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Memory Lapse

You can be assured of the fact that memory lapses are not only for senior citizens. Every once in a while you will succumb to confusion and stress, and your memory will deteriorate right at that exact moment that you actually need it. Here are some great examples.

You are running late for an important meeting, and you can’t find your car keys anywhere. You holler and yell, until your wife points out that you have been holding your car keys all along. Or, you could never remember where you last placed your reading glasses, and they only ever turn up when you do not need them anymore. Or, you are introducing your spouse to your boss and end up forgetting your wife’s name, or your boss’ name – or worst yet, both their names.

Brain cells usually function erratically under confusing or stressful conditions and produce the memory lapse. Mental block usually happens, but that does not mean that the brain stops functioning as well. Obviously, no one in their right minds would wish for a complete brain shut down for themselves.

However, the human mind, no matter what its age is or the state of its health, needs a bit of help once in a while. so don't think of a memory lapse as something abnormal. Here are a couple of brain training exercises to help sharpen your mind during times of confusion and stress (best time for memory lapse to appear).

1. Take a step back and breathe. Breathing really helps, since the brain needs a lot of oxygen-rich blood to sustain it. Relax and do not think of the actual memory lapse, just ignore it. During times of crisis, your brain and your body are on hyper alert.

This sends out mixed signals to all the neurons in your system which really makes you think cloudy thoughts at the moment, if you are thinking at all. Breathe. A few minutes of breathing will help clear your mind, as opposed to you running about and expending valuable energy doing something really unproductive.

2. Think back on what you usually do and what you just did. The important meeting is in 12 minutes and your car keys are missing. First, try to recall where you normally place your keys. Do you usually put them on the foyer counter along with your house keys? Have you checked there yet? Do you slip them in you belt hoop or hold on to them until you get to the office where you place it in the topmost drawer of your desk? Turning back the time in your mind’s eye is one way of focusing your brain into specific but important details.

During stressful times, the brain sometimes tends to overshoot this process, and concentrate on the what-wills. What-wills are the potential scenarios we usually dread. What will happen if you become late? What will happen if you never find your keys? What will happen if you boss fires you for missing the meeting? Stop focusing on these and just try to recall where you last saw your car keys for starters.

3. Stick to a few helpful routines. Routines can be redundant, but they can save you a lot of time and energy. If you keep losing your reading glasses, appoint one specific place to put it at all times. Training your brain to follow this routine will help you maximize your thinking power, and get you those glasses when you really need them.

5. Think association when it comes to names. If your boss’ name is Michael Harvard, always associate him with Harvard University. If your wife’s name is Eden, think The Garden of Eden. The stranger the association between names and object, the better recall you will have. So relax and use these techniques and don't get intimidated by an occasional memory lapses.