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With age, many of us find ourselves hunting for our misplaced keys or seeing glasses too often. When this becomes a daily affair, it’s time to consider medically serious memory loss or cognitive decline. While everything ranging from ageing to dementia can cause cognitive decline, memory loss usually occurs due to alcoholism, emotional disorders – like anxiety or stress, brain diseases or medicinal side-effects, head injuries, vitamin B12 deficiency or hypothyroidism. While they can be dealt with medically, a holistic approach is a more wholesome way to treat it.

A holistic method is always a patient-centric approach of treatment that deals with every patient as a multi-faceted individual, addressing the problems at various planes – physical, medical, social and psychological, instead of just looking at the symptoms and prescribing medicines to alleviate them.

There are a few simple activities that can help to deal with the memory loss in a more holistic way.

  1. Mental activity:

Just like exercising keeps the body fit, mental exercises keep the mind healthy. Solving puzzles and sudoku, playing challenging games like chess or bridge, volunteering for social causes, learning to play musical instruments are all fun ways of keeping the mind young, active and fit.

 

  1. Regular socializing:

Human beings, by default, are social animals. We need to socialize to keep stress and depression at bay, both of which are known causes of memory lapses. Arranging family get-togethers, or parties with friends are fun ways of enjoying ourselves and keeping in touch with our loved ones. They strengthen existing neural networks in the mind and delay memory loss.

 

  1. Organization:

Clutter creates chaos and chaos confuses the mind. A confused mind is more prone to memory loss and cognitive decline than a sorted one. Clean up your home, arrange your shelves, tidy up your wardrobes, plan your days and track your activities. They are all good methods of organizing and de-cluttering.

 

  1. Reducing distractions:

Keeping a tab on the number of distractions not only increases productivity, but also reduces the risks of memory loss. Also, focusing on few, particular tasks makes them less likely to be forgotten. Associating different things with other ‘easily recalled’ ones is a good way to combat memory loss.

 

  1. Sleeping well:

Our mind consolidates our memories and activities when we sleep. This consolidation helps in prioritizing our activities. It is important for humans to power down and sleep well for at least 7-8 hours every day. Making getting enough sleep a priority may be required in most persons suffering from memory loss and cognitive decline. Sleep is the natural recovery machine that helps the body get over the daily wear and tear, discard unnecessary information that the brain is bombarded with all day and consolidate the important stuff for future use.

 

  1. Healthy and balanced diet:

A healthy and balanced is a necessity for the body and the mind. Wholesome foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fats, and proteins are an everyday must. Excessive consumption of alcohol must also be avoided as it can hasten memory loss.

 

  1. Daily physical activity:

Everyone goes on and on about the need to exercise daily. There is a reason behind it – it helps us on numerous levels. It is good for the body, heart and brain. Exercising increases blood flow to the body and brain, making it sharper, and fighting off memory loss. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, even a 10 minute daily walk is a good option if one finds it difficult to fit in proper exercising regimes like jogging, aerobics, brisk walking, etc.

 

  1. Accurate management of chronic disorders:

Thyroid disorders, depression, vitamin B12 deficiency, are all major reasons for memory loss. Ensuring their medical management is very crucial to having a fighting chance against memory loss. It is also essential to review long standing medicines like statins, with your medical practitioner as they can also be a reason behind memory loss.

All in all, a holistic approach suggests us to care for our mind and body for dealing with problems of memory loss and cognitive decline. Simply sticking to one course of action may not earn results as good results as a multi-pronged holistic one.

It is best to use these tips for a well-rounded approach to mental health, in conjunction with a medicinal practitioner’s opinion.

Do you or your loved one experience memory lapses or are feeling that you are becoming less sharper? Have you tried a therapy that has worked for you? Share with the community here and help out a fellow forgetter!

 

Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash

About the Author

Dr. Rachita Narsaria

Dr. Rachita Narsaria

Poet, bookworm, tech-worm, nature lover, entrepreneur