How To Improve Your Memory
Our brain is a puzzle box. A large portion of our brain remains inactive throughout life and no one really understands the reason. If only we could use the full potential of our brains. Still the portion that we do use is extremely powerful. Sometimes we get frustrated because we cannot remember something or have trouble processing, calculating or even solving a simple problem.
Have you experienced this? Sometimes we become confused so easily. For example, many people forget whether or not they locked the door properly, where they left their car keys, what they had for dinner the night before or a person’s name. If you can relate, then don’t worry. It is a normal phenomenon. Most of us have to face these types of problems. However, there are ways you can improve your memory and not deal with these issues as much. You can improve your memory like improving a skill.
Here are some tips that will help you to improve your memory:
1. Eat properly:
- Some antioxidant rich memory boosting foods should be added on your diet. Foods like curry, celery, cauliflower, broccoli and walnuts contain antioxidants and other compounds that help to provide brain nutrition and protect your brain health.
- Colorful fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and you should consume a minimum of 5-6 servings per day to maintain your brain physiology.
- Oatmeal and any foods containing omega-3 fatty acid should be taken to improve your brain health. A recent study shows that omega-3 deficiency may make your brain 2 years older looking in an MRI scan.
- Reduce intake of damaged omega-6 fats that are found in processed vegetable oil, to maintain your omega-3 & omega-6 ratio. These nutrients are necessary to maintain good memory.
- Try to decreased the amount of sugar, grain and carbohydrates that you consume.
- Vitamin B-12 is essential to maintain normal brain function and to improve your memory. Vegetables and a normal diet may meet your daily requirement of vitamin B-12. But you can take good quality multivitamin supplements or isolated a vitamin B-12 supplement to meet your daily requirement.
- Vitamin D is also responsible for proper nerve growth in the brain. It also helps in maintaining normal physiology of nerve cells. A study shows that vitamin D is important for planning, processing, and formation of new memories in hippocampus and cerebellum of the brain. In older adults vitamin D is associated with keeping the brain mentally fit.
2. Drink plenty of water:
Dehydration may damage your brain and may impair your concentration. Drink minimum 8-12 glass of water to maintain your normal body functions as well as brain function.
3. Don’t smoke and reduce alcohol intake:
Nicotine is a dangerous substance that impairs your brain function. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15652996). Avoiding smoking and all tobacco products may help you to improve your memory. Any types of addiction like alcoholism, drugs etc. will greatly reduce your brain function and impair your memory.
4. Sleep well:
A regular 7-8 hours of sound sleep is very much necessary to maintain your brain health and memory function. Sleep disturbance aggravates the brain, causes stress and reduces concentration which hurt the memory function of your brain. (http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/february2013/02112013sleep.htm)
Do regular physical exercises. Your body fitness is necessary to increase the ability of the brain to process and recall information. Physical exercises increase oxygenation and blood supply to the brain and helps to maintain its normal function. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23509628) It is also beneficial to reduce stress and anxiety. Exercise may also increase the effects of different brain chemicals which are beneficial for brain cells to maintain their function.
Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming etc. like different cardio exercises are enough to be fit. Try to do them 20-30 minutes daily.
6. Stress relaxing techniques:
Stress relaxing techniques, like meditation and yoga may help relieve you from stress and improve your memory status. They also help to improve your focus which is necessary for learning anything properly and recapitulate them when it is necessary. Try to spend at least 15-20 minutes daily to do these techniques in order to improve your memory.
7. Avoid multitasking:
Don’t use your brain as a parallel processor like a computer. Trying to multitask will slow you down. Multitasking may also cause you to be forgetful. Students who took a mindfulness class improved reading comprehension test scores and working memory capacity, as well as experienced fewer distracting thoughts (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23538911). Multitasking distracts your focus. Try to focus on one thing at a time and this will help you remember.
8. Play with your brain:
If you don’t challenge your brain with new interesting information it will start to deteriorate. This degeneration can be counteracted by stimulating your brain appropriately. You can find brain games online or engage in some mentally taxing activity. Try to spend at least 15-20 minutes each day doing some type of brain exercise.
9. Master a skill by repeating it:
If you want to memorize anything you should repeat it over and over to master it. This technique works for most of the people.
10. Learn using your senses:
Without learning you can’t remember anything. For learning anything you have to learn with maximum attention. Involve as many senses as possible. Try to relate information to color, texture, shape, condition, smell, taste etc. You can write and read it loudly to involve more of your senses to memorize the knowledge properly.
11. Try mnemonic devices
Mnemonic devices are very interesting memory tools to help you the remember words, information or concepts. They will help you to organize information in an easy way that is very easy to remember and recall. You can try:
- Chunking etc.
12. Mind mapping:
It is also called a memory map or concept map. It is a very effective method to link thoughts and concepts in your brain. Mind mapping is like note-taking or log writing technique that records information in a way that shows you how the various pieces of information fit together. Mind maps make an easily remembered “image” of the information in your brain that you’re trying to remember. This technique is very helpful to memorize, combine and summarize information from different sources. It also helps you to think about the difficult tasks in an organized manner, and then summarize your findings in a way that shows the details as well as the big picture.
These are only a few of the techniques you can use to improve your memory. Don’t be depressed or anxious about your memory problem. If it is not a diseased condition like old age related dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, with a little work you can improve your memory very easily.