Have you ever plan on using a day off of work to get something specific done at home, or even going back to the office with everybody else gone hoping to work on a special project, but then find yourself busy doing a whole lot of other things and at the end of the day can’t remember what it was you wanted to accomplish in the first place?
You may have found yourself busy all day long, and still haven’t finished anything, because of being distracted by other things that needed to be done instead of just focusing on the specific thing you started out to do, and completely forgot what it was.
Some of you before you even get to the next paragraph in this post will be distracted by something, a phone call, a text or twitter message. Or you may be in a hurry to read it through so fast because you’re thinking about the next site you want to visit. Or anxious to go on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or some other social media site, check email messages or experiment with the latest phone apps.
Did you forget what you planned on doing?
Or you may have planned on doing something and then completely forgot what it was, and so end up doing something else. Because of this jumping from one thing to the other, or constant planning ahead for the next thing it becomes very difficult to focus on anything, enjoy it and remember it later on. Our world is becoming more and more distracting, because everything is crying out for our time, attention, our life, and has to be taken care of fast, quick with very little thinking behind it. All this makes it so difficult to concentrate and remember so much in one day.
So many distractions make it difficult for the brain to retain anything for to long
This is adding more anxiety and stress to life, which leads to more related illnesses, and fear of what’s next. It is becoming more difficult for the brain to retain anything because of so many distractions, so there is more cases of memory loss. “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” ADHD is also a common complain among young people. Memory loss problems were once thought to be only associated with aging adults or the elderly, but these days it is becoming more apparent that forgetfulness is not limited to older people at all.
Anyone of any age can learn how to focus or concentrate on the more important things which can help preserve and boost our memory and possible prevent most other related mind disorders. So if you have a problem remembering anything, take the time now to focus which is the first step necessary on this information. It can give you some tips on what it takes to boost your memory whether you are old or young.
Several years ago when riding the Subways in New York City most people used the time to read a good book. Many student including those going to school at night use the long train ride to study. That is how I personally did a lot of my reading and studying, and still do. Others just sat with their eyes closed as if meditating. Or some might be talking to the person sitting next to them. All these are good for the brain and mind.
But today it is much different. People just can’t seem to be able to be still with their own minds anymore, or concentrate on reading or studying information, but wherever you go someone is attached and checking an electronic device, Ipad, tablet or whatever else, or listening to it through cords plugged into their ears while being oblivious to everything around them.
Developing an invisible focal point in the mind can help us focus or concentrate
When I took acting or drama classes some years ago I remember one of my teachers taught us how to concentrate and remember our scenes while blocking out all distractions. We were trained to develop an invisible point of concentration in the mind, or a mental picture of the end results. By having a goal and working toward that finishing point within a certain time. When we have a mental picture of the end results and seeing it through imagination this can help us focus and keep working steadily toward accomplishing that goal.
By keeping our eyes fixed on that goal, or focal point nothing will distract us, our brain will be working and remembering as we go along. This is also taught to all creative people, whether Dancers, Designers, Artists, Painters etc. Have you ever been to some Live Stage Shows, or Broadway Shows if you live in New York, with groups of Actors singing or performing in harmony with each other?
The Actors always stand straight, keep their heads up very high, and seem to be looking at something on the wall behind the rows of people sitting in the audience as they move forward on stage without missing a step or forgetting a single line!
It is that invisible focal point of concentration in their minds that keep them focused and remembering their lines, and actions. It takes training, discipline and constant repetition to accomplish this. If just one person in the audience should start booing or using a flash camera, or a cell phone either by talking on it or letting it ring, it can break their concentration and cause someone to forget a line or a certain move.
That is the reason in most places the audience is not allowed to use any flash cameras or any visible or audible electronic devices while actors are performing on stage, and to wait until they are finished to start applauding, so as not to break their concentration or focus which could result in memory lapse, or someone forgetting something.
Seeing the end result in the mind, helps us remember and working toward accomplishing it
This same technique can be used by anyone, whether we are students, teachers, businessmen or women, medical professionals, Sales people, mothers, fathers, and everyone needing to remember why, what, or where we are doing something or going. By seeing the end result in our minds or the destination. By learning how to focus on one thing at a time can help us remember and get more done than allowing ourselves to get distracted by so many different things.
It is closely connected to faith which is the assured expectation of things hoped for. Having faith in something and really concentrating and believing we can accomplish it will help us keep remembering what we need to do, and working toward that end. This technique was practiced by God fearing men of the past and today.
Good examples of those who kept remembering by focusing on the end result
Take for instance: Moses, one outstanding historical faithful Hebrew of old. He was 80 years old when he was called by God to lead the Israelites, a whole nation of people out of Egyptian slavery. By the time he got through the long trip which included walking through the wilderness he was 120 years old. That would be considered a very old man in our day, but what kept him going even amidst all the distractions from some of the Israelites whom were complaining along the way? The Bible says that “By faith..Moses continued steadfast as seeing the One who is invisible”. (Bible book of Hebrews 11:27)
In his mind’s eye, his invisible point of concentration he saw the end result, the final accomplishment of God’s original purpose for the sanctifying of His Name and for the restoration of humans to perfect life on earth again. He kept remembering why he was called to deliver this great nation, because he knew that the promised Messiah for the deliverance of the entire human race from sin and death, would come through them based on what God had promised to his forefather Abraham. (Genesis 22:18) (see previous post “Why cleverly calculated evil acts and killings are not mere innocent acts of insanity or a mental disorder”)
Linking already stored knowledge with new information and activity, and looking forward to a rewarding outcome also helps us remember what is necessary
Another example is Jesus himself. Finally he was the Messiah whom Moses himself was for-shadowing and what kept him remembering why he was being used to deliver that great nation. He knew why God used Moses to deliver the Jews from Egyptian slavery so that he the promised Seed of Abraham would be born in their lineage as foretold. Jesus knew and remembered all the prophecies about his own suffering and death for the deliverance of all humanity. But he had to suffer and die to accomplish that. He had free will like everyone else, and could have backed out from this difficult assignment, but what kept him faithful?
The Bible says that: “For the Joy that was set before him he endured a torture stake, despising shame..”(Hebrews 12:2). Jesus just like Moses concentrated on the end result, this kept him remembering who he was, why he was sent to earth, that the hope for the entire human race rested on his shoulders, and that all God’s promises would be fulfilled through him. (Come back later and see also these previous related written posts: What does Jesus has to do with the Easter Bunny and colored eggs?) And “Hey, whats up with all these Christmas lights and decorations, anyway! Also “Great Joy to the world and peace among men of Goodwill, how to find comfort and hope in that promise even now“)
He was the one foretold to rectify what Adam the first man messed up, and get rid of Satan and the demons. And the joy of finally accomplishing that, the end result of being used by his father Jehovah as King in His Kingdom and Prince of Peace in restoring perfect life and peace on earth again, helped him endured and bare that heavy stake, that crown of thorns on his head and die a shameful death in order to accomplish God’s Purpose. (*see footnote on date of Jesus death this year and how it is celebrated world wide.)
Be kind to your mind: Do one thing at a time and enjoy the task at hand
Learning to enjoy whatever task we have to do can also help us focus and concentrate. This makes a project less stressful because we are not doing something because we feel we have to, but because we want to. Also see the value to others in whatever job you have to do. If most people think about the many benefits their job is providing for other people they will be more likely to really focus and do the best they can, even doing research to make their work even more helpful, or enjoyable to others.
In turn bringing more joy to their own life. It can help with any memory loss problems or constant forgetfulness. Because when we become concentrated on doing anything for the benefit of others, we are using our mind and brain in a useful way. The more we start linking information and people, we are giving our brain the best exercise it needs, helping our mind to remember everything it needs to.
Boost memory power with continued education and brain activity
The more we learn, and associate with other people the more we exercise our brain and improve our capacity to remember and use acquired information. Some people have a hard time remembering other people’s names. But memories start to form when we meet these people over a period of time, repeatedly focusing on their looks, smile, feel the grip of their handshake, and pay attention to their voices.
When we start connecting all this information together their names come easily to our mind and we never forget it again. If we are constantly forgetting appointments, what I do is always write the place of the appointment on the calendar date, so whenever I see the appointment address, the final destination, I remember the date.
Or someone who has the habit of always forgetting where they put their keys. By repeatedly putting our keys in the same place everyday, remembering where they are comes automatic. This happens with both young and older adults alike even those of advanced age. (see previous post on: Clutter, Confusion, Crankiness -Three cousins..invading our homes.…)
Someone who hardly reads or use their brains to investigate and learn new things, will quicker suffer from memory loss problems, develop mental disorders or even dementia. Years ago people often thought that people as they age automatically start losing their memory, but new research on old people, and from personal experience with older people whom are ardent readers or students of continued education shows that is not true. ( see previous post on my experience with a 91 year old senior with sharp brains under the title” Take care to carefully put care back in its place with care”)
Many reports show that adults who continued learning, even a simple new hobby or skill, and reading right into old age, keep their minds active, and their memory sharp, and this can have a protective effect against, senility, dementia and probably Alzheimer’s disease.
There is no such thing as to old to learn, or memory loss is not caused by old age
Short term memory loss, or temporary forgetfulness may occur more often in some older people, but it also happens to young adults, so just getting old itself doesn’t cause everyone to lose their memory. We hear and know of many Actors, Musicians and other Creative people, doctors and other professionals whom are of advanced age and are still very mentally sharp and active in their chosen fields. They never stop learning and working. A good example that always come to mind is the famous Actress Betty White, 91 years old and she has written several books in her old age and still acting and working.
I also know and associate with many older people in my congregation, (Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses) some of them in their late eighties and early nineties. Even my own father before he died several years ago was a avid reader and remembrancer of the Bible, even quoting scriptures by heart from memory because of having read it so many times over the years. And he was in his mid eighties when he died. (Previous post: “Memoirs of a Wonderful Beloved Father”).
Age never affected his mind or ability to remember. And all those I know who are still active in reading, studying, teaching, researching, and associating with others in the congregation and out in the field, even though of advanced age, their minds are as sharp as young people even remembering things from years past. Because they are focus on the end results of what God promises, a better world of good health, peace and everlasting life.
They are continually and repeatedly using their brains, and minds in reading, learning, recalling and linking information already stored in the mind with new one being learned and looking forward to the end result, a better world.
They are applying what is learned and are actively sharing and using knowledge to help others. All this mind and brain activity is exercise for the brain and keeps it healthy and their memories sharp. And they don’t forget names, which is amazing since even younger people like myself occasionally forget someone name if they were away for awhile. The brain gets better with continued use.
Good nutrition, sleep and physical exercise can also help boost our memory and prevent constant forgetfulness
Good nutrition is necessary for the whole proper functioning of the entire body especially the brain and mind. If the brain is lacking in some necessary nutrient, this may cause some cells to die, or malfunction resulting in some mind disorders. And since all humans are imperfect some of us may suffer from different ailments that may not manifest itself in others.
Some older people may be suffering from memory loss problems, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease brought on by hereditary factors, genetics, lack of good nutrition, sleep, poor diet, former lifestyle habits, infections, inflammation, physical exercise or lack of any of the brain exercises mentioned before. But is not due to just plain old age because as seen above not all older people suffer from these problem. As a matter of fact many young people are complaining about memory loss problems or having “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is not caused by a busy lifestyle or multi-tasking, and is not an adult onset mind disorder
Many college students complain of having ADHD, and some are even being treated by Doctors for this disorder. There is a lot of misconceptions about this condition some even claiming that it is not a real medical problem and could be the result of the many distractions college students are faced with.
According to a special report in “Healthy Living Magazine Summer 2012” It says that there is no such thing as adult onset ADHD. According to Barkley 99% of people with ADHD develop it before age 16. About 65% are inherited, while 35% are believed to result from prenatal exposure to alcohol, tobacco infection, or a brain injury in early life. An adult cannot develop ADHD from a busy lifestyle or from multi-tasking.
“Although ADHD always begins in childhood, says David W. Goodman M.D. assistant professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, symptoms don’t always become obvious until people mature and have to face a new set of challenges.” So in some cases the condition may not manifest itself until later in adulthood.
But as the report said this is not a mental problem that starts in adulthood and could not be responsible for anyone cases of constant forgetfulness or failing to concentrate. But if some young people do really have the condition there should be caution as to how they go about treatment as most of the drugs prescribed have been misused by some and resulted in death.
Be careful about getting hooked on prescription drugs to treat ADHD, some could be fatal if misused
If a person thinks they have ADHD, before getting hooked on any drug, it would be wise to first try improving your ability to shut out all distractions and try to concentrate as mentioned above. If that doesn’t work, try improving your nutrition and getting enough sleep and exercise. Before consulting a doctor try going first go to a nutritionist and follow a good healthy program of eating the right foods and keeping away from all processed and chemical altered foods.
Our entire body including the mind and brain can be improved with good nutrition. If that doesn’t work then get more than one good opinion from several medical doctors before starting any prescription drug program. I have heard of some cases where young people have gotten hooked on these drugs and died from the misused of them.(See previous post on danger of misusing prescription drugs: “A Pill for this, and a pill for that, a smoke, a drink- and what’s the bill for all these, huh?)
So no matter what our age, if we practice most or all of the above suggestions, focusing on what we want to accomplish, not jumping from one thing to the other before finishing anything. Developing a point of concentration in the mind, having a mental picture of the end result, shutting out all distractions, keeping our minds and bodies healthy, getting enough sleep and exercise. Repeating information or actions learned, exercising the mind by reading, researching, studying, sharing information, talking with people, being organized.
Even though we might occasionally suffer from temporary memory lapses, constant forgetfulness or long term memory loss will no longer be a problem. If it is not a diagnosed medical problem that needs some kind of special treatment then most people have the ability to boost their memories by staying focus on all the things mentioned above. If you have read all of this you have just given your mind a good exercise, and in case you forget any of it, read it over again, you are doing your memory a favor it will work better if you practice this everyday.
Written and illustrated by Glenda Brill(©)