Having a good memory doesn’t depend on intelligence but on how you use your brain, according to a recent study. Moreover, individuals can actually improve their memory by learning some simple, memory-boosting strategies.
The study compared the brains of 10 participants in the World Memory Championships who have above-average memories with 10 people with normal memories. Both groups had "high-average" intelligence and identical brain structures, however, the groups used different parts of the brain during memory tests.
Close to all of those in the exceptional memory group used a strategy, known as a mnemonic, for increasing memory that involved visualizing items to be remembered. Researchers say that this device likely activated a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which involved in spatial memory and was activated among those in the top-memory group.
Researchers say that it may be possible to improve memory by using strategies that engage certain parts of the brain. This practice could potentially be extended to helping people recover from memory loss due to injury.
Nature Neuroscience 2002;10.1038/nn988
Apparently there is some scientific validity to the strategies that many memory courses recommend, such as the use of mnemonics, or visualization of items that need to be remembered.
This is certainly an inexpensive and simple approach that is easy to implement for those who struggle with memory challenges.
Additionally, please definitely consider optimizing your source of omega-3 fats -- by far the best way is by routine consumption of fish oil/cod liver oil -- as a lack of omega-3 seems to be a strong indication in my clinical experience of those who struggle with memory problems.
You should also be concerned about a "hidden" depression. If you read the current U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations you will find out that depression is indeed a massive problem in the world.
The World Health Organization identified major depression as the fourth leading cause of worldwide disease in 1990, causing more disability than either heart attacks or strokes.
Depression is indeed a serious problem in our culture.
Unfortunately, the traditional medical paradigm has almost completely capitulated to drug companies by offering drugs as the universal solution. These drugs do not treat the cause of the disease -- herein lies the problem.
Rather than criticize the USPTSTF recommendations, I applaud their efforts to widen the awareness of this devastating problem.
Rather than relying on the two simple questions the task force recommends in screening for this problem, it seems far wiser to use an inventory of symptoms to screen for this major problem. In a book I am currently writing, I have compiled a comprehensive list of symptoms that provide a more complete evaluation by including behavioral, emotional and physical aspects.
As part of this plan, it is important to optimize omega-3 oils. If you have depression, reading Dr. Stoll's book, The Omega-3 Connection, on this topic could save your life.
Beyond these basics, it is quite clear that energy psychology offers some of the most current and effective tools to address depression.
Most know that I am a strong advocate of nutritional support, but it is my experience that unresolved emotional trauma causes far more disease than eating French fries and doughnuts. One of my favorite methods to alleviating emotional traumas is the Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT.
I have long ago lost count of the people who were eating near perfect diets yet were sick with profound health problems, possibly due to unresolved emotional challenges.