10 ways to improve your memory

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Colourful fruits and vegetables protect the brain from potential damage.

Today it seems that the answer to every question is just a google search away. The growing dependence on the internet is a threat to the mental capacity of the average person. Thus, we are in danger of evolving into a generation of superficial thinkers.

Do you find yourself forgetting answers to simple questions or do you suffer from memory blanks during tests?

If the answer to either of these questions is yes, take a moment to read our tips on improving the vitality of your brain and consequently improving your memory.

1. Sleeping better

Research shows that memory retention and the key memory enhancing activity occur during the deepest stages of sleep. Sleep doesn’t only affect memory retention, it also affects analytical and critical thinking abilities.

It is essential to have a regular sleep schedule. Routine stimulates the brain to spend more energy processing information. Instead of occupying the mind with active images, it is advised to read a book, take a relaxing bath or listen to relaxing music before bed.

2. Eat your brain healthy

It is widely known that a balanced diet benefits your health, but such a diet can also improve your memory. The following nutritional tips include a portion of foods that have significant effect on the health of the brain.

  • Cold water “fatty” fish have plenty of Omega-3 that are beneficial to brain health. There are substitutes for non-fish eaters including: walnuts, flaxseed and broccoli.
  • Minimise your calorie and saturated fat intake and increase your fruit and vegetable portions. Colourful fruits and vegetables on the other hand, protect your brain from potential damage.
  • Drink green tea and wine (in moderation!). Research has proven that the  consumption of green tea significantly improves memory and wine boosts the blood flow to the brain.

3. Memory training

Memory enhancing techniques can help you improve your memory retention skills significantly.  By repeating information through different methods for an extended period of time, you gradually understand information and memorise it.

Visualising the facts and associating them with an image strengthens your ability to recall information. Another form of remembering by way of association is grouping information together and dividing them into different categories.

 4. Having tech-free time

Scientists have stated that our reliance on technology has a direct effect on our memory. Important facts are harder to retain and the brain’s capacity for concentration and contemplation is reduced because our brain is constantly skimming through information. Thus, it is essential to take some time to relax without the distraction of technological devices.


Smoking debilitates the blood supply to your brain, accelerating memory lapses

5. Stop smoking

Smoking is not only a bad habit for your health but it also decreases your brain function rapidly. Studies show that smoking debilitates the blood supply to your brain, accelerating memory lapses.

6. Stress-free thinking

Everyone gets stressed at one point or another. If the feeling lasts over a prolonged period of time, it is called chronic stress.  Chronic stress is quite detrimental to your health; it destroys brain cells and damage the hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for the creation of new memories and retrieval of old memories. It is possible to manage and minimise by following these tips:

  • Frequent breaks
  • Expression of emotion
  • Single-tasking

7. Exercising

Exercise helps your brain to operate at full capacity. Regular exercise improves the blood circulation in the brain. Strength training, core training and stretching are examples of high intensity exercises that expand the memory centre of the brain. This is interesting since the brain’s memory centre commonly decreases in size each year.

8. Increase social contact

Humans are not meant to live in isolation; relationships are a natural stimulant to our brains and social interaction is considered to be the best kind of brain exercise.

A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that people with the most active social lives have a slower rate of memory decline than isolated people. Therefore it is advised to take advantage of the memory-boosting benefits of socialising by volunteering, joining a book club, seeing friends, calling family members and playing with your pet.

9. Be positive

Positive outlook and laughter are the best tools to improve the mind and the body. Laughter engages multiple regions of the whole brain, stimulates blood flow and releases endorphins that lead to a stronger immune system. A positive outlook also limits the amount of stress you feel in your daily life and helps to remember important information.

10. Get organised

One reason why some people have trouble memorising things is because the information becomes scrambled in their heads. Try writing down important information and organising this information. The next day you can practice your memory retention, by remembering the information written in the journal and comparing your recollection to what you wrote.

[Images by LustrousPakura]