Almost on a daily basis I find myself noticing that I sometimes have memory problems. Forgetting the French language I spent two years in high school studying, forgetting certain fun/movie facts I used to know, forgetting the names of people I should know…the list could go on and on. I’m not the only one, millions of people struggle with memory loss, some old, some with disorders and others that are usually healthy. There are plenty of memorization techniques as well as mnemonic devices that you can use to help (check my link at the bottom of this article) but here I’ve compiled a list of 5 easy things you can do on a daily basis to improve your memory, without memorizing mnemonic devices.
1. Have a good diet. Certain foods can greatly help improve memory. Eat one that includes regularly eating blueberries, which can protect death of brain cells and heal damaged ones. Aim for eating about a half a cup a day. Another thing to include in your diet is about one cup a day of concord grape juice. While organic would include 40% more anti-oxidants, the anti-oxidants in grape juice will improve your memory by about 20%. Also, try to use and smell rosemary and sage as much as you can. Greeks would often wear these herbs in their hair on days they had a test to improve their performance and scientists have since said the herbs help prevent the damage of neurotransmitters.
2. Exercise on a regular basis. Go swimming, hiking, pick up a dance or self-defense class. Working out will improve oxygen flow to the brain and will build brain cells that are important to memory function. If you’re needing to exercise to get to a healthier weight as well, do so as studies have recently shown that weight loss can actually help improve your memory. Not only will it do that, exercise will also reduce the risk of developing disorders that cause memory loss like diabetes and heart disease.
3. Relax and De-stress. Try meditating for thirty minutes a day or picking up yoga. When you’re stressed out, your short-term memory is weakened. Also, always be well rested, you’re brain cannot function as well when you’re sleep deprived.
4. Play games and puzzles. With most games, you have to remember certain rules, as well as how to play a game, but why not kick it up a notch and play a memory game with a friend or do cross word puzzles and Sudoku when you’re by yourself. Games like these will give your brain a work out and cause you to use your memory to do them.
5. Have an active, healthy social life with friends and strong relationships. In a recent study done by Harvard, people with a strong support system and healthy social lives had the slowest rate of memory damage. Try volunteering or joining a club to make new friends, or keep in touch with your old friends.
With these easy things you can start doing now (or maybe tomorrow) you can be on your way to better memory and maybe you can even start memorizing those mnemonic devices, that is if you still need them.