Are you worried that your memory was no longer what it was before? Do you constantly forget whether you turned off the gas stove, or where you have kept the car keys? Oh no! Did I lock the front door on the way out?
Well, you are one of many people who experience lapses in their memory. While many of us might overlook this, memory loss is not something to take lightly. Remember that!
Memory loss is often age related, but a large proportion of people in India experience loss of memory as they have a family history of it. There are simple ways that you can make sure you stay sharp and recollect things in a jiffy, always remembering things that are important.
Here are 7 simple ways to train your brain that will help you keep all the important information stored in your head.
Keep Mentally Active
Exercise regularly and you can keep yourself physically healthy. So why not do the same for your brain? Keep it active and stimulated at all times and you can delay or even prevent the onset of memory loss.
Simple games such as Sudoku and crossword puzzles can keep you mentally sharp. Learn something new, like a musical instrument. Take up a new hobby. Read new magazines. Learn a new skill. The world is your oyster.
Mingle with Friends
Socializing time and again with friends and loved ones can not only help you reduce your stress levels; it can also ward off depression. Young professionals who live alone are often so engrossed in their work that they sometimes forget the basic essence of human society – socialising.
Meet with your friends often. Participate in group events or trips. It all helps you train your brain.
Organize Your Life
We are all (well most are) guilty of some amount of disorganization in our lives. Be it our daily chores or just looking after things of daily use (keys etc), we all forget things once in a while.
Just by getting a little more organized, you can avoid the stress of forgetting where things are. Got an appointment or a hectic schedule? Keep a dairy or jot it down somewhere. Try not to do too many things at once. This whole thing called ‘multi-tasking’? It’s a myth.
Get a Good Night’s Rest
Sleep is important for a number of reasons. It helps reset your body clock, helping rejuvenate your muscles and your mind. Having a good night’s sleep helps store memories a lot better. This helps recall them in the years to come. This phenomenon is called ‘memory consolidation’. The phenomenon of memory consolidation has been described in scientific papers numerous times.
But that’s not all folks.
A good sleep can help place these memories in ‘compartments’, making it easier to recall various memories easily. The lack of sleep can make you forgetful for obvious reasons – your brain is too tired to remember things. It is recommended that adults get at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep a day.
Eat Well, Think Well
You know this.
If you eat well, you keep your body and your mind healthy. Maintain a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. Lean meat is a good source of protein. Drink sufficient amount of water too. Avoid alcohol if you can, or keep it to a minimum. Too much can kill your brain cells slowly. What should you eat?
What should you eat?
Whole grain foods, any variety of fruits, olive oil and a selection of veggies of your choice will all keep the blood vessels healthy, providing nourishing blood to the brain.
If you like fish, then stick to the oily kind (salmon, sardines, and mackerel) as they are high in omega-3 fatty acids which are great for the brain. Supplements that boost memory may work, but there is no real scientific evidence backing it.
Exercise is good for you, period. If you want to improve your memory, then remember the get moving. A little exercise goes a long way when it comes to improving your memory and keeping your brain sharp.
150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (aerobics, brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling) is recommended, but you are welcome to do a lot more if you wish (provided your doctor says you can). Studies in older adults have shown that exercise can improve recall and slow down the decline in memory.
Can’t do it all in one go?
Break it up into bite-size chunks of 10 minutes each. Walk 10000 steps a day – count this with your FitBit (http://heartsense.in/fitbit). Any exercise is good exercise.
And remember to take the stairs!
Reduce Your Stress Levels
Do you work a stressful job, or just find that life gets too hard to handle sometimes? Stress is a well known risk factor in memory loss, and clinical research has proven that stress can reduce your ability to concentrate, problem solve and retrieve information. Stress can make you hyperventilate, and this is not really good for your brain.
So what can you do?
Take up yoga or some form of relaxation therapy. Listen to your favourite tunes. Go for a walk. Have a nice evening with your partner. Meditate! Research has shown it can improve your memory recall in just 8 weeks!
The options are many and endless.
There are other ways of course, like drinking coffee occasionally (though this is debatable) and consuming berries that are high in anti-oxidants. Interestingly, chewing gum can improve memory it seems, though this has been shown in just one study (we are sceptical!). Apparently, it increases the amount of oxygen you breathe in, improving brain function.
These simple steps can help you improve your memory and prevent memory loss in the long run. Don’t delay – start your brain training today! Check out our top favourite books to train your brain – http://heartsense.in/memory