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7 Tricks to Improve Your Memory
At one time scientists believe that your memory and brain function peaked in early adulthood and then went into a slow decline which would lead to brain fog and memory loss in the “golden” years.
Now it’s well known that it’s today’s modern lifestyle which is a main contributor to the decline in our cognitive senses. It’s our daily exposure to toxins, chemicals, lack of sleep, stress, and poor diet which actually obstructs the functioning of our brain.
The memory center of your brain, the hippocampus, has the ability to grow new cells throughout your entire life, even into your 90’s, if you give it what it needs in order to do so.
The good news here is that you don’t need prescription drugs or surgery in order to improve your brain function and your memory. Try out these 7 techniques to improve your memory.
Regular exercise will encourage your brain to work at its absolute best by stimulating your nerve cells to multiply, reinforce interconnections, and protect them from possible damage. Neuroscience published a study done on primates in 2010 that showed regular exercise improves the blood flow to the brain and helped the monkey subjects learn new tasks nearly twice as fast as monkeys who did not exercise.
This doesn’t just apply to monkeys; however, researchers believe that this is true for people too. During a one year study, subjects who got exercise grew and expanded their brain’s memory center, as much as two percent every year.
The best workouts include high intensity interval exercises, stretching, strength training, and core exercises. Find out vital exercises you should do.
2. Eat Right
Your diet, the foods you eat, as well as the foods you don’t eat, play a very important part in your memory. Fresh vegetables are absolutely essential, as are healthy fats. You should avoid grain carbohydrates and sugars.
Some foods have been proved to not only protect your brain but that they may also stimulate the creation of new brain cells such as walnuts, celery, curry, cauliflower, and broccoli.
Coconut oil is a super healthy fat for the functioning of your brain. Research shows that just about two tablespoons of coconut oil is enough to protect against degenerative neurological problems or as a possible treatment for established cases. Read more about coconut oil and its uses.
3. Get Your Rest
Sleep is well known to improve your memories and can help you improve your performance by helping you “practice” while you sleep. You probably already know this for yourself. How well do you think the day after sleeping only 4 or 5 hours?
Sleep helps us improve our brain function from the time we are infants. Studies show that infants who slept in-between learning and testing periods recognized new information. Naps help adults too. Studies show that taking a mid-day snooze helped to boost energy levels as well as improve brainpower.
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4. Stop Multitasking
As you probably know, multitasking is term used for those who are trying to do several things as the same time; usually as quickly as possible.
Research shows that the mind needs approximately 8 seconds to commit a piece of information to your memory. This is why if you are talking on your cell phone while carrying in your purse and briefcase, when you set down the house keys, you simply can’t remember where you left them.
An undistracted focus would be called mindfulness. After taking a mindfulness class, students improved their reading comprehension and memory capacity and they stated that they experienced fewer distracting thoughts.
When you find that you are trying to do 3 or 4 things at the same time, stop. Take a moment and focus your attention to the main task you need to complete. Remind yourself that these other tasks can be done immediately after you finish this one. Find out 14 habits of the super-organised.
5. Play with mnemonic devices
These memory tools are also called mnemonic devices. These help you remember words, concepts and information. Mnemonic devices help your brain to organize information into easy to remember formats. For example:
Acronyms (like PAW for “Pull All Weeds”)
Rhymes (if you need help remembering names you might try Jude Was Rude)
Visualizations (you might try thinking about fruits and veggies so you remember to go to the market after work)
6. Learn a new skill
Try engaging yourself in meaningful activities that will stimulate your brain. These have been shown to reduce the risk of dementia and stress related diseases. This activity should be something that’s meaningful to you, in other words, it should hold your attention.
Studies have shown that even simple craft activities such as crocheting or knitting were connected with lower odds of having mild cognitive impairment. In another study, it was found that those who took part in demanding activities such as digital photography improved the memory function in older persons.
The key here is to find something that is mentally stimulating for you. Something that requires your complete attention while giving you a sense of satisfaction. Try building a new garden; learn a new musical instrument, or building model ships or airplanes.
7. Play those brain games!
Like your muscles, if you don’t engage your brain with new information, if you don’t give you brain its own “workout” it tends to degenerate. That old saying of “use it or lose it” applies to your brain as well.
One great way to challenge your brain is to use brain games. You can play many of these online through websites such as Lumositt.com. There is also another program called Brain HQ which has many different brain exercises that not only work your noggin’, but it also tracks and monitors your progress over time.
Try to spend at least 20 minutes per day playing brain games. You need to enjoy this task, however, otherwise it simply becomes another “chore” you try to fit into your day and some of the benefits will be lost.