Whether you opt to become a better student, improve your memory skills at work, or just want to maintain your sharp mentality, the first thing that you should consider and keep in mind is to maintain a good memory.
We all have moments of forgetfulness regardless if we are young or old. Memory loss can happen not only because of aging but also due to the stress in our lives as well. Although it turns out to be normal and common, long-lasting forgetfulness can be annoying at times and if becomes chronic, it can lead to serious complications.
To some people, wrinkles, grey hair, weak body are the things they fear as they get older. But oftentimes, the most terrifying thing about aging is “memory loss”. However, it doesn’t mean we cannot do things to at least try to combat it.
Memory loss is a normal part of aging but with the advances made by science and technology, researchers have found many ways on how to slow it down a little and even found ways to improve our memory. Herein, we have compiled proven ways on how to improve your memory effortlessly:
1. Workout your brain
You have two options with your memory, either “use” it or “lose” it. It’s like a muscle where the more you work out, the more it develops and improves its processes. But it’s not just about working out your brain, it’s also about knowing the best exercises for it. Here are some ways to work out your brain:
- What is something new? – You need to train your brain to learn something new. It will not improve if you always settle for things that you already know. You should opt for a more challenging and demanding activity that will push your brain beyond its limits.
- How challenging it is? – It’s not just about finding ways to challenge your brain but more of exerting mental effort that will take your brain to a whole different level.
- Step-by-step – The activities that you choose for yourself should allow you to start from a specific level and then move on to the next level. It’s a step by step process where you train your brain one bit at a time.
- Rewarding – It is very inspiring to continue what you are doing if you are seeing yourself improving as you go along. These challenges should inspire you and should give you satisfaction and fulfillment at the end of the day.
2. Usage of “mnemonic” devices
Mnemonic devices are materials that you can use to remember words, phrases or information. Mnemonic devices can be in the form of Rhymes, Visualizations, and Acronyms.
3. Keep your brain hydrated
While it is good to emphasize the foods you eat, it is also important to consider how you keep yourself hydrated. It is said that water is the best brain tonic since the brain is composed of 70% water. This only means that even the slightest dehydration can already affect attention and cognitive skills, specifically memory.
So, how much water should one drink? The answer is that 8 glasses per day is the most recommended and appropriate quantity for all ages. If possible, you can ask for advice from your family doctor to fully check and understand how much water you need based on many factors such as age, body weight, etc.
4. Balance mental exercise and physical exercise
While mental exercise is very vital, you should never disregard the fact that physical exercises also play a vital role in your routine on how you improve your memory. Working out your brain also means breaking a sweat by fulfilling physical exercises as it assists your brain to remain sharp. Physical exercises trigger the brain to secrete happy pills and reduce stress hormones at the same time.
5. Get enough sleep
The recommended sleeping duration for adults is 7 up to 9 hours in order for the brain to function at its best. In fact, skimping on a few hours could greatly impact how the brain will function throughout the day. Also, not getting enough sleep affects your creativity, reasoning, decision-making, and most importantly, your memory is compromised. Research shows that most of the necessary processes for the brain only happens during the inmost stages of sleep. That being said, if you deny yourself a restful sleep, you also inhibit it from these vital courses. Here are some of my tested sleeping hacks:
- Avoid cigarettes, intoxicating liquors, and COFFEE – I am a coffee lover to the point that I drink coffee at least 3 times a day. Before, I used to drink coffee just before I went to bed which resulted in sleepless nights. When I decided to cut it down, I noticed that falling sleep became easier for me. Same goes for cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.
- Relax your body – you should know by now which sleeping position works best for you. Once you lay on your bed, let go of all the tension and try to stay relaxed in the sleeping position you are most comfortable. By doing this, you give signals to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
- Decide what time you are going to bed – If it’s 10 pm then you must go to bed at 10 pm. Practice doing it every night until your body gets used to it.
- Have a warm bath before going to bed – This one is very effective. You will be refreshed and relaxed when you have a warm bath before going to bed.
- Yoga – It has proven to have many medical benefits specifically for a healthier and more flexible body. It doesn’t stop there, it also helps you to have a clearer mind which really helps in getting better sleep.
- Don’t force yourself – Forcing yourself will not help you at all. I must say that sleeping is something that cannot be forced. It will come naturally, forcing yourself to sleep is just making your mind more active. If you can’t sleep, do something else until you feel like sleeping.
Researchers have found out that sleep deprivation greatly affects our ability to maintain memories that we are already conscious about and at the same time, the new memories we create. If you have a bunch of things to do, you should still make some space for sleep or even just a nap as this is found to be very helpful for many mental processes.
Sleep is very vital in both memory and learning. Sleeping might be the answer when you are having trouble in memorizing new information. You can take a short nap if you feel like the information is not sinking in your mind. Also, having an enough and restful sleep helps a lot in retaining this new information in your brain.
6. Correlate new with old information
Being introduced to new information can be a little challenging at first. A study showed that taking time to think about how this information can be linked to the old information that you already know actually helps to establish an efficient way to fully understand this new information.
7. Have a stress-free environment
Stress is believed to be one of the reasons why the brain deteriorates. Short-term stress might not be a big problem at first but if it gets out of control and becomes chronic, it may destroy some brain cells. Researches also believed that stress is one of the causes of memory loss. Here are some tips on how to effectively deal with stress:
- Give yourself a break
- Have someone who you can express your stress with instead of keeping them within yourself
- Do not force yourself to do the thing you don’t like doing
- Keeping a balance between the time for yourself and work
8. Laughter is the best medicine
In the midst of stress and problems, you should always find ways on how you could laugh even during the most demanding stages of life. This will divert your brain to focus more on the things that bring happiness to your life over the stress you are experiencing at the moment.
9. Eat a healthy diet that promotes a good memory
While our body needs fuel, our brain also requires enough fuel to keep it moving. Have yourself a healthy diet composed of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats such as fish oil and olive oil which are known to provide health benefits to our brain. It is a good idea to watch the foods that you don’t eat to bring awareness to yourself about which food you are lacking, that way, you will be able to consider fulfilling these nutrients.
Fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 and improve the memory capacity. Additionally, consuming too much sugar has been found to be one of the roots of many health issues. This can lead to poor memory and low brain capacity. Thus, cutting back on your sugar consumption will benefit you in many ways.
It is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Obesity is linked to mental disorders, thus, having an appropriate weight plays a vital role in your well-being and pushes yourself to be in the best shape.
10. Have yourself checked by your family doctor
There are certain conditions that greatly affect our memory, so, if you feel like your memory is a little bit weird, it may be related to a more serious health condition. Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are not the only roots of memory loss since there are non-mental health disorders linked to it such as:
Heart disease – Cardiovascular disorders such as high blood pressure are said to be linked to certain mental conditions, specifically memory loss.
Diabetes – Diabetic persons are found to be more susceptible to memory loss.
11. Chewing a gum
This technique may sound weird but researchers have concluded that chewing gum while you study or learn new things improves your ability to store information. Although this technique is not scientifically proven yet, one study shows that participants who undergo a memory test while chewing a gum were more active and accurate with their reactions.
Practicing meditation brings many benefits to many aspects of your life especially to your brain.
Meditation is both relieving and relaxing at the same time and has been found to reduce stress (which is one of the causes of memory loss). That being said, while meditation has shown many benefits to the body, it is also beneficial to the brain especially as we age.
13. Mindfulness is the key
Mindfulness is a mental state in which one focuses on the present situation. Being mindful is a habitual practice you do in almost everything that you do, you consciously do things and paying more attention to whatever you do since it increases the performance of your memory.
To maintain a good memory despite our age is what we want. However, that desire can be a little bit challenging to maintain especially as we age, given the fast-paced society we are living in and all the stress that we face and encounter each day. Nonetheless, there are ways we can follow or add up to our daily routine that will help us improve our memory.
There is no such thing as “one size fits all” regarding the techniques for improving your memory. Plus, it doesn’t have to be expensive and complex. Although science and technology are continually finding ways on how to scientifically improve memory, one thing is for sure. If we didn’t do anything beneficial for it, it will find its way out of our head. The ways on how to improve your memory should be fun, simple, and doable. Besides, you want to improve your memory and you don’t want to be stressed out about it, do you?
Understanding your own kind of learning and the ability to remember this information actually helps a person to improve their memory. That being said, some of these techniques may or may not work for you. They might be challenging at first so, slow down, take your time – each of us has a different capacity based on our age. Most importantly, we must take special care of our body as it affects our overall well-being.