We all have had an experience at a grocery store where we pay for the items we bought, and as we are heading home, we realize we forgot to buy the milk we’d originally headed out for. Damn!
It is very common for people to forget. It is said that more than 10 million people suffer from some level of memory loss in the US alone (1). Even though forgetfulness is very common, you should not take this lightly as it may become more serious as you age. Although it is not possible for us to prevent the onset of neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease or Lewy body dementia, we can take steps to train ourselves to ensure we have a strong and long-lasting memory. Below are seven easy yet effective ways to improve your memory:
1. Train Your Mind
It is important to train our mind the way we train our body to stay in good shape. Many people often overlook mental fitness. If you do not make use of your mind actively on a regular basis, you are risking the degeneration of your brain at a faster pace than usual. You can try solving riddles or crossword puzzles from your local newspaper or online. Learning new skills is another great way of keeping your brain in good shape. You can even try simple things such as choosing an alternate path to work or playing a sport in a different way. Everything helps when it comes to mental training.
2. Make An Attempt To Socialize More Often
Interacting with friends and family more often can help reduce your stress levels. It is very important to take time out of your schedule to socialize and let your brain relax. Simply talking to someone about your problems can help you feel much better and prevent your mind from being burdened.
3. Try To Live A More Organized Life
People who tend to keep their rooms messy and unorganized are at a greater risk of forgetting things. You should try to be more organized to remember things. Maintaining a diary is a great way to keep your mind active and help you not forget anything. You can also try using to-do lists to set tasks that you need to achieve by the end of the day, week, or even month. You should also try focusing on one task at a time to ensure that you complete it with great focus and diligence. This will help you find it easier not to leave any job incomplete. If you are the type of person who spends an unusual amount of time searching for things in their room, you should maintain a fixed place for important items.
4. Do Not Starve Your Body Of Sleep
How many hours of sleep are you getting each night? Is work causing you to stay up all night? When you complete a rigorous workout and cannot go on, you realize that your body is tired and needs to rest. Similarly, our brain needs to rest as well. According to doctors, an average adult requires between 7-8 hours of sleep each day to ensure the brain and body perform at their optimum levels (2). If you are unable to fulfill this quota during the night, you can always take a power nap for an hour during the day to feel refreshed.
5. Eat Healthy
A balanced diet is essential to keep your body and mind healthy. Try to consume more fruits and green vegetables and drink lots of water. After all, water makes up more than 70% of our brain (3). Consuming foods such as beets, blueberries, and broccoli can help improve brain power and concentration. Also, avoid consuming too much alcohol since it may cause memory loss.
6. Keep Your Body In Shape
Apart from doing exercises to train your brain, exercising your body is another great way to keep your mind sharp. Regular exercise increases blood flow to your brain. The greater the blood your brain receives, the greater its performance.
7. Keep An Eye On Your Health Condition
Chronic health conditions, such as depression or diabetes, can affect your memory. Always follow your doctor’s advice to minimize the damage done to your mind and body by such health problems. Furthermore, several medications may lead to memory problems. You should always read the labels on your medications to look for any harmful side effects that they may have.
Mental training is as important as physical training. You should strive to keep your mind active as much as possible. A sharp mind can help prevent memory problems as well as reduce your chances of developing debilitating health conditions such as dementia.