Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Posts tagged ‘wellness’

The Case for Slowing Down in 2015

The Case for Slowing Down in 2015

Research has shown that it takes 25 minutes for the average person to mentally recover from a single phone call or other such interruption during work. The problem is, research has also shown that these sorts of interruptions occur in our daily lives every 11 or so minutes. So when you’re halfway de-stressed from one interruption, another one comes blundering along into your life. It’s like consistently getting 4 hours of sleep when your body craves 8; it’s going to catch up with you — and it’s not going to be pretty.

Chronic, unrelenting stress is dangerous to our health, happiness, and longevity, being at the root of myriad chronic diseases and imbalances. But the benefits of reducing stress and slowing down in life are universal:

-increased happiness and enjoyment of life

-better, deeper focus

-less tension and and stress-induced musculoskeletal imbalances    

Small life changes, like reducing an addiction to technology, can help you experience less stress in your daily life, and deal with stressors more healthily when they do come thundering along.

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Take a card from the techies at Google: take a technology sabbath. Shut your electronics off for one day or an entire weekend. Read books, play games with your family, go outdoors, experience creativity-inducing boredom.  

Even if you don’t have the luxury to take a technology sabbath, you can still slow down your daily routine. Make yourself a hearty homemade breakfast instead of rushed buttered toast, and give yourself the time to mindfully enjoy it. Eat dinner with your family without checking your phone midway. Listen to the sounds of birds instead of blasting music on your walk to the local cafe. Every little bit helps. Here are 4 additional ways to slow your life down:  

1. Do a few important things instead of many trivial things

2. Leave early for events so you don’t have to rush.

3. Practice basic meditation for 5-25 minutes a day. Become comfortable with ‘doing nothing’. It has been scientifically proven to reduce stress.

4. Spend as much time as you can in nature, undistracted; even if all you can spare is just one day a month. It revitalizes you.

5. Eliminate what is unnecessary in your life — people, technology, fragile furnishings, et cetera; anything that requires trivial efforts, causes stress, or serves no function.  “Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” Thoreau  

We are bombarded by facts and information in our everyday lives — so much so that it is impossible to absorb more than a fraction of it. Slow down and let yourself learn, hear, and see new things. Stop opening your browser window; slow down and open yourself up to the world.    

By Jordyn Cormier

Jordyn is a choreographer, freelance writer, and an avid outdoors woman. Having received her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance from the Boston Conservatory, she is passionate about maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul through food and fitness. A lover of adventure, Jordyn can often be found hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, and making herself at home in the backcountry! 

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

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11 Natural Treatments For Depression

11 Natural Treatments For Depression

That said, clinical depression sucks, and if you’re someone who suffers from it, my heart goes out to you. I’m in no way intending to diss anti-depressants or suggest you ignore your doctor’s advice. I know anti-depressants can be life-saving for people. But unless you’re suicidal or otherwise in dire need of urgent medication, before you dose up on side-effect laden pharmaceuticals, it’s worth considering some natural treatments that might help lift your mood.

How To Treat Depression Naturally

1.  Consider why you might feel depressed. Sometimes depression is a symptom of something circumstantial in your life, rather than biochemical imbalances. Does your job require you to sell out your integrity every day? Have you been unable to admit that you need to end your marriage? Are you feeling spiritually disconnected or sexually restless? Are you suffering from creative blocks? Is your body failing you? Are you facing financial ruin? Be honest with yourself about what might be off-kilter in your life, and make an effort to get to the root of why you might be feeling depressed.

2.  Move your body. Exercise releases happy-making endorphins, which act like natural anti-depressants. Runner’s high, anyone?

3.  Never skip a meal. Keeping your blood sugar stable reduces mood swings.

4.  Eat a serotonin-enhancing diet. Many anti-depressants like Prozac act by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin by receptors in the brain, thereby increasing serotonin levels. But you can increase your brain’s serotonin levels by eating foods that boost your serotonin levels naturally.

Serotonin-enhancing foods include:

  • Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as wild salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies, which are even higher in omega-3 fatty acids than other fish)
  • Healthy fats like coconut oil
  • Eat a high protein diet, especially proteins high in tryptophan, like free range turkey

5.  Avoid caffeine, which reduces serotonin levels. If you need an energy boost, supplement with L-Tyrosine (500 – 1000 mg).

6.  Expose yourself to sunlight, which can boost mood and increase Vitamin D levels. If you live somewhere that gets little sun, invest in a therapeutic light box.

7.  Try mood-enhancing supplements: (DISCLAIMER: Although you can get these supplements over the counter, I always recommend doing this under the care of a physician, since supplements can have side effects and risks and can interact with other medications.)

  • 5-HTP 50-300 mg up to three times/day — start at 50mg in the morning. Converts directly into serotonin. If you are taking too much, you will feel sleepy or have runny stools. Also usually helps with anxiety, although sometimes it can paradoxically cause anxiety. Must use with great caution if you’re taking an anti-depressant.
  • St. John’s Wort 300mg three times/day. If you don’t feel better within a week, slowly increase your dose to a max of 600mg three times/day. May decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills.
  • SAMe 200mg on an empty stomach twice/day. Increase your dose every two weeks to a maximum dose of 600mg twice daily. This can be a very effective antidepressant, but it can also be expensive. Side effects at higher doses include GI upset, nausea, agitation, and insomnia.
  • L-Theanine 100-600mg daily. Reduce if you feel sleepy. Found in green tea.
  • Fish oil (DHA/EPA) 1-3 g/day with food.

8. Meditate or try guided imagery. Meditation’s effects on mood are well documented. Settling your mind can lift your mood, in addition to a whole host of other health benefits.

9. Get your hormones balanced. If your thyroid, adrenal or sex hormones are out of whack, your mood can get all wonky. See a good integrative medicine doctor and ask them to order and interpret the following tests:

  • Thyroid gland tests – TSH, free T4, free T3, total T3, thyroid antibodies
  • Adrenal gland tests – cortisol, DHEA-S, pregnenolone
  • Sex hormone tests – estradiol, progesterone, free and total testosterone

10. Make efforts to bolster your mental health by being more authentic in all aspects of your life. Too often, we walk around wearing masks, pretending to be something we’re not. We fake it at the schoolyard, in the boardroom, in the bedroom, at church — and then we wonder why we wind up depressed. Practice letting your authentic freak flag fly and watch how your mood lifts.

11. Talk it out. See a therapist, psychiatrist, or life coach and express how you feel. Sometimes just finding someone you trust who will help you work through your feelings can make all the difference in the world.

If all else fails and you need anti-depressants, don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes you can do everything right, and if your imbalance is biochemical, you may need the drugs. But don’t forget to nurture the rest of you too. Depression, like most physical and mental illnesses, is multifactorial and requires a global investigation of your whole health — not just your mind and body, but your relationships, your work, your financial picture, how you express yourself creatively, how you satisfy yourself sexually, your environment, and whether you’re letting your Inner Pilot Light (aka authentic self) shine.

Unsure whether you’re really depressed or just in need of a vitality boost? Read this!

By Lissa Rankin, MD

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.  She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.  Lissa blogs at LissaRankin.comand also created two online communities – HealHealthCareNow.com and OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter. 

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach, consult, contact ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

(Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem!  We do virtual coaching worldwide!)

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chcws ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skpe ~ healthyhighway

        

 

 

 

 

 

15 Habits of Highly Confident People

15 Habits of Highly Confident People

 
No one is confident all the time but some people seem to exude confidence leaving others wondering “what’s the secret?”  Here are some of my observations about the habits of highly confident people.

1.  They have a strong sense of self. They know what they like and what they don’t like.  They’ve most likely built a strong sense of self by having a wide variety of experiences.

2.  They have a strong sense of personal boundaries. They don’t try to please others merely for the sake of making others happy. But, that doesn’t mean they are contrarian to boost their ego either.

3.  They learn from their past without dwelling on it. The past can play a role in helping us move forward in life, but not if we get stuck in it.

4.  They go after their goals and dreams. They may feel fear but they strive to reach their dreams anyway.

5.  They recognize mistakes are learning opportunities. They don’t beat themselves up for their mistakes, realizing that every mistake is an opportunity to learn likes, dislikes, and ways to be more successful next time.

6.  They try new things. There is an expression that experience is the best teacher.  Trying new things allows us to evolve as people.

7.  They take risks. They make informed choices even if there is risk involved.  They know the difference between a gamble and a risk.  They prepare as much as they can and then dive in for those risks they feel are worth the effort.

8.  They refuse to be victimized. One thing I learned from being a health practitioner is that everyone has had difficulties and challenges.  The highly confident person refuses to let the difficulties make them feel victimized.  Of course, we all feel sorry for ourselves sometimes but it is important not to linger in self-pity.

9.  They celebrate their successes and the successes of others. You won’t find truly confident people who are jealous and diminishing of other people’s successes.  They celebrate them.

10.  They can be alone with their own thoughts without needing to fill every minute with conversation, technologies (cellphones, e-mail, texting, etc.), pastimes, or television.

11. They trust their instincts. Instincts help guide us on our path to make the best choices for us.  Trusting these instincts helps us make better choices.

12.  They accept change. Someone once said that “change is the only constant.”  While highly confident people may not always like the changes occurring they accept them and do their best to ride the wave of change.

13.  They take care of themselves. They know that the expression GIGO (Garbage in, Garbage out) is true of the body.  They treat their body with respect by giving it high quality nourishment in the form of healthy food, fresh air, relaxation, and activity.

14.  They boost others, not demean them. Confidence and ego-tripping aren’t the same things.  Confident people don’t feel the need to put others down to build themselves up.

15.  They dont beat themselves up. Of course, no one is perfect.  Even the most confident of people have weak moments.  They dust themselves off and keep going.

What do you think are the habits of highly confident people?  I’d love to hear from you.

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 15-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to SlimWeekend Wonder DetoxHealing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body DetoxThe Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn ~ www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.tinyurl.com/googleplusHealthyHighway

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

10 Signs You Should Detox Your Life

10 Signs You Should Detox Your Life

Many of my clients come in with complaints about personal habits that  feel  toxic in their lives. Just as you can detox your body when you’re  feeling  sluggish, it’s also possible to detox your emotional life. Here  are some of the  most common ways your life can back up on you, and how  to handle it.

1. Frequently late

The cure to lateness is twofold: learn to estimate time better, and  get more  organized, so you are not delayed by looking for last minute  items. Perhaps the  most important reason to cure yourself of lateness is  that it is rude to  others, and costs you their good opinion. If your  partner is late, stop  waiting! Set a reasonable grace period (eg:15  minutes) and then leave without  the other person, leaving a note about  how to meet you wherever you’re going.  That way, you are not forced to  operate on the other person’s time schedule.  You’ll be surprised at how  quickly he or she will learn to be on time.

2. Often angry or irritated

Being easily angered or irritated is a great way to punish yourself.  It  raises your blood pressure, and tends to create unnecessary problems  with  others. Anger interferes with clear thinking, and being irritable  makes it  unpleasant and difficult for others to work or socialize with  you. To reform  this habit, you must develop more emotional maturity.  Understand that your  anger is not seen as power by others, but as  childishness and petulance. It  will lose you far more than you will  gain. Learn to slow down, and reduce your  overly high expectations.  Allow others to be themselves, and don’t expect them  to march to your  drum. Counting to 10 works wonders, as does taking three deep  breaths  when you are upset.

Taking up yoga, meditation, tai chi, or another calming pursuit will  teach  you patience. Strenuous physical activity is a great way to burn  off excess  anger. If none of these work, see a therapist or join an anger management  group.

3. Unsure of ability to do something

Insecurity and feelings of incompetence are definitely stressful,  but they  may also be useful. Find out if you really are unprepared for  the task ahead.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or ask for help. It’s  OK to be a beginner,  even if you’re an expert in other things. If you  don’t try to pretend you’re  better than you are, you will get more help  from others. Take it slowly, and  allow yourself to learn as you go.  Above all, be supportive to yourself, and  don’t subject yourself to  harsh internal criticism.

4. Overextended

Frequently becoming overextended can be a sign of  grandiosity—overblown  expectations of your abilities—or of trying to  control everything. Reduce your  expectations of your own  accomplishments, and allow others to help you in their  own way. In the  long run, being a team player is usually more efficient than  trying to  do it all alone and becoming overwhelmed.

5. Not enough time for stress relief

This is an extension of being overextended, and may be a sign that  you  always come last in your own life. Learn to schedule time for  yourself to relax  and to play. If you write personal time on your  schedule the same way you do  appointments with others, you’ll be more  likely to actually do it. Join a class  or group that meets regularly for  a relaxing activity such as dancing,  stretching or meditation, or  schedule a regular massage, manicure or facial, so  you’ll have a  guaranteed place to relax.

6. Feeling unbearably tense

If your anxiety is this high, you may need therapy.  Anxiety and panic  attacks are among the easiest things to fix in  counseling sessions. You are  probably running non-stop negative  self-talk, which keeps you anxious about  everything. Try affirmations  and/or prayer to counteract the running commentary  in your mind. Learn  to breathe deeply from your diaphragm when you feel  anxious—it slows  your heartbeat and calms you down.

7. Frequently pessimistic

A negative attitude is a result of negative self-talk, and of a  negative  attitude probably learned in childhood. There are many  self-help books which  will guide you in learning to change the nature of  your approach to life.  Techniques such as prayer and affirmations,  counting your blessings, and  setting small goals every day will help you  turn this around.

8. Upset by conflicts with others

All conflict is upsetting. The key is to reduce the amount of  conflict in  your life. Many of the above techniques, such as anger  reduction and positive  self_talk, will contribute to improving your  relationships with others. In  addition, you can learn better social  techniques such as active listening,  positive regard, win-win  negotiation and clear communication which will  eliminate the source of  conflict. Learn to listen to others (even when you  don’t agree) and,  before speaking, consider how your words might feel to the  other person.  Treat other people more as you would like them to treat you, and,  most  important, stop and think before reacting to someone else.

9. Worn-out or burned-out

Burnout is the result of feeling overextended or ineffective for a  long  period of time. Most of us can deal with small amounts of  frustration or  feeling overwhelmed, but if it goes on too long, we lose  all our motivation,  and become burned out. Motivation comes from  celebration and appreciation, so  learn to celebrate each little  accomplishment, and seek appreciation when you  need it. If you have  trouble doing that, perhaps it’s time to make a career  change or to  change some other aspect of your life.

10. Feeling lonely

Loneliness may not result from actually being alone, but more from  feeling  misunderstood or not valued. People often isolate themselves  because they feel  inadequate in social situations. Value the friends you  do have, and make new  friends by attending classes or other group  events where you can focus on a  task or assignment. This will take the  pressure off your contact with other  people, and give you something in  common with them. Be wary of spending too  much time on your computer, in  chat rooms, etc. These activities absorb time,  but do little to dispel  loneliness. Make sure you schedule some time with a  friend at least once  a week, and if you don’t have friends, then use that  weekly time to  take a class or join a group (for example, a book club or sports  group )  which will give you a chance to make new friends.

(Adapted from It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction.)

By Tina Tessina, DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women  come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability,  and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by  writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real  women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re  discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel  and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

Brain Experts’ 6 Best Memory Tricks

Brain Experts’ 6 Best Memory Tricks

Wish your memory were a little sharper? Want to remember names and numbers as well as you could a few years back? Brain experts swear by the following six simple techniques.

1. Never forget a name: Look, snap, connect.

There are three steps to psychiatrist Gary Small’s favorite tactic, which he calls “Look, Snap, Connect.” The first is to tell yourself that remembering a particular name is a priority, says Small, who’s also the director of the UCLA Center on Aging and author of several books about memory and cognition, including The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head.

Step 1: Really focus (LOOK) on a name and face you want to remember.

Step 2: Create a visual snapshot (SNAP) of the name and face. Note a key visual characteristic: Big ears? Silver hair? Blue eyes? Dimples? Also create an image about the name: A cat stands for Mrs. Katz, a dollar bill for someone named Bill. “I sometimes see a famous person with a similar name,” Small says. “So Angela Shirnberger becomes Angelina Jolie wearing shined shoes and eating a burger.”

Step 3: Join the two images (CONNECT): Maybe blue-eyed Bill is a blue dollar bill, or Angela Shirnberger is a silver-haired Angelina Jolie with shiny shoes eating a hamburger. The simple act of thinking up these images helps cement them in your memory — and ups the odds that the new name will materialize for you the next time you encounter the person.

2. Another name trick: Use it before you lose it.
If a new name goes in one ear and out the other, try to trap it inside your head by using it immediately, suggests University of Wisconsin geriatric psychiatrist Ken Robbins, who’s also board certified in internal medicine. When you meet John Jones, Robbins says, deliberately repeat his name: “Nice to meet you, John.”

Then use his name in conversation every few minutes while you talk: “So John, how long have you been with your company?” And, “That’s a great point, John.” You might feel a little like a genial newscaster, but you don’t have to overdo it. Every few minutes is sufficient.

Remembering names is tricky because we’re distracted by the social interactions of the moment. And names are arbitrary, a type of information that’s harder to retain.

“Simply saying the name aloud a few times helps it stick,” Robbins says. As you walk away from the person, say the name again to yourself: “So that was John Jones of ABC Company.”

3. To remember to do something: Picture it.

Don’t want to forget to meet your friend for lunch? Need to remember to take your medicine? Create an image that associates the task with something else happening around the same time, and then picture yourself following through when you see that cue, suggests memory specialist Mark McDaniel, a professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Say the mailman comes just before lunch. Now picture yourself getting up to go to lunch when you see the mail truck. Odds are good that when the truck appears, that’s what you’ll do.

“The concrete environmental event cues you. It triggers the intention,” McDaniel says. Studies have shown that women who visualize doing breast self-exams in the shower are more likely to actually do them. Diabetics are more likely to monitor blood glucose daily when the task is tied to another everyday event.

More examples: Remember to take a new morning medication by imagining yourself doing so when you sip juice at breakfast (if you have juice every day). Remember to drop off dry cleaning by picturing doing so as you pass a particular landmark at that intersection.

4. To remember where things are: Put them in your path.

Visual reminders are like crutches. Without them, we have to conjure up an answer from thin air (“Now where did I put my umbrella?”) or, worse, remember to remember the thing in the first place (“Darn! Forgot my umbrella again!”). Storing an umbrella (or keys, or sunglasses) right by the door makes you more likely to remember to find it and take it with you. Having a habitual storage spot, like an umbrella stand, is another memory booster.

“Leaving it where you can see it so you don’t forget helps your prospective memory, which is remembering to remember things, like where you put something,” psychiatrist Gary Small says.
But what if the umbrella stand becomes “invisible” to you because it’s sunny on most days, so you risk forgetting the thing when it rains? Again, use a visual reminder, Small says. Move the umbrella right in front of the door as soon as you see the rain forecast.

Similarly, leave papers you need to take home with you on the floor beside your desk, right in your footpath. Assemble ingredients on a counter before you begin cooking, so you’re unlikely to forget
any. Put a package bound for UPS in your car when you have it ready; don’t expect to remember to look for it when you’re leaving the house.

5. To recall important events: Do a nightly review.
Parents sometimes use a “review the day” tactic at bedtime to give young kids a warm, fuzzy feeling and to recap the day’s best teachable moments. A similar process can help your brain recap what’s important.

It’s easy: Before going to bed, run a mental review of the key things that happened that you want to
remember. You got a call confirming an appointment for tomorrow? Promised a friend you’d follow up about lunch? Made a new acquaintance? (What was her name? Her job? Her partner’s name?)

Better yet: Carry a small notebook into which you jot critical things to remember during the day. Review these notes at day’s end. “Most people find that the combination of writing and then reviewing really helps,” psychiatrist Ken Robbins says.

6. To recollect anything: Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

A tactic that goes by the fancy names of “spaced rehearsal” or “expanded retrieval” is a favorite because it’s so effective. Simply repeat something over and over at slightly extended intervals. Memory specialist Professor Mark McDaniel says the tactic is often used with Alzheimer’s patients. “And if it works for many of them, it can work for someone with a healthy brain,” he says.

To use it: Say you want to remember a name or a short grocery list, or — as is often the case for Alzheimer’s patients — you need to remind yourself or your loved one to check a calendar. Repeat the name or task to yourself. Wait 15 seconds. Silently say it again to yourself. (“Bob Smith” or “Check the calendar.”) Wait 45 seconds. Bring it back up. Wait 90 seconds, then repeat. “If you can remember it after five minutes, you’re in good shape,” McDaniel says. “It’s been well stored.”

“Spaced is the operative word,” says Martha Weinman Lear, author of Where Did I Leave My Glasses? The What, When and Why of Normal Memory Loss. “Rapid cramming — muttering someone’s name to yourself over and over in rapid succession — is not the best way to commit a name, or anything else, to memory.”

By Paula Spencer, Caring.com senior editor

   Caring.com was created to help you care for your aging parents, grandparents, and other loved ones. As the leading destination for eldercare resources on the Internet, our mission is to give you the information and services you need to make better decisions, save time, and feel more supported. Caring.com provides the practical information, personal support, expert advice, and easy-to-use tools you need during this challenging time.

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