Improve your memory

Did you know that you can improve your memory with a simple trick you can use everyday?

By inserting several 10-minute “routine busters” to your day, you can improve your brain.

The fast is, when you do the same things over and over all day, everyday, your brain kicks into cruise control – or “power saving mode” (if you think of your brain as a computer).  That means certain part of your brain are not active because through your routine it has learned that those parts aren’t needed for your tasks.

So, by adding a “routine buster”, you wake up the other parts of your brain.  And the more you use certain “pathways” in your brain, the easier they are to re-travel.  Remember a time that you drove to a new place for the first time?  I remember the first several times I drove to Savannah to go to pharmacy school.  I had my Google Maps sheet and I had to read every turn.  Well, after driving down there for 4 years, I could drive those roads almost subconsciously.  The more I drove the roads, the easier it was for me to get there and back.

A “routine buster” can be something like a crossword puzzle (you don’t have to complete it in 10 minutes but work on it that long), sudoku, brain teasers, riddles, Rubik’s cube (if that’s your cup of tea).

I think my grandmama figured this out long before science did.  As long as I can remember, at 7 pm she has to watch “Vanna” (aka Wheel of Fortune).  And what is Wheel of Fortune?  It’s basically a crossword puzzle on a light up board!  I’ve determined that she just might live to be 120 and still be in her right mind.  I also remember, as a little girl, we’d watch the “$25,000 Pyramid” (the original).  Talk about brain teasers!

Waking up those dormant part of your brain by breaking your routine is like freeing up memory space on a computer – it suddenly seems to run faster!

If you use Yahoo! Widgets, Kaiser Permanente has a brain teaser widget that gives you a new teaser or riddle every day.

Break out of your routine, tease your brain, and improve your memory!

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