Do you know anyone who gets distracted easily? You know, the one who is in the middle of a sentence and something else grabs her attention?

 

My mom was like that.

 

We teased her with being “Squirrel” focused.

 

Do you remember “Dog” in the animated movie “UP”?

 

Dog has a collar that enables him to communicate in English. That cute pup focuses on the conversation at hand for about, oh, 2 seconds, and in the middle of the conversation his head suddenly jerks away in distraction at the slightest sound, action or smell while simultaneously verbalizing the word, “Squirrel.”

 

 

It’s funny as hell in the movie, but not so in a real.

 

I know others who shift into “Squirrel” because they’re bored of what you have to say.

 

Okay, so be it. I can take a hint.

 

I leave. Go grab an appetizer or refill my wine glass. I was thirsty anyway.

 

But seriously, you can’t get their attention back as before.

 

On the other hand, people don’t even realize they have this poor relationship habit.

 

They do the “Squirrel” out of a habit of not paying attention to their immediate environment.

 

… maybe you’re “Squirrel”?

 

A researched study by Dr. Majid Fotuhi, Neurology Consultant, Alzheimer’s disease Research Centre at Johns Hopkins Hospital wrote the book “The Memory Cure” offering some suggestions how to protect your brain against memory loss.

 

His premise is that one of the major sources of varying degrees of forgetfulness to dementia’s like Alzheimer’s, is chronic stress.

 

In one of my previous blog posts, I write about good and bad stresses. You can find the information in my previous post: “How Modern Day Stress is Ruining Us”.

 

Today, I wish to share that any form of stress, even the good can develop into a habit and become chronic.

 

One of the better ways to reduce stress is to pay attention.

 

That means stop with the “Squirrel”!

 

According to Dr. Fotuhi, paying attention is the single most important practice for attaining better memory skills.

 

When you keep all your senses on one issue, that’s focus.

 

The Dr. says, the more you pay attention, the more likely it is that the information you want to remember will be firmly registered in your hippocampus. He goes into more detail, but suffice it to say, do all you can to etch an impression in your hippocampus. That reduces stress and increases your chance of remembering more.

 

What are some ways to maintain focus?

 

  1. To remember a person’s name, pay extra attention when he introduces himself. For example, I learned this trick a long time ago, when the person gives me his name, let’s say John, I see his head in the shape of a toilet bowl.

    This brings a smile to my face. He thinks I’m interested, and I am, and I remember his name by association for the rest of the day.

  2. Become more engaged with the person you are in conversation with. Pretend this person will bring you money and fame. Treat it as a game. Keep score for yourself how many people you can create associations with objects that relate to their names. Better your score each time you go to a party meeting or gathering.
  3. Apply the same degree of concentration when you hear somebody speak. To remember what they say, focus on it. Bring all your attention to the words. The more you limit distractions around you and the harder you think as you listen, the easier it will be for you to remember it later.
  4. When you read an article or a chapter in a book, does it often seem you can’t remember any of it the next day? Try reading the same article and paying extra attention. Again, avoid distractions. When you finish, close the magazine or the book and think about what you just read.

 

 

I know, I know… the whole premise is to avoid distractions. One of the ways proven is to take time for yourself before you engage with anyone.

 

A simple method is to take 5 minutes and color a picture or write out an inspiration.

 

This method relaxes the brain, lubricates the hippocampus and you automatically feel better before meeting people or doing some action.

 

Have a great day and …

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