“Memory is the treasure and the guardian of all things”, wrote the Roman philosopher and statesman Cícero. Although it was necessary at the time of “De Oratore”, today the art of memory is perhaps more relevant than ever. Constant digital distractions and the performance of several tasks at the same time can harm available memory.
Collectively, our memories seem to be getting less accurate: a recent survey found that Generation Y members – between 18 and 34 years old – are more likely than the group of over 55 to forget the current date (15% versus 7%) and where they put their keys (14% versus 8%). They also fail to take their lunches (9%) or even shower (6%) more often than older people.
Low memory can attack at any age, damaging your work and your personal life. We all remember using mnemonic devices at school, but memory tricks can be more than just study aids. There are several simple and practical tools to help you remember people’s names and stop forgetting where you parked your car or left your keys.
Try these eight tricks to give your memory super powers.
Need to memorize a list of words or names? You are more likely to remember words if they are associated with images – especially if you consider yourself a person who learns visually ( 65% of the population, according to estimates). For example, if you need to remember a meeting at 4:30 pm, try memorizing your favourite quartet (The Beatles?) And a 30th birthday cake. It may seem silly, but you will be grateful when it arrives on time.
Experience a brain game
Brain stimulation games like sudoku and crosswords can be useful. And then there’s Lumosity, a set of exercises to do on the computer or on the phone created by a team of neuroscientists, which improves the memory of 97% of users with just ten hours of play. Studies have not yet determined exactly how these games reinforce memory, but there are good reasons to believe that they are useful: a new research with people over 60 found that playing a video game designed to train the brain increases people’s ability to perform multitasking.
“I think playing them activates synapses across the brain, including areas of memory,” Marcel Danesi, author of “Extreme Brain Workout”, told Fox News.
Use Cicero’s method
Also known as the Locations method or “memory palace”, Cicero’s tool for remembering information, explained in “De Oratore”, uses the power of supporting images (in this case, physical locations) and memorized spatial relationships. As psychologists John O’Keefe and Lynn Nadel explain in “The Hippocampus as a Cognitive Map”:
“In this technique, the person memorizes the design of a building or the layout of stores on a street, or any geographical entity that is made up of several different locations. When he wants to remember a set of items, the subject literally ‘walks’ through these places and assigns an item to each one, forming an image between the item and any distinctive characteristic of that place. Item recovery is achieved by ‘walking’ through locations and allowing them to activate desired items.”
Try this technique by mentally “walking” through the rooms of your home and assigning information to each of them – and then remember the story as you pass through the spaces.
Try the “Baker-baker” method (“Baker-baker”)
In a psychological experiment known as the Baker-baker paradox, the subjects were divided into two groups, who were shown a picture of a man. One group was informed that the man’s surname was Baker (Baker), while the other group was told that the man was a baker. When they were later shown the photo and asked to remember the associated word, those who had been informed about the man’s profession were much more likely to remember the story. The explanation is simple: although the two words and pictures were the same when we think of a baker, other images and a kind of story come to mind (aprons, cuisine, fresh bread).
A contributor to the Fast Company website said that applying the paradox – using Lance Armstrong’s story to remember complex and detailed information about chemotherapy – helped him finish medical school. So, when you want to remember details, try to create a “hook” that connects the data to a person or a story – the strong association will ensure that you place the information more clearly.
Take a nap
Here’s an excellent excuse to leave work for an hour this afternoon: taking a long nap can reinforce learning and memory. Sleep researchers at NASA found that napping significantly benefits available memory, and a 2008 study used magnetic imaging scans to determine that brain activity in people who doze is more significant throughout the day than in people who do not rest.
Label people – literally
Franklin Roosevelt was known for having a memory that would embarrass most people – he could remember the name of someone he met only once a month earlier, apparently without difficulty. Your secret? Roosevelt was able to memorize the terms of all the members of his team (and everyone he knew) by visualizing the words written on their foreheads after being introduced to them. This technique is even more effective when you imagine the name being written with a pen in your favourite colour, says CNN.
Consume omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids – which can be found in foods such as salmon, tuna, oysters, pumpkin seeds, brussels sprouts, nuts and others, or taken in supplement form – are among the most beneficial nutrients for the brain. A study by the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 found that consumption of omega 3 boosts available memory in healthy young adults. Consuming foods high in this healthy fat can also reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2012 Columbia University study.
Perhaps the best (and possibly the most difficult) memory trick is to pay attention to the current task, conversation, or experience. Distraction makes our memory weaker and, consequently, increases our tendency to forget things.
“Forgetting… is a sign of how busy we are,” Zaldy S. Tan, director of the Memory Disorders Clinic at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told Reader’s Digest. “When we don’t pay close attention, the memories we form are not very firm and we have difficulty retrieving the information later.”
Do you have trouble calming your agitated thoughts? Become more focused on practising meditation, just ten minutes a day. A recent University of California study found that meditation improves memory capacity and reduces rambling among students. And in 2012, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology identified a neurological circuit that helps form lasting memories – the course was found to work most effectively when the brain pays attention to what you are seeing.
Physical health: how is it impacted by mental disorders and what are the main symptoms?
Physical health and mental health are connected. The body can be negatively impacted by our postures, attitudes, emotions and even thoughts. Stress is the most notorious example. When felt for a prolonged period, it affects the functioning of the organism and can even weaken us momentarily.
Thus, mental disorders can harm the physical body. People who have a psychiatric condition, for example, are more susceptible to developing specific pathologies, such as hypertension or heart disease.
However, there is no need to worry, stimulating the fear of developing physical illness. There are several ways to take care of both the health of the mind and the body.
Relationship between mental health and physical health
The discussion between the influence of the mind on the body and vice versa is old. Hundreds of professionals have initiated this debate over the decades. Today, it is known that they are interconnected. There is still a tendency, however, to take care only of physical health or only mental health.
To facilitate understanding, the ways that the body can be affected by mental disorders are:
Aggravation of physical illnesses
Stress, anxiety, depression, panic, among other mental disorders, can aggravate symptoms or accelerate the progression of many physical illnesses.
Therefore, people who have severe health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and hypertension, should take even more care of mental health. The appearance of mental disorders can hinder treatment and live with these diseases.
Summation of symptoms
Some mental disorders have the characteristic of somatization; that is, changes in the emotional state are manifested through physical symptoms. In these cases, the main concern tends to be the discomfort felt in the body due to the fear of the appearance of a debilitating pathology. Therefore, the source of the problem is not addressed.
Somatic mental disorders make thoughts and sensations more intense. For example, a person may be overly anxious about the appearance of another symptom or the possibility of its manifestation.
She consults doctors more often and seeks alternative medicines, treatments and therapies to cure herself, and she may become hypochondriac.
Aggravation of diseases (due to denial)
Denial about the importance or severity of mental symptoms can make the situation even more complicated. People who are anxious or who need to live with depression do not always understand the magnitude of the disorder and tend to reject treatments or not follow the treatment prescribed by the doctor.
Unfortunately, these individuals do not understand that they are hindering their healing process and lengthening unnecessary suffering. The disorder, then, worsens with the lack of treatment and can compromise physical health.
The emergence of psychosomatic diseases
Psychosomatic illnesses arise from emotional and psychological problems. The mental suffering is so much that the person begins to experience unexplained discomfort in the body.
It is common to have several visits to the doctor and no accurate diagnosis. Symptoms tend to intensify when the person is frequently exposed to stressful situations.
The most common psychosomatic diseases are migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, allergies (skin, respiratory, etc.), sexual impotence, infertility, among others.
Alteration in the functioning of body systems
Mental disorders can also affect the immune system (weakening the body’s defences), endocrine (increasing or reducing the production of hormones) and nervous (altering the production of neurotoxins, which can damage the nervous system or other areas of the body).
A notable example is a depression, which alters serotonin levels, known to be the hormone of happiness.
How does low serotonin affect physical health?
Low serotonin can cause several physical symptoms:
- affects sleep regulation;
- bad mood ;
- unruly appetite;
- reduction or increase in sexual desire;
- excessive tiredness;
- digestive problems;
- changes in body temperature;
- interferences in blood clotting;
- more time to heal from wounds and bruises.
The emergence of possible severe diseases in the future
Many health experts correlate mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and profound depression, and cardiovascular disease.
A study by King’s College London, England, found that people with these psychological conditions have a 53% higher risk of developing pathologies that affect the heart. They are also more likely to suffer a heart attack.
Anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and high stress can also affect longevity. Individuals with severe cases of these mental disorders tend to live shorter lives.
According to an article by Bradley University, in the United States, these individuals tend not to take as much care of their physical health compared to those who have no disorder. Thus, the impact of psychological symptoms on the body is more significant and rarely treated.
How do you know if physical health is being affected by disorders?
It is always recommended to visit a doctor to make a “diagnosis by exclusion” in the face of the appearance of physical symptoms. Thus, it is possible to make sure that there is no serious health problem affecting the body.
Then, the psychologist should be consulted to identify the existence of a mental disorder. To facilitate this process, you can reflect on psychological and physical symptoms and when they appear.
The impacts on physical health are varied, as they depend on the individual’s health condition. However, some are more common and experienced by most people. Are they:
- mental exhaustion;
- insomnia ;
- changes in appetite;
- weight loss or gain;
- migraine ;
- muscle weakness;
- body pain;
- increased blood pressure;
- digestive problems;
- changes in vision;
- skin allergies;
- itching or tingling in limbs;
- changes in libido;
- changes in the menstrual cycle ;
As you can see, the symptoms are common to a variety of diseases. Because of that, they tend to make people worried. The frequency with which they manifest themselves is also a factor to consider, and it usually encourages examinations and consultations with multiple specialists.
It is interesting to mention the results of the exams and the doctor’s opinion when consulting the psychologist. Thus, it can help to develop methods to relieve or prevent these symptoms.
Importance of caring for mental health and physical health
Since the body and mind work together, it makes sense to take care of both, right?
In addition to psychotherapy and drug treatment, people with mental disorders can take care of their health by changing their habits.
One of the best home remedies for maintaining mental and physical health is physical exercise. In addition to releasing beneficial neurotransmitters for the mood in the brain, it strengthens the heart, promotes blood circulation, improves concentration and regulates hormone, cholesterol and glucose levels.
It is also essential to monitor the quality of emotions and thoughts daily. Although exercises help to keep your mood high, they cannot be done everywhere and at all times. What helps in stressful times is self-care.
Its practice helps us to cultivate positive emotions and thoughts, manage reactions to life’s events, avoid interpersonal conflicts and enjoy the company itself.
These skills are necessary to maintain mental health daily, especially when faced with adversity.
We must strengthen habits that are beneficial to both, so that we can enjoy the benefits of a balanced and healthy life.
Taking care of physical and mental health
Below, check out some simple and effective habits to take care of your health as a whole.
Remember to keep an eye on how she is doing! Annual check-ups at the doctor are important to identify serious illnesses at the beginning of their onset or prevent their onset.
Likewise, managing stress and anxiety levels on a daily basis is also essential for living a healthier life. If you believe that you need to convince a psychologist to do this, do not hesitate to seek him out.
The quality of your food reflects on both your mind and body. So, eat a generous serving of healthy food each day. To help create the habit or lose aversion to a particular food, consult a nutritionist.
You will find that reserving moments of the day to enjoy the silence and the company itself, without thinking about obligations, will work wonders for your mental health.
You can meditate , listen to music or mantras, have a pleasant reading, watch a series or anything that helps you to de-stress. Preferably, do not make appointments after that time for self-care or make appointments only hours later. That way, you don’t think about what you need to do next.
Diversify your routine to improve your physical and mental health
Don’t let commitments steal your will or the energy left to go out with friends, find your loved one, or do a productive activity. In order not to fall into sameness, diversify how you enjoy your free time in your routine .
The optimism has ability to ward psychosomatic illnesses, you know? Cultivate the habit of seeing the positive side of life and ignoring what doesn’t do you good. It is likely that you do not have much control over these negative factors, so it is not worth stressing because of them . To make good use of your energy and time, direct your attention to what makes you happy.
Did you like the article? So, share it with friends and tell us how you take care of your physical and mental health.