Use it or you will lose it!

How is your memory compared to your memory just before you had your stroke? Better, worse, or about the same? My memory has been worse since the two strokes over 11 years ago. With this blog, I have decided to dedicate some energy to improving my memory. How about you?

Memory consists of three broad kinds of memories. There are sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory. Your sensory memory acts as a buffer for all information that is received through your senses. This data is accurately retained, but only for less than half a second. Your short-term memory is temporary and it has a low capacity. This info will be quickly dismissed or entered into your long-term memory stores. Your long-term memory is your brain’s system for storing, managing and recalling information. 

In his book, Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life, author Jim Kwik reminds us that our brain is like our muscles. If we don’t use them we lose them. The same is true for our memory. In the stroke, our brain was like an arm that is put in a splint for a long time. In a very short time, the stroke effectively wiped part of our memories and the stroke effectively put your brain in a splint for a long time. When we get around to using the memories, they are fuzzy or nonexistent. We have to relearn what we have forgotten.

One article I found fascinating had the reader do a sensory test. The test was a way to both retaining more information before the test. Also, the test had the reader hold on to the information longer and put it into the short-term memory. For example, take any food that you are eating. Eat it slowly; bite by bite. Identify the different flavors you are experiencing, especially with homemade or familiar foods. This test makes new memories and reinforces existing memories of your taste sense. Conducting this test is simple and the results are helpful.

Thankfully, most of us as stroke patients still retain much of the memories we had before. You must have retained some of your memory because you know your name! As stroke survivors, most of us know how to do the basics of daily living. It is just we need to start using our memory more and practicing over and over. Our sensory, short-term, and long-term memories! Like strength training, our memories will get better by using them more.

Some sources I used were: & Check them out for more.

We are going to have another group training on the last Monday in October. See tuned for more information about it. Share us a “thumb up” emoji if this message is handy to know. Give us your feedback. Please leave your comments. To your success!


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