It’s silent. It’s deadly. It’s down right embarrassing. It sneaks up on us when we least expect it–brain flatulence a.k.a the brain fart. If you’re under the age of forty you may have no idea what I’m talking about. If you’re over forty, or a premature sufferer of brain flatulence, keep reading.
Good old brain flatulence is what causes us to ask, what the heck am I doing here? after we enter a room. And those times when we catch ourselves about to put the salt and peppershaker in the refrigerator– chalk that one up to brain flatulence as well. Don’t tell me you’ve never come to an abrupt halt in the middle of a conversation, just as you were about to make some truly profound statement, only to realize you haven’t a clue what you were about to say next.
Now, for the sake of politeness, and my mum, (who to my knowledge has only ever said the word fart once in her life) I’ve chosen to use the term brain flatulence for this post. But if you prefer to call it forgetfulness, brain fog, a senior’s moment, no one here’s going to stop you. It all amounts to the same thing.
The first step in overcoming a problem is always admitting the problem exists.
Yes, I’ll admit to three of the above. If it wasn’t for brain flatulence, I could likely cite more. Some days are worse than others. Truthfully, I shouldn’t complain. I know one person who tried to vote for a Canadian Idol contestant with the tv remote control. After several attempts she asked her daughter what was wrong with the phone. True story! (I’m betting about now you’re not nearly as scared about your own brain flatulence, are you?)
But for those of you who just aren’t ready to admit to having a problem there are ways to cover up those momentary lapses of memory.
1.Saying things such as “Not to change the subject, but……” when you suddenly haven’t the foggiest idea as to what the conversations is about is a good place to start. Of course you’ll need to prepare for this one ahead of time because even when your NOT changing the subject, you need to have a subject to talk about. Choose something you’re knowledgeable about. If need be, tie a string to your finger to remind you of what that something is. That way instead of trying to come up with something at the spur of the moment you need only to glance down at your finger. If all goes as planned, you won’t wonder why the heck you tied it there in the first place. Something you saw on Dr. Oz would work well and, since he’s the most quoted person on the planet these days, you’re not going to raise any suspicions.
2.If you’re caught putting the salt and peppershakers in the fridge swear up and down that you saw it on an episode of the Dr. Oz Show. You won’t really have to know why they belong there. The fact that you mention seeing it on Dr. Oz will be good enough for most people. They’ll accept it as law. Before you know it, your family and friends will be doing the same.
3. As for covering up the reason for entering a room, that one should be a piece of cake. Remember, you only have to worry about this if someone’s actually in the room. No one’s going to see that befuddled what-the-heck- am-I-doing-here look, when the room is empty, right? If there is someone in the room, that’s a different kettle of fish. Be inventive, ask them a question, “Do you know what was on Dr. Oz today?”
For all of you sufferers of brain flatulence I’m here to spread the good news. There’s a way to fight back. I’ve done a little research and here’s what I found. Roll up your sleeves. Let’s get serious for a moment.
Sitting in front of a tv screen day after day is a sure fire way of adding to the brain flatulence you’re already experiencing. Sorry Dr. Oz, but this needed to be said.. Your brain is a muscle, or should be, and like every other muscle in the body it needs a good work out. A great way to cut down on brain flatulence is to read my book. Okay not just my book, but any book. (Sorry, I thought I’d slip one that past you.)
Seriously, if books aren’t your thing try reading newspapers, magazines, even blog post. The written word is everywhere. There really is no excuse. It’s probably one of our best defences. I’m not simply saying this because I’m an author. The experts will back me up on this one. Keeping our brains active is important. My weekly visit to the nursing home these past four years is enough to convince me of that. While it’s fun to joke around, it really is important especially as we age. If we let our brains go to mush in our youth we can’t expect to make up for it later in life.
While reading is a great way to keep our minds active, the experts also say that trying new things will keep our brains energetic and healthy too. Learn a new craft, do crosswords or puzzles. Take piano lessons. Challenge yourself. Anything that requires you to use your brain will help protect you against brain flatulence. Continue to do things you already enjoy that stimulate your brain. Often times older individuals simply lose interest, but this doesn’t have to be that way.
So there you have it, everything you no doubt already knew about brain flatulence, but likely forgot. Hopefully, down the road you’ll remember that your best defence is to stay active and challenge our brain. Keep reading. Keep thinking. Keep learning. Don’t just let your brain go stale.
Do you ever suffer from brain flatulence? Share your story. We’ll read it. Plus, we’ll be contributing to our brain health while we read it.