Research has shown that our lifestyle plays a significant role in how well the brain works and a good lifestyle can help improve cognitive functions and control memory lapses. The brain’s memory center (hippocampus) has the ability to grow new cells (neurogenesis ) throughout our lifetime provided we give it the necessary tools and stimulus it needs to do so.
Adopting these simply lifestyles tools and techniques can help your brain and improve your memory.
Try out these 5 tricks to help you improve your memory.
- Exercise more: Several studies have shown that exercises help improve cognitive function and can help enhance memory. Exercises don’t just help enhance memory; it also helps the brain to learn new things. A study carried out on primates in 2010 and published in Neuroscience revealed that constant exercise helped monkeys learn new tasks twice as fast as monkeys that don’t exercise. Neurotrophic proteins are released during exercises that promote health and improve cognitive functions, including learning.
What this means in essence is that exercising regularly will encourage your brain to work at full capacity by encouraging nerve cells to multiply and making them get stronger.
- Write Things Down: The act of physically writing things down helps a lot in registering in your mind that you have something to remember. You might not remember what it is you wrote. But you will recall that you wrote down something and this will help you know where to look to remember what you wrote. With today’s technology, is it even easier to have things down for easy recall. If you don’t have a pen at hand, there are apps on your mobile device for putting down notes.
- Have a good night’s rest: Lack of enough sleep can cause the brain to be foggy but a single night’s rest of six hours can positively impact your ability to think well the next day. Research has shown that sleep is crucial for learning and memory consolidation as key memory enhancing activities occur during the deepest stages of sleep.
- Use Mnemonic Devices: Mnemonic devices are tools or clues of any kind that helps us associate what we want to remember with images or words. They also help organize information in a way we can easily remember them. Chunking is a good mnemonic tool to use. It means breaking down the information into little easy to remember bits. For example, breaking an 10 digit phone (1111111111) number in 3 bits (111-111-1111) for easy recall.
- Learn Something New: When you intentionally engage in meaningful activities such as learning a new skill or a new game, it stimulates your neurological system which can reduce the risks of dementia and effects of stress related diseases. It is important though that you engage in the activity with purpose, it must be meaningful to you and be able to hold your attention.
Exposure to toxins, poor diet, stress and so on contribute to cognitive decline and can affect how the proper functioning of the brain but adopting any or all of the above techniques will go a long way in helping to reduce memory lapses and improve on cognitive functions.