A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Whether you’re a student studying for final exams, a working professional interested in doing all you can to stay mentally sharp, or a senior looking to preserve and enhance your grey matter as you age, there are lots of things you can do to improve your memory and mental performance.
Treating your body well can enhance your ability to process and recall information. Physical exercise increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Exercise may also enhance the effects of helpful brain chemicals and protect brain cells.
When you’re sleep deprived, your brain can’t operate at full capacity. Creativity, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills are compromised. Sleep is critical to learning and memory in an even more fundamental way. Research shows that sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, with the key memory-enhancing activity occurring during the deepest stages of sleep.
- Humans are highly social animals. We’re not meant to survive, let alone thrive, in isolation. Relationships stimulate our brains—in fact, interacting with others may be the best kind of brain exercise. Research shows that having meaningful relationships and a strong support system are vital not only to emotional health, but also to brain health.
- You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine, and that holds true for the brain as well as the body. Unlike emotional responses, which are limited to specific areas of the brain, laughter engages multiple regions across the whole brain. Furthermore, listening to jokes and working out punch lines activates areas of the brain vital to learning and creativity.
- Keep stress in check. Stress is one of the brain’s worst enemies. Over time, if left unchecked, chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories and the retrieval of old ones.
- Eat a brain-boosting diet. Just as the body needs fuel, so does the brain. You probably already know that a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, “healthy” fats and lean protein will provide lots of health benefits, but such a diet can also improve memory.
- Give your brain a work out. Memory, like muscular strength, requires you to “use it or lose it.” The more you work out your brain, the better you’ll be able to process and remember information. The best brain exercising activities break your routine and challenge you to use and develop new brain pathways.
- Physical and emotional enjoyment is important in the brain’s learning process. The more interested and engaged you are in the activity, the more likely you’ll continue doing it and the greater the benefits you’ll experience. The activity should be challenging, yes, it should also be something that is fun and enjoyable to you.
These are the certain simple tips to improve your memory. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help improve your memory. Be sure to check out some of these tried and tested techniques for improving memory.