If you don’t have a medical condition that causes memory loss, you won’t have a problem improving your memory. You can learn new memory skills, enhance your power to remember, and preserve your memory as you age.  Most of us can improve our memory.

Memories Tell Us Who We are

Memories are probably the most important building blocks in our lives. They play a vital part in the creation of our psyche. Since they tell us where we came from, who we met along the way, what we did and what we learned, memories make us who we are. That’s why age-related memory loss brings with it a sense of losing one’s identity.

The question we all may want to ask is, “Why do some lose their memories while others stay sharp?” And, there may be many answers to that question.  As we know, genes are a big factor.  But, so are lifestyle choices. Even our attitude plays a part in how well our brain functions.

Healthy eating, regular exercise, not smoking, and keeping an eye on blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels can all affect our memory for good or evil.  If you think of your brain as a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it, you can understand the importance of laying burdens on the mind. Cognitive skills develop with practise and exercise.

The Brain is Adaptable

Additionally, the brain is very adaptable, even into old age. It has recently been discovered that the brain can create new cells and neural connections. The brain’s neuroplasticity allows it to change, grow, and improve. Our daily habits can help to determine just how well our brains function. Here are a few memory-boosting tips for you.

Eat Brain-Boosting Foods

Some people believe that food can make you smarter.If that’s the case, it stands to reason that some food can make you dumber. The Mediterranean diet is often considered the healthiest diet on the planet. It may also benefit cognition.That makes it a “smart” diet. This diet is based on vegetables, fruit, beans, whole grains, lean protein, and Omega 3 fats such as olive oil, fish, and nuts.

According to research, the Mediterranean diet can prevent major diseases and enable you to live longer. In addition, it benefits cognitive function and is linked in studies to improved memory and attention. Most notably, regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil plays a major part in cognitive protection.

The Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic diet is low in carbohydrates and high in fat.  By lowering the intake of carbohydrates and replacing them with fat, the body goes into a metabolic state. This is known as ketosis. It increases the body’s fat-burning efficiency, creating ketones from fat in the liver which boosts energy to the brain. (The brain has a high demand for fat.) This means that it preserves brain function and improves memory.

It goes without saying that avoiding processed foods, trans fats and sugar will help to fuel your brain more efficiently. Just as food choices affect our mood, they also affect our brain function.

Memory Boosting Foods:

  • Walnuts
  • Blueberries
  • Lutein (found in kale, spinach, eggs)
  • Avocadoes
  • Cacao
  • Caffeine
  • Cinnamon

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Get Active

Your body was made to move. We were meant to move our bodies. So, go ahead and shake your bootie! Not only does exercise increase oxygen levels in your brain, it decreases stress hormone levels in your brain. This allows the helpful brain chemicals to increase.

People over 50 are working out more often. They’re even trying aerobics and resistance training. It’s great for neuroplasticity. Physical activity also increases growth hormones.

Want to remember something you’ve just learned? Exercising 4 hours after learning something new will help you to retain the new knowledge.

Take Naps

An hour nap in the afternoon can help improve your brain. During sleep, our short-term memory is transferred into long-term memory. Therefore, sleep improves long-term retention of information.

Work Your Brain

Brain-training programs don’t seem to have the effect we had hoped. As far as strengthening memory, cognitive abilities, or intelligence, not so much. However, mnemonics can definitely be an aid to memory and recall. With this method, you link information that you want to remember with an image, a word, or a sentence. It’s a short-cut to remembering. Simply, associate words or concepts with the information you want toto recall later. For example, you can use an acronym for a list of words by taking the first letter of each word on the list and forming a word. It’s easier to remember one word than a whole list.

Rhyming also helps. A rhyme sticks in your brain easier. And, breaking down information into easier bits also helps.

Relax

Try not to take life so seriously. Remember, stress destroys brain cells which damages the hippocampus. Therefore, one of the best ways to protect your brain is to manage your stress levels. With this in mind, why not broaden your horizons? One way to do that at home is by playing video games. Research shows that video gamers perform better than non-gamers in learning competitions. More brain activity resulted in learning-related areas in those who participated in video gaming than in those who didn’t. As a result of gaming, your brain is trained to learn new skills. And, have fun at the same time.

This may be a good time to take up a new hobby like photography. Learning how to take pictures can be a giant boost to your cognitive function while, at the same time, appreciating the beauty around you.

Enjoy Life

Don’t worry about your brain health. Try to focus on the positive and find activities that you enjoy. Take the pressure off. Listen to soothing music, meditate, and learn how to relax. Try doodling. You may find certain aromas that improve your mood. Enjoy life.

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Categories: Memory