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18 Best Ways To Keep Your Memory Sharp
Whenever we forget something, the first thing that enters our minds is that we do not want to succumb to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It is common to forget something once in a while, especially once we turn 40, but is there anything we can do to strengthen our minds rather than let them get weaker and weaker from non-use?
If you don’t believe the old saying, “use it or lose it,” try using your cell phone without your autodial button. If you erase all of your contacts on your phone, how many do you think you will recognize without the caller’s name and phone number coming up together?
Don’t despair. There are plenty of things you can do to keep your mind sharp, from exercises, tips, and foods to eat. Keep challenging yourself every day so your memory will become sharper rather than foggier. Here are some things you can start with right away. There are 18 ways you can sharpen your memory all the time.
1. Exercise regularly at your full capacity
If you are just starting to exercise daily, start out slow; however, if you have been exercising already, try to build up to an activity at a moderate level for around 150 minutes every week or 75 minutes weekly of cardio at your full capacity.
2. Stay happy
Scientists have found that people who are happy were 60 percent more able to keep their memory sharp and less likely to end up with a cognitive impairment. Adults who are older and have less stress in their lives received higher scores on tests dealing with their memories.
3. Let enough of the little stuff go
Our minds are dealing with more and more information every day. You have passwords to keep track of, statistics to remember, names, places, and people to log into your brain. At some point you are going to have to drop some data in your memory to make room for all of the new stuff.
4. Challenge yourself
Make sure you keep challenging yourself, whether it is remembering phone numbers without consulting your phone or keeping track of everyone’s birthdays. Add another test as you master each task.
5. Stay organized
It is so much easier to keep your memory sharp when you can find everything, and you haven’t misplaced an important note you meant to follow up on. Put everything in its place and have a place for everything. A simple thing like hanging your keys on a hook as you come in the door will keep you from wasting 30 minutes looking for your keys when you need to be somewhere on time. Being unorganized just makes you feel inept and prevents you from moving along with confidence.
6. Take care of your health
First, make sure you take all of the medications your doctor has recommended for you. Keep a sheet and jot down when you take them so you can keep them on a set schedule. Next check with your doctor to make sure there are no medications that you are taking that will affect your memory.
7. Eat fish every week
Researchers have found that those who ate fish one time each week have a lower chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease by 60 percent. It was also discovered that eating fish weekly reduces the chances of cognitive decline by 10 percent every year.
8. Enjoy blueberries
Blueberries are brimming with antioxidants, and they lower oxidative stress levels in your brain. They have been proven to raise your motor skills and ability to learn.
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9. Choose your citrus
It doesn’t matter which citrus fruit you consume or how you take it in, people who have included citrus fruits into their diets daily kept cognitive decline away for more than two years.
10. Select nuts
Next time you are looking for a healthy snack, make it a nice selection of nuts. This food is considered brain food and can help preserve your memory.
11. Add avocados
Avocado falls into the good fat category — the one that is good for your brain. They keep you from developing high blood pressure and were found to improve cognitive functions in those who ate one every day for six months.
12. Treat yourself to a bite of chocolate every day
Chocolate has been found to raise the performance of your brain, increases cognitive function, and keeps you happy and in a good mood.
13. Test your brain every day
While it is always a good idea to keep your body active, you absolutely need to keep your brain active as well. Test it every day by working on a crossword puzzle, learn to play an instrument you’ve been wanting to, or get some tapes that will teach you how to speak a new language.
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14. Associate difficult words
Sometimes a great way to remember words is to associate them with something that is familiar and will help you think of the word when you need it. If you have to remember a restaurant that starts with the word Lucky, think of a horseshoe or a rabbit’s foot.
15. Stay sociable
When you stay sociable, whether you are texting people on Facebook or setting up special functions or fun events with others, the interaction keeps you on track to remember people, places, and dates.
16. Take a quick nap every day
While it is always important to get a solid eight hours of sleep every night, you should also set aside a short period of time daily to take a quick nap. At night your sleep lets you consolidate all of your memories and thoughts and your afternoon nap will refresh you and make you feel relaxed and bright.
17. Stay focused
It’s very easy to become sidetracked during a meeting, a phone call, or a conversation. Practice staying focused and test yourself on key points you need to remember.
READ ALSO: Can Rosemary Really Improve Your Memory?
18. Keep reading
Make a list of books you would love to read. See which books Oprah is reading. Start a book club with your friends to discuss the latest titles.