you.” Later, in the conversation, you can says, “Mary, where do you live?” After you’ve talked for a while, you can usually find the opportunity to say the person’s name yet again. “Mary, it was really nice talking to you.”
Verbalizing the same word repeatedly will help you learn and remembering someone’s first name. Although this might seem like a bit of trouble, it should spare you the embarrassment of later running into that person and having to ask their name.
How to Boost Your Memory – Lists for the Grocery Store
This may seem so simple and obvious that it isn’t even worth mentioning. But you’ll save yourself a lot of time if you write everything you need down on a shopping list before heading out the door to the grocery store.
The list will serve a dual purpose as well. You’ll have something tangible to look at so you don’t forget what you intended to buy. Also, the very act of writing something on a piece of paper helps your brain retain this information. There’s also a third reason to make a list. You won’t be beating yourself up when you get home over the items you forgot to get.
Use Mneumonic Memory Tricks to Help You Remember
If you sometimes have trouble remembering names, places, people and items you need to buy at the grocery store, an easy way to store and retrieve this information is if you use what neurologists can a “mneumonic device.” This is a little game you play with yourself when you need to recall specific data or incidents.
For instance, there is one team of sales reps that comes to your office on occasion. They are all female and their names are Julie, Susan, Ursula and Tessa. Thing of the four of them as “just.” That way, when you see them, you’ll at least know the first letter of each woman’s first name.
Put People, Places and Things in Categories
Our brain stores information many ways, and one of them is probably by category. Do you need to remember the name of that college professor whose classes you really enjoyed? Start to think about other things that were going on during that time period. Do you recall the names of your other professors? What about the building where the classes were held?
Do you happen to remember the name of the person you sat next to in class? What was your favorite place to hang out and drink coffee so you could stay up late to study? Reviewing other parts and pieces of that time in your life may help you to remember that elusive name.
Pay Attention When People are Speaking to You
One of the biggest reasons we don’t recall pertinent facts during a conversation is because our minds wander. Concentrate on what the speaker is saying so you remember the important information. Force yourself to pay attention. This is an active process that you must will yourself to do.
Here’s a tip to help you pay more attention the next time you find yourself conversing with someone. Ask the speaker a question. This will make you focus more on her message.
When to Worry About Forgetfulness
Normal routine forgetfulness isn’t a problem, especially as we hit our middle years. You don’t need to worry unless you notice yourself, or others, drawing a blank when it comes to important details. These would include not knowing your address, what year it is, or forgetting the names of your children or your other family members. The American Psychological Association notes that “getting lost in familiar places” would also warrant concern.
Anyone who exhibits forgetfulness this severe should be seen by a neurologist, to rule out causes such as stroke. Sometimes, dementia arises from a metabolic condition that is treatable.
People with chronic health problems often complain of “brain fog.” Holistic healers generally believe this is due to a buildup of toxins. If you visit an alternative medicine expert, you will probably be given supplements and other remedies to help with detoxification. Also, you will probably be told to eat a real food diet, and avoid processed foods. Organic food is generally recommended, since it won’t contain potentially toxic pesticides that put further stress on your system.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.