How often do you forget where you last kept your keys? Or go to the next room for something but forget what you came for? Quite likely that it has happened more than a couple of times, seeing how most of us tend to have these experiences every now and then. Just like your body, your mind needs exercising. And if expanding your learning or improving your memory is something that you have thought about, there are certain tips and tricks that help, relied upon by even memory champions. Participating in a world championship may not be on the cards but whether you are a young professional who is just starting out or someone who has recently stepped into their 30s, there are some techniques and tips that help with the often asked question of ‘how to improve memory’. From concentration exercises, mindfulness and brain exercises to foods that improve memory and memory improvement techniques, continue reading to know all about how to improve memory.
Concentration exercises and paying attention to what you are trying to retain goes a long way when it comes to the subject of ‘how to improve memory’. One of the tips to improve memory is to pay attention to what you are trying to learn, moving without interruption. Add more details; see how its colour, texture, location and additional information can help you memorise better. Along with all of this, you could also include mnemonic devices (first ‘m’ silent), one of the memory improvement techniques which works with the help of clues associated with the subject you wish to retain in your mind. Visual imagery, rhymes and alliteration, breaking down of numbers, acronyms and the method of loci (or the memory palace) are some of the widely talked about mnemonic devices.
Research on meditation still has a long way to go but one such paper published by the National Library of Medicine talks about how practising meditation over time “has been shown not only to benefit higher-order cognitive functions but also to alter brain activity.” All in all, practising meditation is a good start to feeling calmer and concentrating your faculties in one direction, hence working towards the question of how to improve the memory power and coming in handy as one of the memory improvement techniques.
How to increase memory power naturally, you ask? Think of memory as your muscle strength—the more you exercise it and the more stimulation it receives, the more active it gets. Try retaining concepts by working on the physical attributes that set them apart. Practising repetition and reclaiming of information is also one of the tips to improve memory. Brain exercises may also work as one of the several memory improvement techniques. Give yourself a little nudge and put some effort into learning something new, whether it’s a language or some activity that interests you. From playing cards and working on a puzzle to learning a new instrument or developing a new skill, there are a number of brain exercises to improve memory.
Engaging in crosswords and puzzles is one of the areas that you might want to explore as you look for answers for ‘how to improve memory’. Games to improve memory present themselves as a fun way of learning, something you can take up and work on no matter where you are. Better still, a number of mobile applications, think Lumosity, Clockwork Brain and Braingle, are apps that you can use on the go, indulging in games to improve memory for about a few minutes a day.
Also known as the method of loci, which refers to the word 'location' in Latin, a mind palace is one of the many memory improvement techniques aimed to boost your memory power. Used by Ancient Romans and Greeks, it is a term one often comes across in psychology and related subjects. By working on imagery created by you to memorise things, the memory palace technique emphasises on being at a location you are familiar with, but in your mind. In popular culture, it has been depicted and elaborately portrayed in the TV series Sherlock. Take a look at the video below to know more about creating a memory palace and how it may lead to tips to improve memory.
When speaking of how to improve memory, yoga is also something that has to be touched upon. Practising mindfulness helps you be aware of your surroundings while exercising regularly lets out the toxins, keeping you healthy and decreasing the risks associated with dementia. Combining the two, you could also look into yoga to increase memory power when it comes to the subject of how to improve memory power.
You will have noticed firsthand the effects of a sleepless night on your routine. Lack of sleep for even a night will leave you feeling groggy, unfocussed and hazy for the day after and none of the concentration exercises or brain exercises to improve memory you try will work if you have not had your fair share of sleep. It goes without saying that along with your body, your mind also requires rest for the duration of your sleep cycle. Whilst you sleep, your brain processes all the information encountered during the day, forming memories. If ‘how to improve the memory power’ has been on your mind for a while, begin with getting adequate sleep to help you work and concentrate much better. Along with one of the effective tips to improve memory, it is also what’s important for your motor skills, reflexes, movement and overall health. Avoid disrupting your sleep routine, following it thoroughly and avoiding the intake of caffeine well before bedtime to help you sleep better.
Did you know that your habits can impact your sleep pattern? Having discussed how important a healthy sleep cycle is, it is also important to take a look into what’s keeping you from getting your complete hours of sleep. The blue light emitted from our screens—Ipads, laptops, cell phones and the rest— hampers the production of melatonin, which regulates our sleep-wake cycle, many times leading to all those wide-eyed hours devoid of sleep. How to improve memory? Start by letting go of your screens at least an hour before bedtime. Make it a habit and before you know it, your sleep cycle will be back on a healthy track.
Binge drinking has a lot of detrimental effects on your memory, which is why when it comes to tips on how to improve the memory power, excessive alcohol consumption is something you might want to steer clear of. Impacting your blood alcohol levels and in turn, your memory, an unhealthy drinking pattern is to be avoided if you are looking for answers on how to improve memory. Maintain a balance when it comes to alcohol consumption, cutting down to keep it low.
Stress will only affect your memory power negatively so when thinking about ‘how to improve memory’ via your lifestyle, start with letting go. Stay organized, free your mind of clutter and stop worrying about things that are not in your control. When working, socialise and/or take breaks so that you are not overwhelmed with stress. Create a work-life balance, leaving time to pursue things you like outside of your work. If you feel like multi-tasking or anticipation is something that only adds to your worries, take it easy with one step at a time.
Since we are talking about how to improve memory, it’s also important to discuss the array of foods to improve memory. A healthy diet leads to your body getting all the necessary nutrients, which in turn works positively for improving your memory. Over time, certain foods that improve memory have been said to make an impact on those looking for solutions to how to improve memory power. From plant-based diets to protein-rich foods and diet rich in fibre, here’s taking a look at some of the foods that improve memory.
Following the consumption of a plant-based diet is touted as one the healthiest approach towards eating. Including leafy vegetables and greens in your food is known to lower your blood pressure, keep your heart healthy, improve cholesterol and lower the risk of falling prey to a number of diseases, while also boosting the memory power.
Omega-3 acids, which aid in building nerve cells and reduce blood pressure, amongst other positive effects, are found in abundance in fish, making it one of the foods that improve memory. Supplements of the same are also consumed, though it should be used after taking advice from a doctor. Whether you are consuming fish in your diet or going for supplements, the food source is one of the richest nutritional options that tops the charts.
How to improve memory using widely acclaimed foods? Well, nuts are a rich source of fat, fibre, protein, Omega-3, Omega-6 and Vitamin E and help improve memory. Commonly found nuts such as almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, walnuts and pine nut all have a plethora of benefits. From providing your body with antioxidants and reducing inflammation to maintaining cholesterol and reducing the risk of diabetes, nuts are a common food that will aid you with respect to memory.
Yes, your cooking oil has a diverse impact on your food palette. You must have often heard how olive oil is a healthy option but why is that? Containing large amounts of antioxidants, olive oil is a rich source of nutrients. Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, it also has a lot of positive effects on the heart, leading to a healthier palette when consumed, and also aiding in improving memory.
Another type amongst the foods that improve memory and consecutively aid in the question of how to improve memory power are whole grains. Packed with nutrients such as protein, fibre and vitamins, along with minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and copper, whole grains are a goldmine of all the nutrients your body requires for healthy functioning, leading to major help for those looking for solutions in how to improve memory.
Now that you have read all about it, all that remains is to try out some of these techniques associated with ‘how to improve the memory power’ and see for yourselves.
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