Monthly Archives: February 2014

How to prepare yourself for a clinical therapy session

prepare-for-therapy-session

In my career as a therapist and in daily life also I have seen many people who visit hospitals or clinics but are not prepared for a therapy session. Some people even ask ambiguous questions like: “I know I have a problem, but what is the problem…I don’t know”. Some say “I have a lot of problems but can’t understand from where to start”. I agree that when problems are manifold they can become confusing to localize and express. In certain mental illness when insight is impaired, it is difficult to even realize that a person is having so and so problems. But, what about others, who do not have such confusing or challenging situations?

My point is whenever you visit a clinic or doctor; you need to be well-prepared for that visit. After all its your effort, money, time and precious life. So the health visit should be worth. This blog post is based on all the points and things you need to prepare before visiting a clinical setting/hospital or Doctor. This will help your health care professional to have a clear-cut understanding of your problem. And this will ultimately help you to get well soon without much unnecessary suffering.

Personal Details

Unless and until your confidentiality is at stake, do not hide or seclude your personal details from your doctor or therapist. Information regarding your age, family structure, relationship, social, educational/professional life and so on will serve as an important clue for the identification of the problem, aggravating factors, support system, prognosis of the problem etc.

Family History

This is a significant point that people often forget to mention. During your therapy or treatment session, it is also necessary to mention whether any one in your family or relatives suffered from the same, similar or other chronic illness. This gives an idea about the genetic predisposition of your problems/symptoms. Family history also gives an idea about the prognosis of the problem, ways to manage it and how to prevent it from getting inherited to the future generations.

Prior history of any other illness and treatment

If you had any similar illness or other chronic/acute disease/infection in the past, do not forget to mention this too. If you had taken any prior treatment for the problem you are facing now then please remember to share that with your doctor too. It is wise to maintain a special document or folder/file of your health/doctor visits, assessment types, diagnosis, treatment regime, medications and carry with yourself during your therapy session.

This enables your doctor to have a clear-cut understanding of your past medical history, diagnosis, misdiagnoses if any, medication chart, effect of medications on your health and other important aspects.

Allergies and Opportunistic infections

Allergies and infections are also worth-mentioning. If you are allergic to certain medication, chemical or allergy-causing agent, then you need to say this too. This will help your health care professional to prescribe you therapies or medicines that do not provoke allergies in your body.

Clearing confusions

If you have a lot of problems or symptoms then it is wise to start with the one that is troubling you most. This ways you and your clinic can work out a hierarchy of problems to deal with during the entire course of treatment. Doing this will also help in symptom re-evaluation and follow up.

Insurance and health cover

Some of you must already be having these. If your insurance company pays for a certain illness that you are suffering for, you can claim that amount without any hesitation. This will strengthen you monetarily and help in the treatment process too. Choose a hospital or clinic that is under the limits of your insurance or health cover.

Contact information

Do not forget to carry a handy notebook or pocket diary of important phone numbers or addresses of your near ones or the ones who can help you. If you would need immediate hospitalization, then this notebook will be very helpful to contact them easily.

OK friends… So these were some of the very important chunk of information and stuff that you need to do or preparing before going to a hospital or clinical therapy session. If possible, you can carry a small note of all the important points you need to discuss with your doctor beforehand. This ways you will not forget anything and your therapy session will be worth all your precious time, money and efforts.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

An introduction to alternative therapies

Did you know that other than popping pills in illness there are a lot of ways in which you can manage and prevent different physical and mental health issues? Yes folks! The planet that we dwell in offers us with many healing agents. These healing agents either keep diseases at bay or help us to cure different ailments. The only thing is we need to know how to utilize them for our health and well-being. As a clinical psychologist and an alternative therapist, I face many questions pertaining to the scientific validity of alternative therapies. Alternative therapies are nothing but the use of natural elements to heal diseases. Some of the natural elements used in alternative therapies are water, mud, stones/pebbles, plants, roots, music, colors, magnets, crystal ball, etc. I know you must be getting amazed by reading these names. But, yes when these healing agents are used therapeutically, they can lead to magical effects.

Working System

There are many characteristics of alternative healing agents that make the suitable for healing. Some of them are:

  • Their physical properties
  • Chemical composition
  • The energies that these agents radiate
  • The electro-magnetic waves and resultant effects that they create
  • The ways or methods in which they are used

Based on the above characteristics that I have mentioned, alternative healing agents give rise to healing potentialities. Now let me tell you about some alternative therapy techniques. These techniques are very effective when they are combined with mainstream treatment interventions. Moreover, these alternative therapy techniques can also be used during normal times for overall health and well-being. Some of the most effective forms of alternative therapies are:

Aqua therapy

This therapy will help to control the recurrent thoughts and combat the negative vibes encircling you. In this therapy just take a glass filled with salty water and keep it below the bed just at the point where you place your head. If that is difficult then you can also place the glass of salty water beside your head on a table. This should be done everyday during the night time before going to sleep. After keeping the glass at its place, just give an auto-suggestion to yourself that all your disturbing thoughts and negative energies are getting absorbed by the salty water and you are getting healed from within. The next morning you will get up more fresh, healthier and with a positive spark. Precautions: While throwing the salty water away in the morning make sure that you throw the water into a sink. The water should not fall on any of your body part or other living beings. You can either throw it in the sink or any other water outlet.

Color Therapy

Different colors have different healing capacities. Some colors boost our emotions and moods. While others, tend to pacify them. Some colors have direct healing effects on our body and mind. Though a traditional color therapy requires the supervision of a color therapy practitioner, there are still ways in which you can use colors and their therapeutic effects. You can either wear clothes of such colors; surround yourself with these colors (wall paints, etc) or use a night bulb with a colored sheet of that color You can see the table below for an overview of different colors and their effects:

Colors Effects
Red Strength, warmth, motivation, courage, excitement and energy
Blue Cool and calm feeling, trust, faith, mood pacifier, logic higher cognitive skills and efficiency
Yellow Color of spirituality and higher values in life, emotional strength, creativity, a well-defined sense of self
Green Rejuvenation, inspiration, life force, abundance, positivity, vitality and balance

Color therapy is extremely helpful in stress management and management of depression, sleep disorders, anxiety, heart ailments, mood swings, restlessness, lack of motivation, and so on.

Music Therapy

This is one of my favorite forms of alternative therapies. For therapeutic purposes you can use instrumental music, sounds of nature (like waves, sounds of birds, waterfall, rains, etc). To make it even more effective you can combine music with meditation too. The reason why I recommend music therapy is you can use it anywhere and everywhere. Music therapy is drastically effective in depression, stress, anxiety, cardiac ailments, blood pressure ailments, insomnia, as a combined therapy in trauma care, during hypnosis induction, pregnancy and childbirth. Apart from this, you can use the rhyme and rhythm of music any time you feel like. It is like an all-round therapy with minimal or no side effects at all.

The magic of mud and stones

If anyone of you has a spa experience, then you might understand the effects of these healing agents. Mud is specifically effective in stress, depression, aggression, increasing body’s feel-good hormones, stomach ailments, etc. Pebbles also have cooling effects and provide relief from illnesses related to general mental health, joint and muscle problems, etc. The shape and size of pebbles are important points to take care of here. As you have seen by now, nature and our surroundings provide us with many therapy agents. If done in the right manner and at the right time, alternative therapies can boost your health quotient to unimaginable levels. So you can either use them by yourselves. Or visit an alternative therapy practitioner for more intensive treatment and care. If you have further queries on the technical know-how of alternative therapies, benefits or how to do them, please don’t hesitate to contact us via live chat/ email/ forum or comments in the blog section.

Happy to help, happy to cure!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Improving Communication in Relationships

Fights, commenting on each other, keeping quiet and walking away, staying away from each other for days at a stretch…Communication problem in a relationship can make it a worse thing and an overwhelming experience to bear. Believe me or not, when you cannot communicate properly in a relationship, it can land in hell. Whether you have a gift of the gab or you don’t like to exercise your tongue much, if you don’t know the skills of effective communication in a relationship, it can turn out to be meaningless. Of course, when you truly respect your partner and are honest in your relationship you can communicate in a genuine manner. There is no doubt in it. But, if you talk or behave wrongly at the wrong time then your words and behavior can be easily misinterpreted. This is the biggest cause of many heartbreaks, relationship disharmony and marital discord. So, if you want you relationship to sustain, then you need to know the dynamics and significance of communication in a relationship.

Errors in Communication in Relationships:

These are some of the common errors one does in communicating his/her emotions/feelings/words or opinions:

  • Wrong time entry: Try not to speak or do something when the time is not ripe. Suppose your partner is in a very bad mood. If you will speak something at that time (no matter how important it is) it will not sink into your partner’s mind. This is a true fact.
  • Insensitive words: Uttering of words that hurt or words that your partner does not like can increase the distance between both of you. So try not to speak words that your partner is highly sensitive to, has a bad past related to that word, does not like or gets hurt by it.
  • Inappropriate behavior: When you enter into a relationship the first thing you need to know is the likes and dislikes of your partner. His/her personality style and coping skills are also important aspects to know about. Knowing about these dimensions will help you know the appropriate ways of pacifying your partner during odd and even times. Therefore, inappropriate behavior at wrong times or situations can make all your communication efforts go in vain.

Now let’s look at some of the barriers in effective communication in relationships:

  • The “Ego Clash”: Do not let your ego come in between you and your partner. This is the most deadly weapon that can kill your relationship. Each and everyone love to safeguard their egos and puff up in their ego. This is quite natural. But, this does not work out in a relationship. Try to keep your ego aside in your relationship. In fact, there is a thin line between ego and self-esteem. Both are two sides of the same coin. Self-esteem is a positive value and virtue while Ego is a negative quality. It is important to develop a good level of self-esteem and not a bad amount of ego.
  • Third Party Interference: When there is a misunderstanding between you and your partner, both of you ought to find out the solution. The more people you involve in your relationship issue-resolution the more problem you will face in communication. Hope you know the famous saying: “Too many cook, spoil the broth”. This is exactly what happens when you allow a third person to act as a mechanic to mend your relationship. No guys! This is not the right way. You can take the help of your family or friends. But, only to a minimal extent. Do not let their opinions or mindsets bias your mature level of thinking. Final decision and action should be by both of you i.e you and your partner.
  • Confidentiality Breach: If your partner does not like his/her issues to be shared with others, then do not do the same. I have seen many unnecessary problems cropping up between couples due to this. If you need someone’s advice then you can do so. But, not at the stake of your partners emotions.

How to improve commication in your relationship:

  • Stay calm and composed first
  • Do not let your ego come in between
  • Do not let issues brooding over a long period of time. Try to sort out issues as soon as possible and in an appropriate manner
  • Steps should be taken from both the sides. If anyone of you would be sacrificing for your relationship, then this is not fair guys. Relationship takes two people to make it, and two of you to make it a happy, fulfilling lifetime journey.
  • Communicate in a way your partner likes. If she loves flowers, then say it with flowers. If he likes letters, then pen down your words to him. Just recognize and understand your partner well. You will automatically get millions of ways to reach your partner’s heart.
  • Last but not the least, if nothing works…go and give a tight hug to your partner. Say your heart out. This will surely melt all negative junk in your relationship.

It takes persistent efforts to create and sustain a relationship. It takes just a second to break it and part ways. If you truly love your beloved then both of you should take equal steps ahead to clear all misunderstandings, communication problems and ultimately land in each other’s arms.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Are you in Love?

being-deeply-loved-by-someone

Love…The word itself gives a “wow” feeling, doesn’t it? Interestingly, love is a word that is felt and understood by different individuals in different ways. Love manifests itself in manifold hues and forms. You can see love between a mother and her child, between a brother and sister, between peers, passionate lovers, husband and wife and so on. In short, love is felt in different ways and is expressed in different ways.

Let me tell you an interesting real life event in my life. I was attending a seminar on the importance of the heart in our lives. The doctor said, the heart is the most fascinating and romantic organ of the human body. When we asked why and what was the reason behind it, this was his reply: Since ages everyone implies to the heart when one speaks of love. To connote this he said, of course one cannot say that “Oh my love….my kidney loves you”, “My stomach is in love with you”, “Oh please don’t reject me…Please don’t break my liver”! Everyone in the seminar hall had a hearty laugh. So, when we talk about love, our heart has a significant role to play.

Do you know that love has a strong physiological and psychological connection? This is a simplified figure of how love is felt and our responses to its feeling:

Chemical_basis_of_love

During the early decades Clive Staples Lewis – who was a great poet, novelist, theologian and essayist of his times – differentiated love into four different categories:

Storge (Affection) Stroge is a feeling of love you feel with your family members, or people otherwise related to you.
Philia (Friendship) If you love your friend unconditionally, then you are experiencing Philia or Friendship love. It is also felt for people with common interests or activities.
Eros (Romance) This suggests the feeling of “being in love” or “loving” someone. Eros also signifies spiritual love, aesthetic love, passionate love, sexual love and so on.
Agape (Unconditional Love) If you love someone beyond the physical correlates of selfish desires, circumstances or any such boundations then you are experiencing Agape. Agape is to love someone unconditionally, the most sought after form of love.

So could you relate to what kind of love that you are in from the table mentioned above? With Valentine’s Day almost here, I can sense many hearts throbing fast. The reason being your purpose to find your beloved, to know whether you are actually in love or not, whether your love will be accepted or rejected, how will you surprise your partner on this special day….whoa whoa whoa…wait, wait! Now I will tell you a way to find out whether actually the cupid has struck you or are you simply in the mirage of infatuation. Check out the questionnaire I have mentioned below. Here we go:

  1. Do you simply like the person or are you literally crazy about the person?
  2. Would you want to devote your entire time and life for the person?
  3. Is the person the first person you remember in the morning and the last person you remember while you go into deep sleep?
  4. Do you often see the person in your dreams?
  5. Do you love the person so intensely that you can sacrifice everthing for him/her?
  6. Upto what extent can you change yourself for the person?
  7. Would you give up your important things or plans for him/her?
  8. Do you like his/her personality?
  9. Will you love him/her no matter what and no matter when?
  10. Life will decay, body will also decay. So would you love your partner even when he/she is sick, grows old and in any situation?

If you answered a Yes to most of the questions then I would say that “Hey, you are in love. You love the person totally, madly and badly. You can go to any lengths and heights to love this person. Your love won’t fade away in the ebb and flow of time and situations. If situation demands then you can easily make amends, changes or sacrifices for your beloved.” So don’t wait for anything…just find out a right way to express your love. This Valentine’s Day, give a new meaning and dimension to your love.

Where love is, heartbreak is also common. So don’t get bothered by it. Sooner or later one fine day the person who is made for you will surely step into your life and make it worth living.

Finally all I wanna say is…Love is beautiful, love is Divine, love is meanigful and love is life. Whether you love your parents, family or beloved, do not let any negativity enter into such a pure and pious emotion. Love has its own psychological benefits too. Some of them are:

  •     Confidence and self-esteem
  •     Feeling of security and compassion
  •     Sharing, nurturance and caring
  •     A sense of belongingness and we-feeling
  •     Adjustment and healthy coping mechanisms
  •     Strong sense of positivity, empathy and goodwill
  •     Overall physical and mental well-being

The psycho-physical-spiritual benefits of pure love are manifold. I can write uncountable points on it. I don’t want it to make it a strenous job for you to read such a long writing of mine. It’s just that true love multiplies your happiness and halves all the pains and sorrows. If you have already found your love, then love with all your dedication and honesty. If you are still in search of your beloved…then may you find your dream partner soon!

Lots of love-dust on you,

Sareeta

Test your “Mental Health Quotient” (MQ)

MQ_testA few months back the entire world fraternity observed the “World Mental Health Day”. For everyone else it was like a normal day with everyday – routine activities. But, it was a very special day for mental health professionals and people ailling with mental health problems. When I asked some of the people around me, many of them did not know the significance of this important day. I was amazed by this. Till today in many regions people are unaware about mental health hygiene, mental health problems, etc. Mental illness is still seen as a taboo in many regions. You won’t believe but till date in many unseen corners of the world, people are still ill-treated due to their mental health issues.

Owing to this I thought of creating a play-way method of making you know more about mental health, create awareness and sensitization about it. We all have ample knowledge about the daily affairs and general knowledge…but let’s see if you know the simple technical know-how and different aspects of mental health or not. Trust me, the knowledge you will gain here or the scores you will score here will help you in your life and help you in brightening up some other’s life as well.

Coming up next is a crossword puzzle on Mental Health Quotient. So lets begin your MQ test and see how much do you score!

Questions:

  1. The science or study of human behavior
  2. The part of your body that controls and regulates all major/vital functions
  3. Functional part of the human brain
  4. Father of Psychology
  5. Irrational and intense fear about something specific
  6. Feelings of worry, tension, apprehension
  7. Constant feeling to be isolated, feelings of dejection, sadness, etc
  8. Your body weight is calculated through this scale
  9. Manic-depressive illness is also known as——
  10. World Mental Health Day is observed in this month
C D V B M N G B R A I N
S I G M U N D F R E U D
P F T I Y A H K O L H R
D S Q E U I N O S V B H
E O Y O J V C X Z B M W
P K I C W L Y B I V T Y
R Y R I H J U N V E A L
E D E P H O B I A O T P
S I B F D M L S I B P Y
S S O Q A I N O M I B Z
I J T P C N W Z G Q A P
O A C V P D I R X Y T I
N X O C M R A L O P I B

Tomorrow we will reveal the correct answers on our Facebook page!  See you there…

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Exploring Meditation: Methods and Benefits

meditation_buddha

Do you know, in some degree we all meditate in some or the other form? However, we do not realize because we do not know much about it. I can see that there are still a lot of doubts related to meditation. This motivated me to write a blog post on it and tell you the meaning, methods and powerful effects of meditation.

Meditation is a mode of elevating yourself, uniting yourself with a higher entity. Meditation is a higher cognitive function that works both on the micro and macrocosmic aspects of life. In meditation there has to be an object/subject on which you can focus all your attention.

Benefits of meditation:

  • Relieves stress, anxiety, depression, etc
  • Improves memory
  • Improves attention and concentration
  • Enhances physical and psychological well-being
  • Prevents many diseases, keeps several ailments at bay
  • Keeps mind calm and composed
  • Enlightens knowledge and wisdom
  • Relaxes, rejoices and rejuvenates

Some of the effective types of meditation:

  • Meditation of the Sun: Visualize the golden rising sun in the middle of your brows, known as the Ajna Chakra. Feel that the golden rays of the sun is cleansing your body, mind and spirit and filling you up with vital energies. Take deep breaths and follow the Pranic breathing technique. That is, with every exhalation imagine that all the negative vibes, bad thoughts, ill-health within you is coming out in the form of black smoke. And while inhalations imagine that you are breathing in vital life forces, good/positive energies, success, happiness and contentment. Since the sun is hot in nature meditating with the sun as the object of meditation fills you with motivation, life force and takes you to the higher planes of living.
  • Meditation of the moon: Just like the sun meditation, you have to imagine the moon in the middle of the brows and imagine that the soothing rays of the moon are filling up your body, mind and spirit. The moon stands for creativity, intelligence, soothing and relaxing properties and cooling effect. The same pranic form of breathing is to be followed in this form of meditation also. Both the forms of meditation of the sun and the moon should be practiced daily. Without one, the other is incomplete. Both the meditation processes have a balancing effect on the body, mind and spirit. Therefore it is necessary to practice both of them in a given day.
  • Meditating on a point: Meditating on a point drastically improves concentration, attention and memory. Doing this is quite easy too. All you have to do is draw a small circle in the middle of a plain paper, stick that paper at some distance. Then you need to take a deep breath and keep gazing at the circle continuously for some time without blinking your eyes. Simple, right?
  • Meditation with music: This is one of the most effective forms of meditation. This works best particularly when there is a lot of noise around you or within you. In this form, you need to play music while meditating. If you want you can use your favorite music in the background. Otherwise, I would recommend different forms of music like soft instrumental, melodies of chirping birds, sounds of purling rivers, roaring waves, drizzling rain, and other natural sounds. You can find a wide variety of them from online sources or music stores.

Some helpful tips to meditate:

  • Wear light clothing while meditating
  • If possible meditate in an area where you can get fresh air
  • Do it regularly to reap optimum results
  • You can mentally repeat self-positive-suggestion to make it even more effectual
  • Meditation done early morning and before going to bed works best
  • Meditation can be combined with soothing music, dim light and aroma as well

So friends happy meditating!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

An introduction to psychotic disorders

Brief-Psychotic-Disorder-PictureBy definition, a psychotic disorder is a chronic mental illness that requires long-term treatment, medication and sometimes hospitalization, in-patient care as well. This blog post will provide you information on different kinds of psychotic illness, their prevalence, signs and symptoms. Therefore, as soon as you identify them or feel them you can seek immediate medical assistance.

1)    Schizophrenia:

Schizophrenia is considered as one of the most severe forms of mental disorders. It requires long-term treatment. Medications as well as Psychotherapy, both are needed for its management and treatment. Its typical onset is around young adulthood and its global prevalence rate is about 0.3-0.7%. See below to find the different symptoms of schizophrenia:

Symptoms Meaning
Delusions Irrational belief about something. E.g: Limbs turning into stones, someone plotting against the person, thought broadcasting
Hallucination Sensing or feeling something without the presence of any apparent stimulus. E.g: Hearing voices, visual distortions
Flat Affect Lack of ability to express feelings and emotions
Physiological Disturbances Disturbances in sleep, appetite and major physiological functions
Avolition Lack of motivation to do something, even daily activities, hygiene etc are also hampered in this disorder

Other symptoms of schizophrenia include poverty of speech, social isolation, impairment in significant cognitive functions, paranoid delusions and so on. It can be caused due to genetic factors, situational factors, environmental factors, neurochemical disturbances in the brain, etc. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in immediate crisis, please contact your national emergency number or go to Befrienders Worldwide that offers crisis resources worldwide.

2)    Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar disorder as the name suggests, is a disorder where mood swings between the two poles of depression and mania occur. Here is an illustration of symptoms during each stage:

Phase Symptoms Treatment Methods
Depression Phase Feelings of sadness, melancholy, dejection, social isolation, flat affect, lack of appetite, lack of motivation, insomnia, suicidal feelings, self harm etc. Medication, psychotherapy
Mania Phase Feelings of euphoria, drug and substance abuse, becoming overly extravagant and socially interactive, high energy levels, can harm self and others, high levels of voice, verbal abuse, can resort to anti-social activities,lack of sleep, increased appetite etc. Medication, chronic mania can require hospitalization and intensive in-patient care, psychotherapy

3)    Paranoia:

Paranoia is a delusional disorder. It means it is a disorder characterized by distorted thought process. Under the influence of paranoia you would experience strange irrational belief or delusions. I have mentioned about some common forms of delusions with their meanings below:

Delusion Meaning
Delusion of Grandeur or Grandiosity An irrational thought in which one feels to be a supreme human being or supernatural power. One claims to be a Prime Minister or God, Superman in this form of delusion.
Delusion of Persecution In this form of delusion one thinks as if everyone is trying to kill him or her.
Delusion of Reference This form of delusion suggests that one always thinks that others are talking about him/her.
Thought broadcasting  In this form of delusion they think that their thoughts are being broadcasted in News and information channels.

Paranoia can lead to serious problems like social isolation, fear, self-harm, harming others and even suicide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in immediate crisis, please contact your national emergency number or go to Befrienders Worldwide that offers crisis resources worldwide.

4)    Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD):

BPD is a personality disorder characterized by maladaptive personality and behavior in a person. Peolpe with BPD have a lot of trust issues. Due to this they can hardly believe in someone and stick to a relationship. They are more prone to drug and substance abuse too.

These were some of the common psychotic illnesses. The intention of writing this post was not to scare you, but to sensitize you and make you informed about these forms of mental illnesses. Gone are the days when people having mental health problems were subjected to social taboos and discrimination, when they were dumped in mental asylums without proper treatment and care. Today with the progress and advancement in medical science and technology, no matter how chronic or acute a disorder may be, it can be prevented, treated and managed. The best weapons we have so far are medications or psycho-pharmacological interventions, psychotherapeutic treatment, alternative therapies and so on. What is important is identifying them at the earliest and seeking treatment at the earliest.

Therefore, if you get a slight clue about these ailments within you or any of your near ones, do not step back in seeking immediate and proper treatment. There is a way out of every problem!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

How to increase your memory power

memory

Do you have a habit of forgetting birthdays, anniversaries, important dates, where you kept your car keys, if you lock the door or not? Do you have problems focusing on things and situations? Do you have problems in concentrating and remembering things? If yes, then this blog post is for you! Memory play a vital role in our day to day lives. Without it we all would like a straw in the storm, knowing not where to go. This significant brain function depends on many factors such as:

  • Concentration power
  • Span of attention
  • Your diet and lifestyle
  • Exercise regime
  • Brain chemicals
  • Cognitive skills

All the above factors boost your memory power to higher levels. Apart from these, there are certain ways through which you can enhance your memory power in your day-to-day lives. Try to fit in the following techniques in your daily life and see your memory power soar high:

1)    Mental Picture:

Have you seen children or teenagers remembering songs and movie dialogs more easily than educational topics? I have seen quite a lot of such phenomena around me on an everyday basis. Do you know why this occurs? It is because memorization of a certain thing or event becomes easier and stronger when you will create a mental picture of it. Therefore, if you wanna remember something, then just close your eyes for a while and create a mental picture for it. The more vivid the picture, the stronger its impression will be in your brain and it will be remembered by you for a longer period of time.

2)    Mnemonics:

Mnemonics (pronounced as nemonics) is nothing but creating acronyms or short-forms of the thing to be remembered. For example the mnemonic “VIBGYOR” can help you remember the colors of the rainbow in the order in which they occur; Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. A creative and interesting mnemonic can go a long way in helping you remember things, learned materials and events in a synchronized manner.

3)    Learning Vs Rehearsal Vs Overlearning:

Learning means to acquire new knowledge about something. When it is memorized again and again and processed deeply then it becomes an elaborative rehearsal. Up to here it is great. Note that simple rote learning will fade off from your head very soon. But if you memorize something again and again, understand its meaning and implications deeply, then it will enter into your long-term memory and will stay there life long. Problems arise when people knowing or unknowingly resort to overlearning. Overlearning is unnecessarily learning what is already remembered and deeply processed. It not only wastes a lot of time, but also wastes your productive energies and space in your mind. So stick to learning and rehearsal. Do not overlearn.

4)    Do not mix eating with memorization:

One of the interesting facts about memory is it captures the environmental cues along with the aspect you want to remember. Have you experienced forgetting something and remembering it again if you go to a similar place or environment? It is because of this memory cue. I have seen moms and dads pestering their children to eat something or drink something while studying. I have also seen teenagers having coffee or tea while studying. Don’t mix eating with memorizing. It’s because the act of eating becomes a memory cue or clue. So if you forget that memorized material you will need a similar situation to recall it again.

5)    Magic of meditation, Exercise and Healthy Lifestyle:

Meditation, exercise, breathing exercises, balanced diet and a good sleep are the best memory boosters so far. The reason behind it is that these boosters maintain a healthy equilibrium in your brain chemicals or neurotransmitters. Exposure to sun, acupressure, acupuncture and Yoga (Particularly the Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation and Pragya Yoga) are also some of the traditional and effective ways to boost memory.

Some Interesting Facts about Memory:

There are three types of memory:

  •     Sensory Memory: Memory that remains for only a few seconds.
  •     Short-term Memory: Memory that remains for some minutes. When something is deeply processed, it enters into the 3rd level of memory i.e the Long term Memory.
  •     Long-term Memory: Memory that remains intact for days, months, years and life long.

If the memorized material is not processed deeply, then forgetting occurs. Here is the Forgetting Curve by Ebbinghaus that shows the amount of forgetting that occurs:

forgetting_curve

So folks do not let your memory fade off. Life is for once and each and every event whether good or bad is worth remembering. Sometimes forgetting of some information is also necessary otherwise it add unnecessary stress on your head. But, remembering of important information is undoubtedly important. Hope you will use the above techniques and give your memory a strong buffer for a lifetime!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta