Ever felt somehow frustrated when you can easily forget things? Like, not being able to remember something that happened not long ago, or forgetting where certain items (keys, phone, wallet) that you just put down?
Well, it can be somewhat upsetting to know how you can easily forget every single little things. Especially when it happens every so often. It’s hard not to think: “How can I be so clumsy?” – And, in the end, you might wonder that maybe something’s wrong with you.
However, being forgetful doesn't necessarily mean it’s related to a certain medical condition that's concerning (like dementia or alzheimer). In fact, we can easily forget stuff just because we have so much going on in our everyday life, and our brain is just overlapping with constant mental reminder in our mind of every single little things.
Don’t Worry – It’s Normal!
While forgetful behaviours can be quite concerning, it’s not always worth paid attentioning for. Reasons being that some forgetful behaviours don’t need to be worried about is because they are considered as normal memory lapses. Now, let’s break down and find out what are the normal memory lapses.
Absentmindedness – Ever forgetting where you left your belongings, or lost track of what you were about to do ? Well, this kind of forgetful behaviour is caused by lack of attention or focus, and it’s something that’s perfectly normal.
Blocking – This is when forgetful behaviour such as not being able to recall the word you were trying to say from your memory occurs. This happens because several memories interfere with each other, and as we got older it might take some time to activate some areas of the brain to perform a memory task.
Scrambling – Sometimes, forgetful behaviours can be in a way like accurately remember most of the information but confusing certain key details. Well, this is because the hippocampus, part of the brain crucial in the formation of memories about events, loses 5% of its nerve cells with each passing decade after someone reach the age of 25.
Fading away – It’s not just our gadgets that has memory capacity, so does our brain. If you want to be able to restore new memories on your phone, you need to make sure you have the place for it by casually erasing unimportant stuffs in it, right? Same goes to brain, and this basic "use-it-or-lose-it" feature of memory known as transience is normal at all ages, not just among older adults.
Struggling for retrieval – This one’s when you forgot someone’s name or the name of the movie you just saw a moment ago. Well, aging changes the strengths of the connections between neurons in the brain which causes new information bumps out other items from short-term memory unless it’s repeated again and again.
Muddled multitasking – Yes, as we got older, we might somehow … the ability to do multitasking. Based on research studies, aging makes the brain needing more effort to maintain focus, thus getting back to an original task after an interruption will take longer to process on the brain.
Ways to Improve Memory
The good news is, there are ways that we can do to help with the forgetful behaviours. Improving memory can be done by doing various common-sense strategies that have been proven by people with a prodigious memory.
Establish routines – If you’ve ever had problem with finding stuff, try to put them in the same place. That way, you will be saving yourself from trouble by sorting this out.
Use your senses – When you’re doing something out of the ordinary from your daily routine, say it out loud. By letting your ears register the information, the chances for you to remember it will be greater.
Use Post-It notes – Keep some in every room and stick a reminder where you are most likely to see it. Say you need to make an important phone call, write it down and put it on the phone. By doing so, it can boost your memory by 20 percent.
Embrace technology – Use your sophisticated, trustee smartphone to the fullest! Set a reminder on built-in calendar that you’ve got on your phone to stay organised with your daily needs.
Don’t procrastinate – Try to do things while you think about it, before it later got lost in your memory. If you can’t do it at the moment, write it down and put it where you can see it.Sleep on it – Don’t neglect your sleep, as having a good night sleep plays a big role for our brains to integrate new skills or facts into long term memory.