March 7

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Memory Fast Fix

By Sue Ingebretson

March 7, 2017

brain, deep breathing, fast, fix, gerontology, meditation, memory, mindfulness, recall, stillness, tai chi, yoga

Does your memory leave a lot to be desired? How’s your recall, clarity, confusion, or focus? It’s easy to blame stress, or chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia for this embarrassing problem. Regardless of the cause, there’s one simple thing you can do to improve your memory. Don’t give up. Instead, give this simple tip a try.

 

Are memory issues a problem for you? 

 

What do you do when you can’t remember something? I’m sure you’re familiar with the feeling of facts dangling at the tip of your tongue … out of reach. When it’s something you feel you should know, it can be absolutely exasperating.

 

If you run off to the store and forget your shopping list at home, do you feel frustrated, annoyed, agitated, or even angry? If you lose your car keys for the umpteenth time, do you lose your temper and throw tantrums? Do you outwardly blame others for moving them? Or, perhaps you’re the type to internalize this irritation and you berate yourself and increase negative self-talk.

 

Under this type of pressure, imagine all the nonsense going on in your brain. The brain fires off signals of fear, anxiety, and dissatisfaction. You may feel that forgetting things is no big deal. But when it happens frequently, it’s more than just annoying.

 

Memory Fix Study Results

 

It may surprise you to learn that a study done by The Journals of Gerontology, found that mindfulness practices done just three times a week provided significant memory benefits.[1],[2]

 

In fact, over just eight weeks, subjects improved their recall by 15% AND enjoyed 7.4% faster reaction times. The study authors noted that mindfulness methods such as yoga help to “train” the brain for improved focus and memory.

 

Do you want these benefits, too?

 

These results – and much more – can be found from practicing simple and basic mindfulness and meditative methods. Sample a few listed below and choose the ones that appeal to you the most. Here are several to try –

 

SEVEN Memory Fix Mindfulness Methods

 

  • Moving meditations such as tai chi and restorative yoga
  • Meditating by spending time in nature
  • Prayer and meditation
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Relaxation practices including guided meditations and hypnosis
  • Crafting (repetitive motions such as knitting, crocheting, etc.)
  • Creativity – getting lost in creative endeavors can also invite mental stillness

 

If you’ve read my book, FibroWHYalgia, or spent any time reading my posts, you know that my favorite go-to moving meditation is tai chi. But that’s not all. I frequently practice every one of the methods listed above.

 

Do you see the connection?

What do ALL the methods above have in common?

 

The common denominator to each of these practices is — intentional mental stillness.

 

Sounds easy, right? 

 

Maybe not. If you find it difficult to still your busy brain, you’re not alone. Most of us have overactive, frenetic, monkey minds. We suffer from racing thoughts and they’re not typically positive. The results of this “monkey mind behavior” is evident in the physical experiences of pain, discomfort, dysfunction, and sleep disturbances.

 

I hope you see that this busy-brain practice is the exact opposite of mental stillness.

 

What to do? 

 

Becoming mentally still, takes practice. It takes intention. It takes repetition.

 

To give you a boost, here’s an article discussing the all-important practice of “doing nothing.” 

 

You may be surprised at how just a few deep breaths can help you to feel centered, calm, and relaxed. From this state, memory and cognitive function can improve. While this change can come fast, practicing it on a regular basis can keep you feeling balanced and mentally still.

 

What’s your favorite Memory Fix practice? Share in the comments below!

[1]  https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article/69/9/1109/575382/The-Effects-of-an-8-Week-Hatha-Yoga-Intervention

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25024234

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