Stress, age, fatigue and environmental factors can all be reasons why our memories aren’t as good as they could be. Yet it is possible to improve your memory!
Occasional memory loss is something everyone will experience at some point in time. You may forget where you put your keys or phone. You might forget someone’s birthday. Or you could forget people’s names sometimes, even if you really like them! It can happen as we get older. Or it can simply be when we’re juggling too many things and can’t keep all the plates spinning.
Of course, memory loss can always be a sign of an illness – so you should always talk to a doctor if you think it could be something more serious. But for many of us, memory loss is just one of those things.
However, having a bad memory is something that is changeable. The brain can constantly change, adapt and improve – even in old age. It’s a concept called neuroplasticity, which essentially means the brain is malleable.
Here are some ways you can help your brain along to improve your memory.
It sounds like the opposite of what you should be doing to train your memory to be better. But taking 15 minutes of quiet contemplation has been scientifically proven to boost memory. Researchers have been looking at this theory for a few decades now, and the results are powerful.
In one study, a group of people were asked to listen to a variety of stories, and answer questions about them an hour later. When the participants were not given any rest time, they could only recall 8% of the facts when questioned. However, when individuals were allowed to rest, they could recall an incredible 79% of the facts in the story.
The best way to do nothing is to lower the lights, lay back and relax without any distractions. This is also a great memory-boosting tip for people studying for exams.
Not just for fun and social situations, playing different games can help train your brain in areas it might not be used to using. Crosswords and games such as Sudoku are good one-person games. There are also a number of computer games out there that are designed specifically for brain training. These can be played either on video game consoles or on computers.
Put Down Your Phone
Technology can be a great support for boosting your memory in some ways. But it’s important to know when it’s doing more harm than good. The first rule about technology is to put down phones and tablets well before bedtime. The blue light these devices emit disrupts your ability to sleep well, as well as your circadian rhythm. And poor sleep is a top reason for having a poor memory.
However, there are other ways technology can harm our memories. Cell phones in particular make our lives so efficient, we don’t have to think so much anymore. Instead of using Siri or Google search, try to remember information before automatically asking your phone to do it for you. It’ll help train different parts of your brain, even if you still don’t recall the information you want to.
The same rule goes for using GPS or satellite navigation when trying to get somewhere. A lot of us use GPS out of habit, even when we’re 90% sure we know where we’re going. Let your memory do the work next time – you might just be surprised.
Food and Supplements
We all know that we are what we eat. Ensuring we consume foods that give us a balance of nutrition is important for our overall health, and this includes the brain. People don’t necessarily need to take supplements, but they should make sure they get the right amounts of vitamins and minerals in the diet.
In particular, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin E are said to be especially good for maintaining memory. These vitamins can be found in fish, fortified breakfast cereals, nuts, seeds and vegetables.
For those who are keen on supplements, fish oils are especially popular in relation to memory function. It’s best to focus on supplements that contain Omega-3. Some individuals also find CBG helps with their memory function – the right CBG dosage to achieve results varies from person to person. The general rule is to start low and increase until you achieve the desired effect.
Having a mindset that you are never too old to learn something new is a great way to ensure your memory is optimized. It could be anything – learning to paint, trying your hand at a new musical instrument or learning a language.
Research even shows that people who speak more than one language tend to have delayed onset of dementia, compared to what they would have experienced with just one language. Learning anything new will keep your brain active, and will help in other areas of your life, not just remembering how to do your new hobby.