Use it and it gets stronger!

Do you know that whether you had a stroke or not, our brain is pretty amazing? Even if it is weakened by the damage a stroke causes, you can improve it ALWAYS!

Our brains quickly respond to our environment, inside and outside. You may ask, How Quickly Do Changes in the Brain Begin?” The old saying, “if you don’t use it, you lose it,” is very apt for your brain. For example, upon immobilization of a limb (say you broke your arm and you have got a whole arm cast), there is a window of just nine days before the potential for recovery decreases. 

After resting completely the affected limb, the tissue around the brain responsible for making the limb move starts to experience problems, which leads to further loss of function. The same thing happens went you “rest” your memory. Let us practice our memories more!

The sooner a patient begins therapy, the better. Starting a program with occupational therapists that stimulates and retrains the brain and the extremities as soon as five days after the injury, has the potential to minimize cortical loss and enhance the brain’s reorganizing capabilities. 

The brain constantly steers neuroplastic changes through a variety of mechanisms, such as peripheral deafferentation (a big word that means “a loss of the nerve input from a portion of the body, usually caused by interruption of the peripheral nerves”). Most likely, this plasticity leads to spontaneous recovery. However, it is best to stimulate reorganization in the damaged brain to increase the chances of recovery.

Encouraging you to share precious memories can increase the quality of life by staving off depression, lessening physical pain, and evoking a sense of positive well-being. Allowing others to talk about joyful moments in their life can also help them feel that they are a valuable and cherished member of the family. It helps you too! Have fun practicing activities. Here are 3 ways to build up your memories with others or by yourself.

1. Use Photos to Trigger Your Memories – Take a look at one of your rooms and see photos you are in or know the story about them.  Or bring out an old box of photos that you have stashed and take time to look through them. If there is someone else, have the person ask you to tell her or him about each photo. E.g., Can you tell about the events of that day and how you were feeling at that moment?

2. Listen to Your Favorite Music – Another way to link the past to the present is to listen to your favorite music. Have another person ask you about your favorite songs and about the stories around the songs. She or he can ask you if you had played it during the times on your first date, first kiss, or if you are married, your wedding day. In addition, s/he can ask you about your first concert and the type of music that was popular when you were younger. 

3. Play Word Puzzles – Word games are excellent to help restore your memory. Ideas are board games, especially involving words, like Scrabble. Crosswords can help with memory retention. The challenge of a puzzle helps the brain form and maintain connections. In fact, crossword puzzles involve the left and the right side of the brain. Word games also invoke logical reasoning. Crossword puzzles also help you learn new words and recall vocabulary terms. All are great to help boost your memory!

Memory activities are a great way for you to exercise your memory and your mind. Make sure that you find a memory job that you will enjoy enough to keep practicing over time. To achieve the best brain-boosting results, it’s important that they play a variety of brain training activities and do so consistently. Practice it frequently and you will improve your memory!

Be sure to bounce down to the comment area, and leave me your heartfelt response! You may have missed my group training. It was a home run. The next one is the last Monday in January. Stay tuned to learn about strokes, how to recover from it, and other cool stuff. 

Follow me by joining the Facebook group, The Stroke Recovery Circle, join my subscription list on my blog at, on my Instagram posts at brent_calhoun_dvm, or my YouTube channel, thestrokerecoverycircle. Anyway, you will be enlightened and educated in a fun way!

Thank you! To your success!











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