Remember the Barbara Streisand song, Memories Light the corners of my mind. Misty water-colored memories - of the way we were? Memories are tricky things, especially as we get older. The other day, while talking with a friend, we hit upon the current fear-of-old-age, Alzheimer's. However, I'm not getting into that hornet's nest. Let's stick with memories and the frustration of forgetting, but also ways in which we can improve our memory and remembering.
Talk about memories, forgotten passwords are really annoying, and others, like signing into write this blog, I clicked on the "New Post" tab and was given this page, but then, when I went to actually write the blog, I couldn't. Why? Well, I had to go over to the side column and pull a text field into the blog. What an absolute waste of time! Because I don't blog frequently, I had, you guessed it, forgotten I had to make that extra annoying step.
Now passwords are another nightmare, and I even have a place separate from my MacBook to store them, in case I forget one. Even that doesn't work, especially if I 'forget', of course, update my list, when I change a password. Wanting to understand why, other than my age, of course, I went online. There's a whole bunch of articles but I chose this one to post the results, because they kept the explanation simple, so I'm less likely to forget what I read.
One study found: The more important a password is to you, and the more likely you are to use it in the future, the higher are the chances you will recall it. In other words, if you're creating a password for a seven-day free trial of some 'thing' you'll likely cancel before the week's up, your brain probably won't bother to store it for future use. On the other hand, if you changed the password to log in to your computer today, your mind recognizes the importance of locking that password down and is more likely to be able to remember it again later.
Yeah. If that last one really worked, I wouldn't have to create a list of important passwords, or those important to me, at any rate. Age no doubt is a factor, and while our memories may get shorter as we age a person's ears and nose continue to grow longer as we age. Height doesn't change after puberty (well, if anything we get shorter as we age) but ears and noses always lengthen. However, this is due to gravity, not to actual growth.
As you age, ears lengthen at a rate of about .22 millimeters per year. The growth appears in both men and women, so it's just one of the many universal joys of getting older. Nevertheless, let's get back to our all-important memory, before I forget, which, interestingly, improves. with caffein, after a study session not before. Hey, it's a worth a shot (of espresso)! Not at bedtime though, not if you want a good nights sleep. Let's get back to the memory thing.
A good night's sleep is all important to memory. So, if you have trouble turning your brain off, make sleep more important than studying, Avoid technology once bedtime approaches (turn off the TV an hour before), and try to be consistent with your overall schedule, not just sleep. Make seven hours of sleep a priority every night, to keep your memory as sharp as possible,
No surprise here, but making high intensity training a regular part of your fitness routine for a strong brain can help hold onto memories. Given my age and demeanor, HIIT is not going to happen. Instead, I bought a puppy, an Australian Shepherd, and made a commitment to walk the dog at least once a day, and if it's not pouring down rain (I live in the PNW) she gets more than one walk. There also are icy winter days when we take a break, and stay home, all day until spring rolls around. Still, all that fresh air is good for the brain and memory, and my weight stays consistent with less likelihood of gain and the possibility of loss, but not memory!
Talk about coffee (earlier), coffee berries are grown and harvested for the seeds inside which are turned into coffeebeans, yet the rest can be eaten and so, it qualifies as a fruit because it can be eaten. Also, a 1-gram serving of whole coffee fruit extract has about 4.4 mg of caffeine whereas a single cup of brewed coffee has 100 to 150 mg of caffeine. And the plant creates natural antioxidants to protect itself from the conditions within which it grows. Thus, the coffee berry extract antioxidants helps prevents fine lines, wrinkles and cellular damage to skin, reducing the appearance of existing fine lines, sun damage and visible signs of aging.
An aside here, while ads often say these products "reduce the appearance of fine lines," please note, they don't make those lines go away permanently.
What else? Oh yeah. While some people can drop huge amounts of weight and never gain it back (don't I wish), you can drop your chronic depression, anxiety and poor cognition and never have it consume you again. One way is by consuming brain-derived neurotrophic factor, known as BDNF. Huh. For those who've never heard of it, including me until now, BDNF is a naturally-occurring protein in the brain; it improves brain function, and lowers the risk of mental disease. BDNF protects and repairs brain cells, increases the growth of new brain cells, and improves learning, memory and mood. Many researchers consider it a natural antidepressant.
I'm all for natural antidepressants, because they don't come with the same side effects as pharmaceuticals: weight gain, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, emotional numbness, drowsiness, personality changes, and even cognitive decline, or reduced mental function, to name but a few. Personally, I avoid pharmaceuticals, unless absolutely necessary. Recently my cat had an upper respiratory infection, and Amoxicillin was the solution. She's healthier now because of it. Now, this is not to say prescription antidepressants (and antibiotics) don’t help some people. They do, but for other people (like me), they do more harm than good (the antidepressants).
So, to help brain function, the simplest solutions are the best and usually least expensive: A regular good night's sleep; a healthy diet, not mentioned above but low on carbs; caffeine in moderation; and plenty of exercise in the fresh air. It's good for memory and depression and weight loss. So, get off the sofa and out of the kitchen, and take your dog for a brisk walk; she or he will love you for it. And, you will love yourself a whole lot more. Also, if you are looking for an Aussie puppy, we should be having a few next spring, or in the fall at the latest.
A brief blog about Telehealth counseling because a lot has changed in the past few months and telehealth counseling is one of those change here to stay.
I was hesitant at first, now I find my sessions with clients to be deep and as effective if not more so to in-person sessions. The benefits make telehealth superior to in-person sessions due to the added convenience for everyone. No one has to find parking and there’s no commute time, and my clients get to see me from the safety of their own home, office, or car.
Inline with my changing opinion of telehealth, others are saying online counseling is gaining in popularity and will likely survive the pandemic as it’s easy and effective and convenient. As I said, no parking and no commute time.
My intention is to continue offering telehealth when the pandemic is over. Having no office due to the pandemic, I no longer offer in-person sessions except when it is safe to do so and the client can come to my home, but my preference still remains telehealth.
What does it mean to be an adult? After spending a lot of time with people I’m come face to face with immature behavior daily.
It’s not easy to behave as a mature person even when you’re a believer and following the Lord as we should. In writing a blog, it’s easy to fall into topics where everything seems wrong with people and the world. So, I’ll try keep my focus on what’s right with me, my attitude, behavior and communication, the abc’s of life and relationships. We learn best not from criticism but from seeing those who've got it right being a living example.
An “adult” simply is “a person who is not a child and is over the age of 20, at least in the Bible. We know society keeps changing that rule, still, from conception through the age of 19, Adonai says we’re children. So a boy under the age of 20 is a child and a man is a male age 20 or over. Same with a female; under the age of 20 she is a child and a woman if 20 or older.
Adonai takes these roles seriously because anyone over the age of 19, 20 to 90 years old who speaks against the Lord, he takes away their land, their home in other words. I don’t know how that works nowadays for many unbelieving 20 years olds and up are not on the street. Rather they likely live with their parents or a friend, they don’t work, live off welfare or food stamps and if asked to do a household chore to help out, they act insulted.
So, how do you focus on what Philippians 4: 9 says: continue to think about what is good and worthy of praise. Think about what is true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respectable, and do what you learned . . . and the God who gives peace will be with you?
It took me years to reach even a small measure of maturity and I’m still not there, which is one reason I turn to the Bible for the answers. I’m seventy-eight and not certain I’ll reach the goal. What I do know is men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled [not drunk or lustful], sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. And women likewise are to be respectful in their behavior, not slanderers or given to excess wine. Rather they are to teach others what is good and train the young women to [show] love to their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, work at home [so they’re present for their children to teach them], kind, and submissive to their own husbands, so the word of God is respected.
I grew up in a household of criticism and that’s what I learned to be, a critique. Still as I grew up and my thinking changed, I also began to seek answers for what was wrong, what I criticized in other but in myself as well. It was when the Lord entered my life and I began to read the Bible, then I found the answers and it became my go-to for all kinds of problems even as a counselor, no especially as a counselor. The following scripture is very specific.
The Bible teaches, I must tell everyone how to live in a way that agrees with the true teaching. Teach the older men to have self-control, to be serious, and to be wise. They must be strong in faith, in love, and in patience. Also, teach the older women to live the way those who serve the Lord should live. We know you’re an adult at the age of twenty, but what exactly do they mean when speaking of ‘older woman,’ older than what? There’s an expression, ‘older than dirt’ which means you’ve been around a while. I suppose at age 78, I’ve been around a while.
People should not go around saying bad things about others or not be in the habit of drinking too much. They should teach what is good. By doing this they will teach the younger women to love their husbands and children. They will teach them to be wise and pure, to take care of their homes, to be kind, and to be willing to serve their husbands. Then no one will be able to criticize the teaching God gave us.
In the same way, tell the young men to be wise and you should be an example in every way by the good things you do. When you teach, be honest and serious. And your teaching should be clearly right so you cannot be criticized. Then anyone who is against you will be ashamed. There will not be anything bad they can say about us.
And tell this to those who are slaves: [nowadays, we don’t have slaves but we work for others]. Be willing to serve your masters at all times; try to please them, not argue with them; not steal from them; and show the master they can be trusted. Then, in everything they do, they will show the teaching of God our Savior is good.
That is the way we should live, because God's grace has come. That grace can save everyone. It teaches us not to live against God nor to do the bad things the world wants to do. It teaches us to live on earth in a wise and right way—a way that shows true devotion to God.
We should live so while we are waiting for the coming of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. He is our hope and will come with glory. He gave himself for us. He died to free us from all evil and died to make us pure—people who belong only to him and who always ‘want’ to do good. [We of course, don’t always do good] These are the things you should tell people. Encourage them, and when they are wrong, correct them. You have full authority to do this, so don't let anyone think they can ignore you. --Titus 2:1-15
I could write an article or blog a dozen pages long but these few verses say everything we need to hear and do. If you’re striving to achieve these goals and doing a fairly good job of it, most of the time, then I’d say you’re well on your way to maturity.
One other section I always mention is 1Corinthians 13:4-7 on love, because while the above is what the apostle Paul focused on, Jesus said, it’s all about love, love of God and one another. Next time, I’ll be focusing on love and how to achieve it.