7 Easy Ways To Improve Your Memory
Have you been forgetting things lately?
It’s a common misconception that as you get older and your memory starts to fail you, that you’re on a sinking ship with no way back to land.
In fact, science has proven otherwise, with the study of neuroplasticity, which is the brains ability to change and grow throughout your life. Which means, you don’t have to give up your memory as you grow up! The opposite is true, in fact, as your brain continues to grow and your memory can improve over time, if you only choose to challenge it.
Here are a few ways you can combat your brain fatigue and help improve your memory!
1. Stay hydrated
We all know that it’s important to drink lots of water and stay hydrated. That’s because your brain is 73% water, and it only takes 2% dehydration to start having an effect, diminishing your memory, attention, and other cognitive skills. Even a short physical workout where you lose some of your body’s reserves of water through sweat can have an impact on your short term memory due to dehydration. How much water should you drink to stay in your prime? Divide your weight in pounds by half, and drink that many ounce of water per day (and forget the 8 glasses of water rule). You can always download an app to help you remember to chug H2O!
2. Make a mental note
Psychology Today suggests making mental pictures of what you want to remember. “Of all the ways your brain tries to help you recall information, for most of us it does so in a visual fashion.” Do you ever try to recall a quote or fact on a page, and know where, roughly, the quote was (top left, bottom right) even if you can’t remember the wording? That’s your brain feeding you mental pictures to help with recall.
Try this experiment by Christopher Taibbi to see how it works:
3. Drink green tea
In small amounts, caffeinated beverages can help with memory, energy, and focus. But too much of a good thing dehydrates your body, making your irritable and anxious, impacting your sleep, and making your heart race. Opt out of artificial and sugary sodas and energy drinks with their synthetic caffeine, and instead reach for beverages like coffee and green tea with their naturally occurring caffeine content.
4. Use essential oils
I’m a big fan of essential oils for their many positive properties. They can help you relax, change your mood, help you sleep, and now science has proven that certain oils can also help you improve your memory! Rosemary and peppermint oils (when applied to the skin or inhaled) can help with focus, alertness, and memory retention. Be Brain Fit suggests you “sniff undiluted rosemary essential oil, inhale with a diffuser, or apply diluted oil to your wrists or temples and “chew peppermint gum or mints, drink peppermint tea, or sniff peppermint essential oil for an immediate memory boost.”
5. Do brain aerobics
Dr. Katz coined the term “neurobics” back in 1998 with his innovative book Keep Your Brain Alive: 83 Neurobic Exercises to Help Prevent Memory Loss and Increase Mental Fitness. The title is a mouthful, but basically Katz recommends fun, challenging activities like using your non-dominant hand to do stuff, using chopsticks, or folding laundry with your eyes closed. All in an effort to use other parts of your brain instead of just going through the motions.
6. Get your om on
I’m a big advocate for practicing meditation. Not only can it help you sleep better, feel happier and more relaxed, reduce anxiety and stress, it can also help improve your attention span and focus, which are both important for memory retention. Over 1,000 published studies have demonstrated the health benefits of meditation. But don’t just take their word for it. Get cross-legged and try it yourself today. Just two minutes daily can have a massive impact on your brain health!
7. Learn something new
As I mentioned before, our brains have the capacity to grow and change throughout our lives, and a big factor of this growth is through stimulating our little grey cells through learning. Get artsy, by knitting, quilting, drawing, or taking photos. Work on your home by gardening or doing DIY projects. Take a class that has always interested or even learn a new language. It’s never too late to pick up a new hobby or skill, and anything that makes you focus and pay attention to your task will stimulate your brain!
A few other, everyday things you can do to beat brain fatigue? Get more sleep, stop multitasking, exercise more, eat healthier, and take brain-boosting memory supplements. There seems to be no end to the ways we can improve our brain functioning and memory.