Have you ever had a "brain freeze?" No, I'm not referring to the icky feeling you get when you've eaten ice cream too fast. I'm talking about how we now refer to memory lapses around our house, thanks to our resident teen population. Forget a permission slip? Leave your science book at school? Zone out on giving mom a message? Hey, it's a "brain freeze."
Actually, I find my kids' "brain freeze" moments refreshing. Their memory moments prove the point that we all forget, no matter what our age. The difference of course is that we worry a lot more about our memory moments than they do. We've always forgotten, even when we were kids. However, around age 40 or so, those same slips in recall give us sudden pause and raise a specter of concern that something really might be wrong.
In addition, getting older brings us face-to-face with many experiences that can make it harder to remember. Aging itself can come with shifts in intellectual skills critical to remembering things such as where we put our keys or the name of that new client. Juggling the multiple roles that come with adulthood also can tax our recall. There are a lot more details to remember when you are moving between work, home, kids and all the other things you find on your plate. We may be sleep deprived, eating poorly or not getting enough exercise to support good memory health. Finally, as adults we are more likely to experience physical and emotional disorders that can take a toll on our memory.
Knowing that such "brain freeze" moments are common can certainly be a relief. However, who has time to forget? Here are five tried and true tips to help thaw your thinking:
Follow Cynthia R. Green, Ph.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thebrainbuzz