Is senility hitting you earlier than expected? Hey, don’t worry —you need not be wheeled into pre-mature retirement yet. There are many possible reasons for being forgetful; most of them you can work around.

Consider the following causes of forgetfulness and what you can do about them:

Aging. Sad, but true. Growing a bit older can cause us to sometimes walk around in a daze, wondering what made us stand up to begin with. This is because our bodies stop producing brain cells at age 25, and given that we lose nerve cells annually, age is directly proportional to forgetfulness. The good news is: while there are no ways to prevent forgetfulness due to aging, there are ways to slow down the memory loss.

Start by keeping your mind active; read regularly, challenge yourself with puzzles, talk to your family about things that resonated with you during the day. You may also take nutritional supplements known to improve retention, such thiamine, L-Acetylcarnitine (LAC) and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Just keep in mind: always consult a medical practitioner to identify supplements most suited to your unique needs.

Disorganization.  Perhaps you’re not really forgetful — you just need a little order in your life. Check if systems can help you remember things better. Maybe you need a diary to log in your appointments and meetings. Perhaps you need a desk organizer, so that you can figure out where the stapler is when you need it. Or a key wallet, a hat rack, boxes to store your various knick-knacks in. Your email inbox may also use uncluttering — did you know that tons of spam and unimportant emails from colleagues is a leading cause of low productivity in the work place? Get organized — and breathe easier!

Stress, Depression and Trauma. Your forgetfulness may not be caused by anything wrong with you physically. Emotional issues can also cause forgetfulness; your mind may be too pre-occupied with a problem or too overwhelmed with strong emotions to attend to anything else. The things is: you need to address emotional causes of forgetfulness before they actually become physical ones. Emotional stress for example, such as dealing with a particularly aggressive client, can stimulate the release of stress hormones like cortisol which are culprits for increased memory loss.

Physical Illness. If you suspect that your forgetfulness is more than the ordinary, perhaps it’s best to consult a medical practitioner. Your memory loss may be a symptom of a bigger problem, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, head trauma, Alzheimer’s disease and post-menopause hormonal imbalance. As with all diseases, early detection can be critical to recovery. Don’t be ashamed of admitting memory loss to your doctor; if an intervention can help you live a sharper and more focused life, get the information you deserve.