We all get to a point where we tend to forget the very little things that we really shouldn’t like where we placed our car keys, whether or not you locked your door when you left for work etc. This could be linked to a number of reasons but the most basic one being the health and vitality of your brain. Whatever your reasons are, there exists a number of memory improvement techniques that can help you develop a strong memory. These are normally aimed at allowing you to be mentally sharp and also improve mental performance, which are all aspects of an improved memory.
The ability to improve memory at any age is made possible by the fact that the human brain can adapt and change, something we refer to as neuroplasticity. The memory techniques provided will, therefore, increase cognitive abilities and improve memory by harnessing the power of neuroplasticity. This whole process allows the brain to reshape itself and that includes forming new neural pathways and altering existing connections. Let us, therefore, look at the different ways on how to improve your memory.
1. Consume foods that improve your memory
Among the many ways to improve memory, following a healthy diet comes in as an important part of the process. This is so because the best way to take care of your body’s general health and wellbeing is by eating the right kinds of foods. You will actually be surprised just how much impact healthy eating has when it comes to improving or enhancing the functioning of your brain. What healthy foods do for the brain includes lifting mood, increasing concentration and improving memory.
This makes it important for you to determine what works and what doesn’t in regards to your food choices. A person’s ability to remember things highly depends on getting the cells of the brain to form new connections. These cells make new connections best when they are highly excited and the one thing that keeps the brain cells excited is acetylcholine which is made from choline that is found in specific foods like eggs. Just like any other organs in the body, the brain too requires nutrients for effective functioning. There are actually specific foods that you need to focus on as they will improve your memory, focus, and concentration. These are some of the foods that are considered best for memory improvement:
- Avocado: this ranks as one of the healthiest fruits and is rich in monosaturated fats which are the good kind. It should be among your choice of foods as it has vitamin K and folate known to improve cognitive function especially concentration and memory.
- Broccoli: eating plenty of vegetables is good for your brain as it improves memory and the best-being broccoli. Broccoli is mentioned among many others as it is filled with vitamin K and choline, nutrients that will always allow for a sharp memory. Broccoli is also rich in glucosinolates and thus slows down the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is required for the central nervous system to function well and also in maintaining a sharp brain and memory.
- Coconut oil: honestly, coconut oil is just beyond great when we think of improving memory and other brain functioning. This is so because the MCFAs in coconut oil are usually easily absorbed and the brain can, therefore, access them without using insulin and this means the brain cells are fuelled efficiently.
- Berries: dark berries like cherries, blueberries, and blackberries contain anthocyanins and a number of other flavonoids that improve memory. You are in a better position to enjoy the benefits if the berries are fresh, frozen or dried.
2. Getting Quality Sleep
Sleep plays a vital role in memory improvement because the brain works better when it is well rested and relaxed. The thing is that healthy sleep allows for the right state of mind making it easier for us to take in, process and retain information as the day goes. According to research, the parts of the brain which control speed and accuracy are active in people who get quality sleep than in those who don’t. Scientists also confirm that while sleeping, skills and memories are shifted to more permanent brain regions. Generally, sleep plays an essential role in memory before and after learning something new.
Normally, learning and memory entail three functions, acquisition whereby information is introduced into the brain, consolidation whereby the memory is stabilized and recall which involves accessing the information later on after it has been stored. All these steps are essential for proper memory and while acquisition and recall occur when one is awake, memory consolidation occurs during sleep. Sleep consolidation is among the many cognitive benefits of getting quality sleep. The effects of not getting quality sleep include reduced concentration, short attention span, problems learning and processing new information and lack of focus. All these affect memory negatively and are a general idea of why we link quality sleep with memory. This means that getting enough sleep is among the many ways to improve memory and should be prioritized.
Maintaining a regular exercising routine has a range of benefits that re-shape the brain, improving memory and thinking skills in the process. Performing the kind of exercises that make your heart and sweat glands pump is believed to boost the size of the hippocampus which is an area in the brain that is involved in verbal memory and learning. It means that performing aerobic exercises forms the best ways to improve memory as they bring in the mentioned effects.
Exercising has both direct and indirect benefits and some of them include reducing inflammation, reducing insulin resistance and most importantly releasing chemicals in the brain that determine the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in a person’s brain and also the abundance and survival of new brain cells. Some of the other reasons why we find physical activity quite effective is because it increases oxygen flow to the brain and reduces the risk of health disorders that may cause memory loss like cardiovascular diseases. Generally, exercising comes with numerous benefits that will ultimately help improve your memory.
4. Visualization Technique
This is a memory trick that anyone can use to improve brain functioning and it works best when you create a habit out of it. Applying visualization teaches the brain how to see and show clearly it being an opportunity to memorize information easily. Our brains remember images better than written or verbal information and visualization takes advantage of this fact. Simply put, visualization entails creating images of things in mind and is what activates and sharpens your memory.
It usually involves creativity and imagination which is the reason why it can be learned and improved through practice by anyone. Those people you meet who could actually memorize a deck of cards or remember a long list of things actually have average minds but have utilized visualization for memory improvement. The more you use visualization, the more your mind gets used to seeing things from different perspectives and this is what allows you to remember events, information, and experiences.
5. Managing Stress Levels
One important lifestyle change you can make that will help improve your memory is managing stress levels. Stress management changes how a person’s mind works by improving their ability to think clearly and remember things. What happens when we are stressed is that we worry too much and this uses up our mental energy which we would have rather used to pay attention to important things that we need to remember. There is also the fact that when stressed there is so much muscle tension and more oxygen is used meaning that the brain gets less oxygen and that affects its proper functioning and that involves memory.
The reason why stress management appears among the best memory tips is because it allows you to collect thoughts as the mind is clear, it quiets the mind and this enables you to focus on the things you learn and this means they will be remembered later, lastly stress management brings about general body relaxation which is what makes the brain function effectively.
6. Play Improve Memory Games On A Regular Basis
Taking time to play different types of brain games doesn’t only help you pass time as they are believed to have an impact on overall brain function. These games are more of an exercise to the brain and each targets specific cognitive abilities including memory, thinking, planning and problem solving. The idea behind brain games is so that you can challenge your brain and most importantly keep it active. All these aspects are all that work together to ensure that you have a perfect memory which is basically the ability to remember as much information as absorbed.
It is more of applying memory tips to the brain and this works by rewiring it making sure it stays active. When we look at video games as an example, studies prove that it is a game that allows for the growth of neurons which as explained is responsible for memory formation. Several other brain games have been designed such that they can rewire our brains improving memory and other cognitive abilities in the process. They are therefore considered effective among the memory techniques on how to improve your memory because of their direct impact on brain function.
Laughter is linked to improved memory as it is known to reduce stress and also increasing the brain’s alertness. According to studies, laughter allows for the release of endorphins that send dopamine to the brain and this improves the body’s immune system and brain wave motion. Increasing the amount of dopamine and endorphins in the brain increases gamma wave band frequency in the brain which improves memory. You should also know that humor activates our sense of wonder and is where learning begins, the reason we say that humor enhances retention. The fact that humor reduces the levels of cortisol, it creates room for improved memory as cortisol is linked to brain damage. I find this as an easy memory trick as it doesn’t take much of your energy and could actually be applied more often.