Appreciation Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Memory

Each day is filled with so many gifts, simple blessings that are filled with wonder. Your busy schedule often hastens your pace and those little things sometimes may go unnoticed.

Taking the time these last few weeks to work in my yard, cleaning up and weeding and planting has a way of settling my mind and my soul. For me it has also brought me a great appreciation for the ability to be able to do that again.  A few months ago I was experiencing some difficulties that limited my flexibility and squelched my desire to tackle some of the more strenuous tasks. Now most things are back to normal and my gratefulness has expanded. I notice what I avoided for awhile and am filled with appreciation. The flowers look brighter, the yard daily invites me to make some changes or switch some pots around. I may be tired after several hours of bending and digging and hauling, but it was fun and I get to smile every time I come up my driveway or look out one of the windows. I will be moving next year and in my plan to simplify, I will not have such a large area to play in so I linger longer in the appreciation.

As a speech-language pathologist, my clients are often those who were leading normal lives and then had a stroke or received a diagnosis which will begin to limit them physically and/or cognitively. Modifications become necessary. Because of that, I am particularly sensitive to how life has changed and what that can mean on many levels for others and what might bring them some pleasure under changing circumstances.

What do you take for granted?  Whether it is being able to see well enough to read the labels on a bottle, or hear so you can enjoy your favorite music or attend a church service, or the ability to be able to clean the house or wash the car, you tap into a lot of skills.

Increasing your desire to notice the little things can indirectly help your memory because you shift from automatic pilot to awareness. Since awareness promotes paying attention, one of the benefits is that you may notice “what you put where” more often.

Count your blessings and then observe others close to you who may be less active, or have trouble with hearing, vision, memory or speech. What can you do to make something a little easier for them? Maybe go to visit a friend in person who does not hear well on the phone and have an uninterrupted conversation, or read some articles from the newspaper of interest to the person who no longer has steady hands or able to read the small print.

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Quick Link to all blogs and Memory Toolkit.  For more tips refer to Walking the Path to Memory Fitness One Week at a Time.

About Kathryn Kilpatrick

Kathryn Kilpatrick received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1968 from the University of Massachusetts. She has worked in a variety of settings, primarily in Ohio, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and for decades in the area of home health care. Kathryn is president of Memory Fitness Matters ( and Communication Connection( She offers memory coaching for all ages and has a geriatric consulting practice. She is a national motivational speaker and author of more than 30 products to enhance communication and connection as well as a Memory Fitness Toolkit. Kathryn brings her decades of experience as a speech-language pathologist to all those wanting to enhance their quality of life, particularly when there are communication, memory and cognitive challenges. Her websites offer information on a wide variety of topics related to elder care concerns as well as memory fitness and successful aging.
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