You’ve done it before...
Have you ever tried to memorize the name of every single person sitting in front of you in class? Or how many times have you had trouble remembering what you went shopping for last week? These situations aren’t unique to older adults; we all struggle with remembering sometimes. Fortunately, science says there are ways to improve your memory skills throughout your life.
Memory is a skill that everyone wants to get better at. Everyone from students to adults would love to remember something they don't know or recall something that happened years ago. The problem is, that nobody knows exactly where the limits of our human memory lie.
There are several things you can do to improve your memory naturally. If you want to boost your brainpower, try these 8 tips:
A varied, nutritious diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, beans, nuts, seeds, omega-3 fatty acids, and low-fat dairy products supports optimal cognitive function. Eating foods rich in antioxidants may help protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals – molecules that cause cell damage. Free radicals increase with age and exposure to environmental toxins such as cigarette smoke. Eating more fruits and vegetables will help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of certain diseases. It also helps boost brain power by providing antioxidants and other nutrients.
If you're having trouble remembering things, try taking a break from technology. Studies show that when we use our smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices, we're not only using them more frequently but also spending less time interacting with others face-to-face. This means we're less likely to build up social connections and relationships.
You might think that meditation would make you drowsy, but research shows that mindfulness techniques boost brain function. One study found that people who practiced mindfulness had better memory recall than those who didn't. So, if you're struggling with memory loss, consider trying out some mindfulness techniques.
One of the easiest ways to improve your memory is by practicing deep breathing exercises. This technique helps oxygenate your blood flow and relaxes your body. It also improves concentration and focus. Try taking five minutes each day to practice deep breathing.
Sleep is a big factor in memory. We have all heard people say that they function much better after a good night’s sleep. Our brain doesn't work properly if we don't get enough sleep. A study done at Harvard University showed that participants were able to remember 20% more information while getting eight hours of sleep than when they got only four hours. When working through tasks that require mental focus, the quality of our memory is directly related to how much sleep we've had. On top of that, studies show that having adequate amounts of sleep makes us smarter.
Physical activity stimulates new brain cells and improves memory. Exercise is not just about building muscles. Aerobic exercise builds endurance while weight lifting puts additional demand on the brain's processing power. Try walking at least 30 minutes every day, five times per week. If you prefer, take up swimming, running, cycling, dancing, racquet sports, or something else that gets your heart rate up and moves your body! The benefits of regular physical activity don't stop there though. Research shows that regular aerobic activity is associated with improved attention, reaction time, motor skills, coordination, balance, and flexibility. Physical activity increases blood flow throughout the body, particularly to the brain, and helps keep it oxygenated. Exercise also reduces levels of cortisol, a hormone that interferes with learning.
Incorporate activities such as reading books, listening to music, playing chess, word puzzles, or talking with friends into your schedule. Remember to get creative and try out new ways to challenge your mind. There are endless options available for staying mentally active.
Socializing is an essential part of maintaining mental health. Making new friends will provide opportunities to share laughs, enjoy life together, and strengthen relationships. For some, socialization means being around family members who make you happy. Others find it helpful to attend support groups for individuals dealing with similar experiences. Either way, it's important to maintain a balanced lifestyle by balancing personal and professional commitments alongside social ones.