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Memory class teaches how to focus your mind

October 19, 2009
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Studies of memory show that what people percieve as a memory problem is sometimes really an attention problem.

Learning to focus attention is the topic of a class offered on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the Sanibel Community House, located at 2173 Periwinkle Way.

The class, entitled "Focus Attention - Improve Memory," will give practical tips on becoming more mindful as you go through life. Learning to "be here now" is a mental skill that can be developed with practice. Over time, participants can develop the skill to tune out the distractions caused by constant chatter in the mind. This not only helps improve memory but also can help with the stress of mental overload.

"Focus Attention - Improve Memory" is a 90-minute class, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, taught by Penny Modrich, a certified Cognitive Fitness Facilitator. It is one of the intellectual wellness classes sponsored by LEAF Ltd., a private foundation, every Tuesday morning at the Community House. The cost is $15 and no pre-registration is required.

Also offered in the brain fitness program is a Wednesday afternoon "brain gym" from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in which participants work through a series of computer-based brain exercises that help focus attention and improve mental processing speed.

The "brain gym" is held every Wednesday afternoon and admission is $15. No computer knowledge or experience is necessary, and no pre-registration is required.

Fact Box

Memory-enhancement workshop

Dig deep into your memory files and pull out some positive recollections you might have forgotten were there.

That is the challenge for participants at a four-part memory-enhancement workshop beginning Thursday, Oct. 29 at the Sanibel Community House.

"Life Review and Memory Enhancement" will meet every Thursday morning for four weeks, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. This workshop is designed to stimulate and strengthen long-term memory through a series of "priming questions" focused on different stages of life. Each week the facilitator gives a brief lecture on the life stages, relating them to the goals of that week's memory exercises.

Participants of past workshops have found the sessions not only good for their memory, but entertaining as well. "I feel like I've met a whole new group of friends," commented one man. "I knew this could be educational, but I didn't know how much fun it would be," said another.

This workshop is facilitated by Barbara Lans, who is an Registered Nurse, holds an M.A. in Mental Health Counseling, and facilitates intellectual wellness classes for LEAF Ltd., the private foundation sponsoring the workshop.

To sign up for the "Life Review and Memory Enhancement" workshop, call Barbara at 472-5224. The cost is $60 for the four sessions, payable at the first session on Oct. 29. The Community House is located at 2173 Periwinkle Way.

For further information on either of these programs, call Lynn Wallen at 472-5497.



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