Over time your memory slips little by little, and the moments where you forget people’s names or can’t remember where you left your keys become more and more frequent.
It’s a natural process, and doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something wrong with your brain. You just need to keep it active with regular exercises and stimulating activities!
With these 11 quick and effective tactics on improving memory, you’ll be able to remember more and learn new things a lot quicker in no time.
1. Stop multitasking
Being able to do a lot of things at the same time may seem like a really cool skill on paper. In reality though, multitasking for your memory is more of an annoying distraction than anything else.
Switching back and forth between two things disrupts your short term memory, making it near impossible to retain useful information. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention.
Be mindful, and try to focus on one thing at a time. When you’re trying to concentrate on multiple things at once, you’re not going to remember them nearly as well as you would if you paid attention to just one of them.
2. Don’t type – write it down
Writing something down instead of typing it can help you remember it later.
Multiple studies have suggested that writing something down by hand uses more parts of your brain than simply typing it. It’s a lot more engaging and stimulating for your brain because it has to process and analyze the information before your write it down.
So if you want to make sure you remember something, don’t reach after a keyboard – pick up a pen!
3. Use the power of visualization
A great way to remember something is using your brain’s power of visualization.
Let’s say you’re trying to remember a simple to-do list of your tasks for the day. Imagine you’re in your house, and the tasks you need to do are located in the different rooms of your house.
So later, when you want to recall the items on your list, you can simply picture yourself walking through your house.
If you know that you take in information in visual form better, use it to your advantage! Create your own visual cues – draw charts or figures on the margins of your notebook. Even something as simple as using a highlighter can be enough to help information stick in your mind.
4. Study a new language
It’s probably fair to say that not a lot of people will learn a new language for the sole purpose of improving their memory.
Even a very basic knowledge of another language has been shown to have a tremendously positive effect on your memory. It’s easily one of the best ways to keep your memory sharp!
And you don’t even have to become fluent. Just learning the pool of the most commonly used words is enough to flex your memory muscles.
5. Enjoy music
We all listen to music, but not all of us realize that it’s not only enjoyable, but also very beneficial.
It seems like an entirely passive thing, when it’s actually one of the few activities that can engage both sides of your brain at the same time. Listening to music has a very positive impact on your memory, as well as your attention and coordination.
But you can take it a step further – learn to play an instrument, learn to sing, or dance to your favorite music. All of it is good for your memory and your brain in general.
6. Take regular breaks form your tech
Smartphones, tablets, laptops. They have become such essential parts of our everyday existence that often our entire professional lives revolve around these devices.
And as incredibly useful as they are, they are massive attention hogs. For some reason, it’s difficult to concentrate and think clearly when you know there’s an unanswered email sitting in your inbox, and you have yet to even check your Twitter timeline today!
Resist the urge to constantly reach for your phone and check your notifications if you’re serious about improving your memory.
7. Get quality sleep, always
With the crazy rhythm modern life has, getting a good 8 hours of sleep every night may seem like a rare privilege.
But the truth is, a good night’s sleep is absolutely essential to not only to your mental health and general well-being, but your memory as well. Your brain needs sleep to consolidate memories, and grow new cells.
Even taking a quick nap after learning something new will dramatically improve your ability to retain that information. And consistently getting enough sleep will ensure that you’re always at the peak of your mental abilities.
8. Meditate to avoid stress
Stress often goes hand in hand with work and studies. That’s just sad a fact of life.
Another fact about stress is that it’s not very good for your memory. When you’re stressed, you’re a lot less inclined to take in new information and a lot more likely to forget whatever you’ve learned later.
Meditating has been proven to be a fantastic way to reduce stress. It has numerous other health benefits like increased focus and attention, mood enhancement, and of course memory improvement.
Even as little as two minutes of meditation per day could go a long way towards improving your memory, so there’s literally no excuse not to try!
9. Pay attention to your everyday diet
Any balanced diet consisting of healthy foods can have a positive effect on your memory, but there are certain groups of foods that have especially great benefits.
Leafy greens, seaweed, berries, nuts, olive and coconut oil, avocado and turmeric are all extremely rich in brain-enhancing components like unsaturated fats, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
Adding them to your grocery shopping list and incorporate them into your daily diet will not only help strengthen your memory, but provide you with numerous other health benefits.
In addition to eating more healthy foods, consider avoiding trans fats and sugar, as those have been proven to have a negative effect on your memory as well as your health in general.
Depression, poor memory formation, low attention span, and learning disorders are among just a few things that their consumption have been linked to.
And of course, remember to stay hydrated. Your brain is 73% water, so even the slightest dehydration can have adverse effects on your concentration and memory.
10. Try light exercises
A healthy diet is highly beneficial for healthy brain function. Combine it with regular exercise and you’ve got yourself a seriously killer combo.
Regular physical activity, even something light like jogging or power walking, boosts the size of the part of your brain that’s involved in memory and learning.
So get yourself a pair of comfy sneakers and get going!
11. Try brain training games and apps
There are literally thousands of free brain fitness apps and games available. Exactly how beneficial they are for your overall brain function is somewhat debatable, but the best way to know for sure is to give a couple of them a try.
Even if you’re not a big on games, trying a few free memory training apps is super easy and will not take too much of your time. Give them a week or two, and if you see the befits – great! If not, there are plenty of other great ways to keep your mind sharp on this very list!
The bottom line
Good memory is not something everybody has, but it’s something you can absolutely develop and improve throughout your life.
Hopefully, our list above will serve as a good first step towards becoming a true memory champion!
Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com
|||^||Huff Post: Writing By Hand Improves Your Memory, Experts Say|
|||^||The Guardian: What happens in the brain when you learn a language?|