7 Lifestyle-Based Ways to Improve Your Memory

Brain function was once understood to peak in adulthood and then declines slowly thus leading to memory losses.

Now, modern lifestyle has had a significant impact in contributing to the overall cognitive decline, which is why exposure to existing toxins, chemicals coupled with poor diet, lack of sleep as well as stress, and much more can affect the functioning of one’s brain.

A healthy lifestyle can improve brain health and even encourage one’s brain to grow new neurons, a process which is referred to as neurogenesis.

One’s brain’s hippocampus, which is the memory center will especially be able to grow newer cells and it is not known that one’s hippocampus does regenerate throughout one’s entire lifetime, even into one’s 90s, provided of course proper tools are there.

Such “tools” are primarily lifestyle-based, which is wonderful news. You don’t need an expensive prescription medication or any medical procedure at all to boost your brain, and your memory. You simply must try out the following tricks to improve your memory.

Eat Right

The foods one eats or does not eat do play a crucial role in one’s memory functioning. Fresh vegetables are no doubt essential, and so are healthy fats, thus avoiding sugar and grain carbohydrates. For example, curry, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, and walnuts contain antioxidants as well as other compounds that do protect one’s brain health and can even stimulate the production of one’s new brain cells.

One must also increase one’s animal-based omega-3 fat intake and also reduce consumption of damaged omega-6 fats, in order to balance one’s omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Also, krill oil to fish oil, as krill oil also does contain astaxanthin, which not only protects one’s omega-3 fats from oxidation but does also appear to be particularly beneficial for one’s brain health.

Coconut oil is also good. Two tablespoons of coconut oil (about 35 ml or 7 level teaspoons) can supply the equivalent of 20 grams of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which helps as a preventative measure against degenerative neurological diseases, or as a treatment for existing health issue.

Exercise

Exercise encourages one’s brain to work at its optimum level by stimulating the nerve cells to multiply as well as strengthen the interconnections and also protect them from damage.

During the exercise process, the nerve cells to release the proteins and are known as neurotrophic factors. One, in particular, is referred to as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and this triggers of numerous other chemicals as well that do promote neural health and do directly benefit cognitive functioning which includes learning.

Regular exercise not only improves blood flow to the brain but also helps the monkeys to learn new tasks twice as quickly as compared to the non-exercising monkeys. This researcher feels that this also applies to people as well.

Stop Multitasking

Multitasking is very popular these days as people want to do many things. Eventually, of course, multitasking may actually slow down one and also make one prone to errors as well as make one forgetful.

The opposite of multitasking would actually be mindfulness, which does help one to achieve the undistracted focus. Students who took a mindfulness class do improve reading comprehension test scores and also working memory capacity, and also experiences fewer distracting thoughts.

In case, one does find oneself tries to complete five tasks at once one does stop oneself and also does focus one’s attention back on to the task at hand. If distracting thoughts do enter one’s head, then one must remind oneself that these are only “projections,” not really reality, and allow them to pass off without even causing much stress upon one. One can then end the day with a 10- or 15-minute meditation session in order to help stop one’s mind from wandering as well as relaxing into a restful sleep.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Research from Harvard does indicate that people are 33 percent more likely to infer connections among the distantly related ideas after sleeping, but few actually realize that their performance has indeed improved. Sleep also enhances one’s memories and also helps you “practice” and as well as improve one’s performance of challenging skills. In fact, a single night of good sleep only four to six hours can impact one’s ability to think clearly the following day.

The process of the brain growth, or neuroplasticity, is believed to underlie one’s brain’s capacity to control the behavior that includes learning and memory. Plasticity occurs when neurons are stimulated by events, or information, from the environment. However, sleep and sleep loss do modify the expression of our several genes and gene products that perhaps may be important for synaptic plasticity.

Furthermore, certain forms of long-term potentiation, a neural process associated with the laying down of learning and memory can be elicited in sleep, suggesting synaptic connections are strengthening during slumber.

Sleep helps baby’s brain power as well. Research shows that naps can give a boost to babies’ brainpower. Specifically, infants who slept in between learning and testing sessions had a better ability to recognize patterns in the new information, which does signal an important change in memory that does play an essential role in cognitive development. Even for adults, a mid-day nap was found to dramatically boost and restore brainpower.

Play Brain Games

One must stimulate one’s brain or else it will stagnate. According to research into brain plasticity, it shows us that by providing one’s brain with appropriate stimulus, one can counteract this degeneration.

One way to challenge one’s brain via ‘brain games,’ is to play them on online. One has to improvise and improve brain functioning by such games.

Master a New Skill

One must engage in “purposeful and meaningful activities” that stimulates your neurological system. It counters the effects of stress-related diseases, reduces the risk of dementia and also enhances the health as well as well-being. One must be serious about one’s task. Craft activities such as quilting and knitting are linked with decreased odds of having a mild cognitive impairment. One can take part in “cognitively demanding” activities such as learning to quilt or take digital photography to enhance memory functioning in older adults. The key is to find an activity that is mentally stimulating for one. One must give undivided attention to such activities and thus get great satisfaction. It should be an activity that one must look forward to doing, such as playing a musical instrument, gardening, building model ships, crafting or of course many others.

Try Mnemonic Devices

Mnemonic devices are the usual memory tools to help one remember words, information or concepts. They help you to organize information into an easier-to-remember format. Try:

  • Acronyms (such as PUG for “pick up grapes”)
  • Rhymes (if you need to remember a name, for instance, think “Shirley’s hair is curly)
  • Visualizations (such as imagining a tooth to remember one’s dentist’s appointment)
  • Chunking, which involves breaking up information into smaller “chunks” (such as organizing the numbers into the format of a phone number)

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About the Author: Nagendra Gadamsetty

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