10 Ways to Improve Your Memory
Keep forgetting names, dates, anniversaries or even your neighbor’s name? You are not alone. Poor memory is a common phenomenon; it just occurs in varying degrees in all individuals.
From chewing Ayurvedic choornas to smelling rosemary, you may have tried everything in the belief that your memory will improve. You often wonder how some wizards can effortlessly reel off innumerable contexts and renditions and quickly grasp details and recount them. Wouldn’t you give anything to be like them? Well, the good news is that you can. Just unleash the potential your brain is capable of and see how your memory sharpens. Some ways to go about it would be:
- Exercise: Stay active. Physical activity does wonders not just to your body but also to your brains. Exercise helps pump blood and ensures that the right amount of oxygen and nutrients is carried by the blood to your brain, which in turn ensures its proper functionality.
- Sleep well: For a fresh outlook, seven to eight hours of sleep every night is imperative. Sleep prepares the body and mind for optimal functioning during waking hours. It helps to retain memories by recharging the brain and keeping it sharp.
- Keep stress away: Stress causes anxiety and depression and takes away your ability to concentrate. With lack of concentration, the tendency to forget increases. Prolonged stress and depression increase cortisol levels in the brain, which is found to diminish certain areas of the brain where memories are stored. Get professional help if necessary to combat stress and see your brain do an about turn.
- Write things down: Noting everything you want to remember in a book or journal is a great way to not forget anything. Also, the activity of writing triggers oxygenated blood flow to those areas of the brain that store memories and helps to exercise them. This in turn improves your capacity to remember and memorize.
- Eat healthy: Eating a proper diet with the right proportion of healthy fats, fiber and nutrients like fish, leafy vegetables and nuts is vital to brain health. Healthy fat is recommended as the weight of our brain is determined almost 50% by pure fat. This fat acts as an insulation for the billions of nerve cells that send messages and record memories.
- Listen to music: Music and songs are shown to be vastly helpful in retaining memories. Information heard and learned while listening to music can often be recalled by remembering that particular song. The songs almost act as cues to bring up those memories to the forefront.
- Bank on visuals: Relate texts to pictures that are used to support them. Graphs, charts and photographs also help. If no visuals are available, try to conjure a mental image for the subject you want to memorize. This will help retain the subject better in your brain and also help you recollect it easily at a later date.
- Teach: Teaching is the best way to learn and also remember. Reading out loud helps but teaching someone takes remembering one step further.
- Play mind games: Keep your brain cells active by playing games that require concentration and analysis. Crossword puzzles, Scrabble, chess…there are umpteen choices that will help sharpen your memories and delay memory loss.
- Try mnemonics: An interesting way to remember things is using mnemonics. Make forgetting difficult by giving acronyms to a set of things, or using rhyming words for names, or acrostics to remember a series like the colors of a rainbow or the planets of the solar system.