Why Is Our Memory Fading Away?

Why are so many of us turning forgetful?

Forgetfulness is not a modern syndrome; it actually dates back to the days of our early father Prophet Adam (PBUH).

When Allah first created Adam, He the Almighty told him that he’d live for 1000 years. But when Allah(SWT) rubbed our father Adam’s back where all his descendants (the entire humanity) came out, Prophet Adam (PBUH) pinpointed one of them and asked Allah who was that man- The man was Prophet Dawood or David. He then asked how long Prophet Dawood shall live, and the answer was that he’d live for 60 years. So Prophet Adam asked Allah to give Nabee Dawood  40 years of his live. When Prophet Adam was about to die, the angel of death came to him saying that his life was about to end, Prophet Adam said “But Allah told me that I shall live for 1000 years”, which means that there’re 40 years still remaining. He forgot his old request to give  Dawood 40 years of his life- So Prophet Adam, the first human being on earth, has himself experienced forgetfulness…

Also worth mentioning is the fact that Ensan, the Arabic word of a human being, is derived from the Arabic verb “Naseya” or forgot.

Forgetting where you parked your car, whether you locked your house door or not before leaving, or if you turned off the boiler before heading to work or not are not unique occurrences, they happen almost every day and to a great number of people- Nonetheless they’re not signs of early Alzheimer or other worrying memory diseases.

We all feel at one point or another during the day that parts of our brains have been wiped clean, and we can’t even remember the most recent happenings that occurred; like what your boss has just told you, in other words, losing track of a conversation, or for instance forgetting the name of a person someone has just dictated you over the phone, or tasks you repeat almost daily.  Is that supposed to be a worrying sign?

As a matter of fact, being aware of your occasional memory lapses, no matter how frequent you experience them, is a comforting sign implying that the problem isn’t grave.

Of course people with too much going on in their heads are more prone to forgetfulness, even forgetting the most crucial appointments and responsibilities in their lives. Also people who suffer depression, depends on its severity, may be more forgetful than normal persons.
As for women, period blues and pmsing are very good reasons for being forgetful during that particular time of the month, wherein they experience a variety of mood alterations, the levels of which vary from one woman to the other.- Doing some exercises can help get over such troubling disorders.

Thus inner stability and wellness of one’s spiritual being are believed to be effective factors that can protect you against forgetfulness, same way hormonal imbalances can be effective causes of the same syndrome.

But as a general fact, the level of forgetfulness normally differs from one person to the other, depending on the inner state of each one’s mind and the surrounding environment. The syndrome itself is not that grave or serious among people at a young age, but its rates soar as the person gets old.

Some believe that increasing their daily intake of caffeine would protect them against early symptoms of Alzheimer or forgetfulness- Well, this is a myth. The truth is that while coffee and different types of cola may be memory jolters- yes drinking coffee in the morning is somehow refreshing, but apart from that nice feeling and refreshing effect, it leaves in you, it has no proven benefits what so ever that can keep Alzheimer abay.

Actually years ago, Valerie Lesk, of the International School for Advanced Studies in Italy, and Stephen Womble, from Trinity College, Dublin, carried out a study that tossed aside all that’s been said about coffee and caffeine in general, suggesting that caffeine, while it might boost one’s memory, can also hinder the short-term recall of particular words.

Lesk and Womble divided college students into two sections, one group that received 200mg of caffeine, and the other which was given “a dummy drug”- then they asked them to answer 100 questions that had simple one-word answers.  Researchers concluded that the students who were given caffeine faced more difficulty recalling the correct answer than those who had taken the dummy pill.

Ok now it’s time for listing some solutions. Is there’s any way we can possibly improve our memory functionality?

Surely there is.

I shall list below a number of proven ways to curb forgetfulness, or at least control it:

1- Science shows that mental stimulation helps keeping the brain attentive as well as enhancing our memory performance.

2- Exercises:
Also studies have found that athletes, or generally, people who exercise daily suffer lower levels of forgetfulness than others. For it’s been proven that sports improves blood and oxygen flow to the brain, ensuring better functionality of one’s memory.- So sparing half an hour daily just for exercises would be really helpful.

3- You can also fight forgetfulness through Nutrition.
It’s been found that food that contains beta-carotene as well zinc (from seafood), riboflavin (from dairy products), and iron (from potatoes, legumes and tomatoes), helps boost your memory. Also soya foods, believed to act on oestrogen receptors in our brains, are of great benefits.

4- Chewing Gum
The most shocking advice to boost your memory is chewing a gum as much as you can. The Japanese found that the act of chewing activates the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for memory.

5- Last thing is Vitamin B

It’s ok if your memory gets spotty every now and then, just make sure this doesn’t develop into worsening symptoms.

Now I leave you with these really nice words of Alexander Smith, taken from Boy’s Poem

“We bury love, Forgetfulness grows over it like grass; That is a thing to weep for, not the dead.”

Never forget to love, even the little things in your life!!!

Maha Youssuf


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