As people get older, their memory declines. It's a function of having more on our minds in general as well as physical aging and decline of the connections in the brain that facilitate good memory.
However, memory can be improved, and you might be surprised at some of the ways you can work on yours and get it to cooperate with you better. Take a look at and implement the following tips and watch your memory improve.
Meditation is a great way to train your brain to ignore extraneous thoughts and feelings and focus on what you're trying to do at the moment. And that can help you remember things.
Make a habit of meditating every single day if you can. The more you do it, the easier it will be and the more significant benefit you'll derive. You can take a class, get audiobooks, or read up on meditation techniques and try them out until you arrive at the one(s) that work best for you.
Make and Follow Routines
Following a routine helps keep your thoughts orderly and improves memory. You can follow a morning routine to set your day up for success, and evening routines are great too.
Choose anti-inflammatory foods and try to avoid sugar and processed food as much as possible. The less inflammation in your body, the better everything works. And that includes your brain and memory.
Antioxidants are necessary to help fight inflammation-causing free radicals. Berries, nuts, coffee, chocolate, and vegetables all contain potent antioxidants.
Curcumin, present in turmeric, has antioxidant effects that can improve brain health and memory.
Get Good Quality and Quantity Sleep
Nothing rejuvenates the body and brain like a good sleep. And a crucial element of proper memory function is consolidation. That is the process during which your brain processes and lays down memory, and it happens during sleep.
If you wish to improve your memory, the first thing to do is make sure you're getting enough sleep and that it's of good quality.
Create a bedtime routine that helps you relax and gets your brain ready for sleep. Avoid sugar and alcohol too close to bedtime. Make sure your room is dark, cool, and quiet and that you have a high-quality mattress and pillow.
Learn more in these helpful articles: Sleep and Insomnia.
Drink Enough Water
Not having enough water makes your brain fuzzy and decreases your memory (Smith, 2010). Being chronically dehydrated can have permanent adverse effects on some brain functions. Learn more: "Benefits of Drinking Water."
Use Memory Tricks
If there is something specific you wish to remember, take a second at the moment to relate it to something else in your mind. For instance, if you meet someone and really want to remember their name, try connecting it to someone else whose name you know.
Keep Exercising Regularly
Exercise can help with certain types of cognitive abilities and memory (Mischel NA1, 2014). Take a walk, at least, every day to help improve your memory.
Draw What You Want to Remember
Studies show that drawing the things you want to remember leads to much higher recall rates than writing them down (Melissa E. Meade, 2018). That is the case for anything you wish to remember, including things you learn in a class and a list of things you need at the store.
If possible, take a few seconds to draw a picture that represents the thing you wish to remember. Even if your drawing skills are questionable, your memory will thank you for it.
- Melissa E. Meade, J. D. (2018, Oct. 9). Drawing as an Encoding Tool: Memorial Benefits in Younger and Older Adults. Retrieved from Taylor and Francis Online.
- Mischel NA1, L.-S. I. (2014, Feb. 15). Physical (in)activity-dependent structural plasticity in bulbospinal catecholaminergic neurons of rat rostral ventrolateral medulla. Retrieved from pubmed.gov: DOI10.1002/cne.23464.
- Smith, M. J. (2010, Dec. 14). Dehydration affects brain structure and function in healthy adolescents. Retrieved from Wiley Online Library: DOI: 10.1002/hbm.20999.
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