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6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Memory

6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Memory

What are simple ways to improve my memory?

  1. Train your brain
  2. Use memory-recall techniques
  3. Make time for friends
  4. Sleep well
  5. Keep stress in check
  6. Eat a healthier diet

Whether you’re a student preparing for exams, a professional learning new tasks on the job, or a senior looking to keep sharp, a strong memory is important.

While mental decline is common as you grow older, there are lots of ways to improve memory. With the right stimulation and care, your brain can form new neural pathways and adapt to new information in ever-changing ways. These six tips can show you how.

Train Your Brain

By the time you’re already in your adulthood, your brain will have developed millions of neural pathways essential in helping you process and recall information. But these pathways are much like muscles — you have to use them regularly to maintain them, and with new stimuli, you can develop new pathways and improve your memory.

The best way to do this is to train your brain — go for activities that break your routine and challenge you to use your brain in new ways. These four criteria are recommended:

  • Something new — Go out of your comfort zone. If it’s something you’re already good at, it’s not a good mental exercise.
  • Something challenging — It should demand your attention and should push you to use your brain.
  • Something you can build on — Activities that allow you to build up a new skill are the best for training your memory.
  • Something rewarding — Something that brings you joy and satisfaction is something you’re more likely to continue for the long run.

Use Memory-Recall Techniques

Use Memory-Recall Techniques

Whenever you need to use your brain for something (like at work), using certain techniques will help you train your long-term memory. This may take some trial and error as you work out which works best for you and your brain:

  • Focus your attention — Take time to focus solely on a piece of information to process and store it.
  • Structure and organize — Try organizing information into related clusters. Group similar ideas and concepts, or make outlines of your notes.
  • Involve your senses — Connect ideas with related colors, textures, smells, and tastes. Physical acts also help — such as writing down notes or drawing a diagram.
  • Rehearse — this technique is called elaborative rehearsal. Review what you’ve learned in timed intervals. You can also pretend to explain the concept to someone else to solidify the concept in your brain.
  • Mnemonic devices — Come up with a rhyme, song, picture, joke, or other concepts and connect them with a specific idea or piece of information. Reciting or reenacting these devices will help trigger your memory of the idea or information.

Make Time for Friends

Socializing and interpersonal relationships are great stimuli for our brains — it’s scientifically proven.

Studies show that older adults that have strong social and support systems are at less risk of degenerative conditions (like dementia). Another study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that adults with active social lives experienced a much slower rate of cognitive and memory decline.

To protect and improve your memory as you age, make time for your friends. Speak or meet up with them often, or try joining a club to make new connections.

Sleep Well

Sleep Well

Your brain needs adequate rest to function at its best. This might seem like common sense, but there is a big difference between getting just enough hours to get through the day, and sleeping well.

Most adults need at least 7 hours of rest to avoid sleep deprivation. Falling short by even half an hour of this can make a huge difference in your brain’s function. When you miss out on sleep, everything is compromised — memory included.

Proper sleep is critical for your brain to consolidate everything you learned that day. This helps your long-term memory — sleep well, and you recall information effectively the following day.

Make sure you sleep at least 7 hours a day. Try making it a routine — go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, and try not to deviate from it.

Keep Stress in Check

Stress greatly affects our memory. Too much stress can impair our ability to recall information. Chronic stress can even damage your brain cells, which affects cognitive function. Many studies have linked high levels of stress with memory loss.

.If you’re feeling stressed, then use these tips to manage it and improve memory:

  • Take breaks throughout the day.
  • Use mindfulness techniques (meditate, journal, etc.).
  • Create a balance between work and leisure — make time to de-stress with your hobbies!
  • Avoid multitasking, or letting work pile up — take your responsibilities one at a time.
  • Add adaptogens and other soothing foods into your diet.

Eat a Healthier Diet

Eat a Healthier Diet

We mentioned “soothing” foods just now — they’re extremely important to brain health. Your brain needs fuel just as much as your other organs and muscles. Healthy diets that include fruits, veggies, grains, seeds, and other food groups are always best for your overall health.

The following diet tips will help boost your brainpower and memory:

  • Take your omega-3s — these fatty acids are beneficial for brain health. Fish is a rich source of omega-3, but you can also find it in seaweed, walnuts, spinach, soybeans, and more.
  • Limit saturated fat — diets high in saturated fat (found in red meat, whole milk, butter, cheese, cream, and ice cream) can impair concentration and memory.
  • Eat less added sugar — Candy, soda, and other sugary foods can lead
  • to chronic diseases, including cognitive decline.
    Drink tea — they’re rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, and other great things that protect your brain from damage, and support its ability to grow and retain new information. Drinking herbal teas like Bacopa Monnieri that are known for their brain-enhancing effects are a great and delicious way to improve your memory.

Key Takeaway

Can’t find your car keys? Forget your phone at home? Can’t remember your doctor’s appointment? You’re not alone. Luckily, there are many simple ways to improve your memory.

Exercising your mind, and keeping your brain well-fed and rested are key for keeping mentally sharp even as you age. Try adding these six tips to your routine and keep your memory in top condition.