How to Improve Your Memory
Chances are you’ve experienced episodes of forgetfulness from time to time, especially when life gets busy. While these episodes of forgetfulness may be normal, they can be disruptive to your life and leave you searching for ways to improve your memory.
Luckily, your brain has an amazing capability to reshape itself as far as learning and memory is concerned. You can take advantage of your brain’s natural ability to adapt and change to enhance your cognitive abilities, improve your capability to learn new information, and boost your memory, regardless of your age.
In this article, we’ll discuss seven simple tips on how to improve your memory.
Exercise Your Brain
Before you reach adulthood, your brain creates millions of effective neural pathways that assist you in processing and remembering information first, resolve common problems, and perform routine activities with minimal mental effort.
However, if you hold to these old paths, your brain won’t get the appropriate stimulation it requires to continue developing. Consequently, you need to try new things every so often to improve your brain health.
Just like muscular strength, your memory works on a “use it or lose it” basis. By exercising your brain regularly, you will quickly process and recall information.
However, not all activities will have a positive impact on your memory. The perfect brain exercises halt your routine and motivate you to utilize and create new brain pathways.
Some examples of good brain exercise include trying things that you’ll find exciting such as learning how to play chess, speak another language, make pottery, or learn a new instrument.
You can also look for brain-training online programs and apps that promise to improve your memory, alertness, problem-solving abilities, and even IQ with everyday practice.
Engage in Physical Exercise
Although mental workout is instrumental for your brain health, that doesn’t absolve you from breaking a sweat.
Engaging in physical exercise regularly helps to keep your brain sharp. It boosts the amount of oxygen that reaches your brain and minimizes the risks for complications that result in memory loss like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Physical exercise also increases the impact of useful brain chemicals and decreases stress hormones.
Below are brain-enhancing exercise tips:
- Aerobic workouts are ideal for the brain, so select activities that improve the blood-pumping ability of your heart.
- Working out in the morning helps you get rid of the sleep fog and prepares you for learning throughout the day.
- Physical exercises that call for hand-eye coordination, or difficult motor skills, are perfect for brain development.
Embrace Healthy Eating
The foods you consume – and don’t consume – can have a significant impact on your memory.
For example, curry, broccoli, walnuts, celery, and cauliflower consist of antioxidants and other essential compounds that keep your brain healthy and may even encourage the development of new brain cells.
It’s important to create a good balance between omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats by consuming more animal-based omega-3 fats than processed vegetable oils that contain damaging omega-6 fats.
Coronary artery disease is a type of heart disease that causes a buildup of fatty residue (plaque), in the arteries that supply the blood to the heart.
Stress is undoubtedly one of the greatest factors that negatively affect brain health.
Prolonged periods of chronic stress kills brain cells and harms the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for the creation of new memories and the recovery of old ones. Numerous studies have also associated stress with poor memory.
Here are stress management tips:
- Set reasonable expectations.
- Share your feelings every time you get a chance.
- Strike a perfect balance between office hours and leisure time.
- Concentrate on one activity, instead of multi-tasking.
- Set aside 15 minutes for meditation daily.
Find and Treat Underlying Medical Conditions
Is your poor memory taking an incomprehensible dip? If yes, there are many medical or health conditions that may be to blame.
Other than Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, memory loss can occur due to many diseases, medicines, and mental health complications. They include conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, hormone imbalance, as well as certain medications including antidepressants, and cold and allergy medications. Emotional difficulties can also cause mental sluggishness and forgetfulness.
Identifying underlying issues, and treating them appropriately, can help to improve brain health, and in turn, your memory.
Get a Sufficient, Restful Sleep
Hosts of studies have associated a lack of sleep with poor memory. Sleep is instrumental in memory consolidation, a process that strengthens and transforms short-term memories into long-lasting ones.
Researchers have demonstrated that sleep deprivation negatively affects memory. For instance, one study compared the impacts of sleep in 40 kids aged from 10 to 14 years. One group of kids was equipped with memory tests training and allowed to have a good night’s rest before being tested in the morning. The other group was tested immediately after training, with no time to sleep before taking the test. The performance on the memory tests for the group that slept after training and before the test was 20 percent better compared to the one that did not sleep.
Another study revealed that nurses who work at night were likely to make more mathematical mistakes than their counterparts who work during the day.
Health professionals advise adults to sleep for seven to nine hours every night for maximum health.
Reduce Your Alcohol Intake or Avoid it Altogether
Drinking too many alcoholic drinks can negatively affect both your health and memory.
Binge drinking increases the level of alcohol in your blood to 0.08 grams per ml or beyond. Multitudes of studies have associated this pattern of drinking with memory deficits, as alcohol has neurotoxic impacts on the brain.
Additionally, recurrent episodes of binge drinking can destroy the hippocampus. Reducing, or totally abstaining from alcohol, is a wise strategy for protecting your memory.
As discussed in this article, there are numerous exciting, simple, and enjoyable strategies and tricks for improving your memory.
Mental and physical exercises, healthy eating, reducing alcohol consumption, getting sufficient sleep, and staying away from stress-causing situations are all effective techniques to improve your memory.
Add the above seven tips into your day-to-day routine to enhance your brain health and improve your memory.