Here are a few ways to improve your memory and get you on track to healthy brain function.
Our modern lifestyle largely affects our brain and leads to a faster decline in many functions such as memory. We are bombarded with technology, leading to shorter attention spans and a lack of retention. Why remember facts if you can just look them up online? Because if you don’t consciously work on your memory, you will rapidly lose the ability and your brain will age prematurely.
These consequences may seem scary to many who always forget where they put their keys or can’t remember their daughter’s birthday. But, there’s a way to improve your memory and get you on the track of healthy brain function. Here are seven great techniques for boosting your memory and keeping your brain active and sharp:
7 ways to improve your memory
1. Don’t Multitask
In this day and age, we are trying to do as many things at once as fast as we can. We are all about convenience and speed. However, multitasking can actually slow us down and make us forget things. Studies have proven that the mind needs at least eight seconds to commit something to memory, so if you’re checking Instagram while holding your toddler, you’re not going to remember to turn off the stove.
Instead, practice deliberate mindfulness, which helps you focus on one task at hand. Try setting your phone down while talking to your spouse or having only one tab open on your Internet browser (heaven forbid) while learning about world events. Suppress distracting thoughts and save them for the drive home from work or when you’re in the shower.
Your life will feel less cluttered and more purposeful if you practice less multitasking and more undistracted focus.
2. Use Images
Accompanying images with facts or people is a great memory tool. To remember someone’s name, for example, add an image in your mind when you first meet them. Say your new acquaintance’s last name is “Baker”, imagine them baking bread.
3. Use Songs
Turning words into songs can help advance memory. You might be in a play and have to memorize a multitude of lines. Creating a tune to your big monologue will help exponentially. Or say you have to memorize big facts for a test, put these facts to catchy notes. You might even remember these facts years down the road because you will remember the melody.
4. Play Brain Games
Memory is like muscular strength—you need to work at it to keep it. To exercise your brain, challenge yourself with brain games. Try something new and something difficult. If you are rusty at your math skills, play a multiplication game on your phone or the computer. If your word skills are lacking of late, try doing a crossword puzzle. Make sure you have fun while doing these activities. Incorporate these brain games into your morning routine and do them for at least 20 minutes a day. Brain games counteract mind degeneration.
5. Be Social
You don’t simply improve memory and cognitive function by challenging your mind. Your mind is stimulated by social interaction, so make time for family and friends. Countless studies, including findings from the Mayo Clinic, show that having a good social life improves brain health. When you do spend time with these people, participate in active and playful activities together. Here are some tips on how to plan the best game night.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Most adult Americans don’t get enough sleep. But, sleep is good for many facets of your health including boosting your immune system and improving memory. Sleep helps to consolidate memories. You may be feeling foggy if you don’t get the proper seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
7. Eat Memory Boosting Foods
Nature provided us with foods that help us to think and function better. If you eat a healthy diet, you will feel more alert and better able to consult your memory. Fish is a great food to eat because of its memory-building properties. Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which improve brain function by building cell membranes. Eat salmon, tuna, and halibut. Check out this recipe for greek yogurt honey mustard salmon.
Leafy greens, like spinach and lettuce, serve as antioxidants, preventing brain damage and rejuvenating cells. Dark green vegetables contain folic acid that reduces the effects of aging in all parts of your body. Try these rainbow smoothies that are full of spinach and kale.
Milk and other dairy products are also good foods to incorporate into a memory-improving diet. Dairy supports the health of neurotransmitters in the brain from its abundance of tyrosine proteins. Find more memory boosting food suggestions here.
If you include these seven techniques into your life, your memory will thank you for it. You will feel smarter, sharper, and more focused and you will see the positive effects in your daily life.
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