You’re wondering if it is possible to improve memory?
It starts with little things, like when you walk into the next room to grab something, but now you’re standing in the middle of the room and can’t remember what you need.
You get frustrated, walk out of the room, and then remember what you needed.
Often you laugh off instances like this, but recently you’re feeling they’re occurring more frequently, and it’s starting to concern you.
You start thinking, are these occurrences precursors to something more serious, and will they continue to get worse as you age?
It’s natural to worry about memory issues as you age. But the good news is that there are ways to improve your memory and keep it sharp. We’ve compiled a list of the best ways to improve memory so you can start seeing results quickly.
Let's wake up your memory.
Why Brain Exercises Are Essential For Improving Memory
The quick answer is that brain exercises help keep the cognitive part of your brain active and strong. As you continue to take in and process new information, your brain is put to work, which helps to strengthen your brain.
Brain exercise is no different than exercising other muscles in your body. All types of exercise play their part in keeping your brain healthy and active.
The cognitive function of your brain stores and recalls past and present information. However, it’s not the only part of your brain that is part of your memory process.
When you do brain exercises, you strengthen the muscles in your brain by building grey matter and activating molecular targets in your brain. In turn, sending messages to other parts of your brain helps your mind recall the information you need to answer your question.
That’s when the magic happens. Your brain begins to exercise, connecting all the parts of your brain where memory and function are stored.
However, as you age, it is normal for your recall to slow. Slowing memory recall could be due to many different factors (age, diet, genetics, etc.), but it’s essential to know that if you don’t exercise your brain, there is a chance it will weaken and lose power, just like other muscles in your body.
Now let's dive into some fun steps you can take to improve your memory.
Keeping Your Memory Fit With Memory Games
Keeping your brain active is crucial to help keep your brain fit and build memory processes. And you can start exercising your brain right now with online memory games.
Many of these games incorporate the memory techniques of Mnemonics. You may not be aware, but more than likely, you have been taught using this practice most of your life.
Mnemonic memory techniques include song and rhyming, acronyms, pattern associations, and chunking.
Think about when you were taught your ABCs. You learned them through song (and I’m sure you’re probably singing them as you read this). Or perhaps you were taught about the letter sequence “I before E, except after C.”
Your memory has an indescribable way of being creative, and it enjoys when you put it to a challenge.
1. Get Started With These Memory-Boosting Games
HOW TO ACCESS THE GAME
Turn Your Nocturnal Brain Into A Memory Machine (At Any Age)
Are you ready to wake up your memory, keep it active, and make it stronger? It’s not as complicated as you might think.
Changing your lifestyle in a few easy steps can improve your memory and make you feel fit, alert, and energetic.
Pick one activity from each section and start improving your memory today.
2. Change Your Daily Habits
Daily habits are wonderful; however, keeping the same daily habits can weaken the brain because it's bored and nothing new is happening. Your brain already knows what to do and is not challenged to figure out the next steps.
When you change your habits, your brain is forced to learn something new and create new steps and conclusions. The novelty of new daily habits wakes up your mind, exercises your memory, and keeps your mind excited to figure things out.
How to do it:
Change your route to work
Shop at a new grocery store
Wake up ten minutes earlier
Cook new recipes
Walk your dog on a new route
Do laundry on a different day
Read a new book
3. Create a Good Sleep Routine
Sleep is essential for the brain to process everything you do and learn throughout the day.
When your brain has the right amount of sleep, it has the time to process and package the information you took in and decides what's essential to keep.
When you don’t have adequate sleep, your brain cannot form the necessary pathways to create and store memories in your brain.
An article published on SleepFoundation.org stated, “Getting enough rest helps you process new information once you wake up,” and “sleeping after learning can consolidate this information into memories, allowing you to store them in your brain.”
Now’s the time to set up good sleep habits.
How to do it:
Go to bed at the same time every night
Get between 7-9 hours of sleep
Turn off electronic devices at least one hour before bed (phone, television, tablets, etc.)
Read before bed
Avoid caffeine and large meals before bedtime
Create a relaxing bedtime routine
4. Get Your Exercise (Even at Home)
When you exercise, your brain muscle and other muscles are stimulated, making your brain and body work more efficiently.
As you age, the hippocampus shrinks, leading to memory loss and an increased risk of age-related memory issues such as dementia.
A research article published on PNAS.org shares, “Hippocampal and medial temporal lobe volumes are larger in higher-fit adults, and physical activity training increases hippocampal perfusion” and “Exercise training increased hippocampal volume by 2%, effectively reversing age-related loss in volume by 1 to 2 y.”
Your brain feeds on the excellent circulation that exercise can provide. Exercise strengthens your brain and helps to improve your memory.
How to do it:
Lifting light weights (2, 3, or 5 lbs)
Going for a walk (bring a friend), or if you can’t walk outside, take some laps inside your home
Put on some music and dance (invite your partner to dance with you)
Take a dance class
Sign up for a Yoga class
Take a bike ride
5. Reduce Stress And Relax Your Brain
Daily stressors can impair your memory’s ability to recall and retain new information. Such as when you’re frustrated with a situation or nervous about trying something new.
How to do it:
Stay away from people who make you feel stressed
Remove foods that cause stress on your body (added sugars, caffeine, fried foods)
Make time for special friends and family
Attend social activities
Visit your favorite museum
Take a walk through a botanical garden
Sit down and take a 15-minute quiet break
6. The Benefits Of Meditation For Your Memory
Sara Lazar, Ph.D., Neuroscience of Yoga and Meditation at Harvard University, has studied the effects of meditation and your brain.
Her study found that grey matter (the part of your brain that affects your memory and decision-making functions) increases with continued meditation practices, and older adults that have meditated for years have the same amount of grey matter as a person in their mid 20's.
Meditation helps to relax your mind and body, allowing the acceptance of new thoughts and feelings that help build memory.
Increases grey matter in your brain
Reduces stress, providing a relaxing sensation to your mind and body
Decreases blood pressure
Practice meditation at home or during a Yoga class at least three times per week, 30-40 minutes per day.
7. Eat A Balanced Diet
It’s no secret that eating a well-balanced diet has many health benefits. It is also true for your brain health.
Eating better quality foods helps rejuvenate muscles, increase blood flow, and provides antioxidants that fight age-related memory loss.
Choosing a healthier lifestyle allows your brain to be active, stronger, and a helpful muscle for your memory.
How to do it:
Cutting down on foods with processed sugars (candy, ice cream, cookies, doughnuts, etc.)
Add dark chocolate for a treat
Drink plenty of water
Eat high-quality proteins (fish, chicken, red meat, pork, eggs, grains (quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal)
Limit alcohol consumption
Include vitamin C-rich vegetables (spinach, broccoli)
Add berries and nuts to your diet (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts)
Add quality supplements to your diet
Memory Tips For Other Memory-Related Issues
Often, memory issues are associated with age. However, other memory issues can be present before age-related problems arise.
Here are some tips to help you manage memory issues with ADHD and traumatic brain injuries.
Adults With ADHD
Positively talk to yourself
Create a list of steps for a task
Ask for instructions to be repeated
Have a support system to help give you reminders
Get your rest. Create a sleep habit and stick to it
Adults With Traumatic Brain Injuries
Keep noise levels down when concentrating
Give yourself more time to finish tasks
Break down larger tasks into smaller chunks and do them one at a time
Take breaks while doing things that take up a lot of mental energy
Follow a set routine
Maintain A Healthy Brain For Years to Come
You may doubt these steps because they seem too simple to help with something as significant as memory loss.
But what if they do work?
Would you give it a try?
Imagine yourself recalling information quicker, feeling less stressed and happier, more energetic, and even losing a few pounds! It’s possible if you start working today. You have the keys to unlock the magic - now it’s your turn.
Incorporate one or two things above each week and make a note of the changes to your mind, body, and spirit and celebrate each change.
Help a friend....ask them to join you on your journey to an improved memory.