How Can You Improve Memory?

22 Aug

Wasn’t there something very important that you were supposed to do today? Have you forgotten? Perhaps it is time you investigated ways to improve your memory.

There are many very simple tweaks that you can do in your lifestyle that can help you improve memory. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Meditate For Mind Improvement

Your working memory is something you use every day. You can consider this form of memory as the brain’s notepad. Here new information is held temporarily. Once you are done with this information, it can be let go.

You can learn to hold more items in your working memory, which can be helpful. Meditation is one thing that can help strengthen it.

As you age, grey matter declines, negatively impacting memory. Studies have shown that meditation leads to an increase of the grey matter in your brain.

Meditation can improve short-term memory in people of all ages. Because of its power to help you concentrate, studies indicate that it can improve standardized test scores as well as working memory abilities in as little as two weeks.

accumulate memories, not just possessions

I had a friend who used to say, “I have a good memory. I just have lousy recall.” Perhaps some meditation techniques would have helped him.

Diet Can Influence Memory

There are several ways you can improve memory by making some adjustments in your diet. These are improvements for you to consider:

1) Cut down on sugar

A sugar-laden diet can lead to poor memory and reduced brain volume. A diet high in sugar has a negative effect in the area of the brain storing short-term memory.

In one study of 4,000 people, researchers found that those who consumed the most sugar beverages such as soda averaged lower total brain volumes and poorer memories.

2) Add a fish oil supplement

Fish oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. These fats have been shown to have a number of health benefits: Lower risk of heart disease, reduction in inflammation, less stress and anxiety, and slower mental decline.

Studies demonstrate that consuming fish and fish oil supplements can help improve memory, especially in older people.

3) Drink your coffee (but do it at the right time)

In a recent study, results showed that ingesting caffeine after a learning task improved memory recall, even up to 24 hours later. The important thing is to drink it after the learning task, not before.

4) Watch out for refined carbohydrates

If you consume large amounts of refined carbs, such as cakes, cereal, cookies, white rice and white bread, you may be damaging your memory.

Our Western diet, high in refined carbohydrates, has been linked to dementia and reduced cognitive function. Refined carbohydrates lead to a spike in blood sugar levels. Over time, these spikes can damage your brain.

5) Include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet

Certain foods help lower inflammation in your body. They do so by reducing oxidative stress, which is caused by free radicals Antioxidant foods include fruits, vegetables, and teas.

A look at nine studies including more than 31,000 people found that those who ate more fruits and vegetables had lower rates of cognitive decline and dementia.

cook up something good

Eat more berries. A study from the University of Reading and the Peninsula Medical School was made in which a normal diet was supplement with blueberries for 12 weeks. The study showed improved performance on spatial memory tasks.

This improvement began after just three weeks, and continued for the duration of the study. Blueberries in particular can enhance the brain’s power because they are high in flavenoids. These flavenoids appear to strengthen existing connections in the brain.

6) Choose cocoa and dark chocolate

Cocoa is an antioxidant — did you know that? It is nutritional and provides flavenoids, which we have already learned are beneficial to the brain.

Another boon for you chocolate lovers: If you like dark chocolate, you are in luck. Choose a dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao…the higher the better. This selection will assure you that you get a full dose of those helpful flavenoids.

7) Curtail the alcohol

Besides being detrimental to your health in other ways, too much alcohol can negatively impact your memory. A binge drinking pattern is especially bad because the blood alcohol levels are elevated. This causes alteration of the brain and results in memory deficits.

Repeated episodes of binge drinking can damage the hippocampus, that part of the brain that has a vital role in memory. A drink or two now and then is fine, but avoid excessive alcohol intake.

8) Turmeric is your friend

A compound found in high concentration in turmeric root is curcumin. This potent antioxidant has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect in your body.

Animal studies have shown it reduces inflammation and amyloid plaques, which cause cell and tissue death and leads to memory loss.

Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep

Lack of proper sleep has long been associated with poor memory. If you are sleep deprived you could be negatively impacting your memory.

Tests showing the importance of sleep finds that it plays an important role in memory consolidation. In this process, short-term memories are strengthened. These then become transformed into long-lasting memories.

Napping actually improves memory performance. Researchers found that, surprisingly, when two groups were tested with illustrated cards after a 40-minute break, the group that had napped performed better.

It is recommended by health experts that, for optimum health benefits, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night.

The best things about memories is making them

A Healthy Body Weight Is Essential For Well-Being

Be aware that obesity is a risk factor in cognitive decline. In fact, being overweight can cause changes to the genes in your brain that are associated with memory.

Obesity adds other health risks. Such can lead to insulin resistance and inflammation. It can also cause a high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Boost Your Brain With Games

Do you like crosswords and word games? These are fun ways to boost your memory.

In one study, 42 adults with mild cognitive impairment were tested. The study found that playing games on a brain-training app for eight hours over four weeks improved their performance on memory tests.

Brain-training games can also help reduce the risk of dementia in older adults.

How Much Exercise Do You Get?

You need exercise for both physical and mental health. Exercise is beneficial for the brain, and may help improve memory in people of all ages. Even moderate exercise (15 minutes per day) will help.

Many studies show that exercise can increase the secretion of neuroprotective proteins. It will also improve the growth and development of neurons. This improvement will link to better brain health.

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Tips For Improving Memory

Here are some tips you can try that can help you improve your memory. Try out any that you think might be helpful.

  • Make a memory notebook

This notebook should include a calendar, so you can jot down your day’s events. You can include a to-do list for the day, week, or month.

Put down any information you want to save, from phone numbers to bridge-playing strategies. Carry it with you and refer to it several times a day. When you write something down, it reinforces memory.

I use a Day-Timer. I’ve used one for years. Not only does it give me a page for each day with hours noted and a yearly calendar, but it also allows me space to put down other things I want to remember.

I also keep a notebook and pencil by my bed.  I’m forever coming up with good ideas just before I go to sleep. I’ve learned to jot them down or they will be forgotten by morning.

  • Talk to yourself out loud

As you move about your house, remark on what you are doing. For example: “I am going upstairs to get my glasses”, or “I’m going to the store to buy milk and eggs.”

If you get a great idea in the shower, rehearse it over and over so you don’t Memory is the diary we all carry aroundforget it. You might find it helpful to carry a tape recorder so you can say the things you want to remember on it.

  • Put up reminder signs

Post-its are a great invention. Use them to put signs in your house, office, or car, reminding you of tasks you need to do. For example: You could put up one that says, “Remember to take the garbage out on Thursday.”

  • Keep items where you will need them

Put your keys by the front door; your eye drops in the drawer of your nightstand; your purse always in the same place. Assign a spot to important things and always put them there.

  • Minimize distractions

Turn off the TV or the radio when talking with someone. If you are at a restaurant, face the wall if possible. You can then focus more easily on the conversation at your table.

  • Group items in your to-do list together and always do them that way.

For example, I always do my cat chores together, morning and night. These include feeding, washing and filling water dishes, and cleaning the litter box. If you set up your routine in this way, you will be less apt to forget vital tasks.

  • Use mnemonic tricks

These are little word combinations that will trigger your memory. An example is “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.”

  • Take care of body and mind

Be aware that your ability to store and recall memory slows down as you Time moves in one direction; memory in anotherage, so if necessary, ask people to speak slower. Pay attention to your health and to how you treat your body.

  • Exercise

Both your body and your mind need exercise, and doing both will improve your memory.

  • Understand how you learn

There are three types of learning: Visual (remembering what you see), auditory (recalling best what you hear) and kinesthetic (remembering from experience.) If you know your strongest method of learning, your memory will run at peak efficiency.

In my research, I came across two articles that provided a couple of exercises that you can use to enhance memory. These techniques appear to be very helpful and should also be enjoyable. If you want to try these memory exercises, here are the links:

psychologytoday.com/us/blog/gifted-ed-guru/201402/how-to-improve-your-memory-instantly

psychologytoday.com/us-blog/gifted-ed-guru/201403/how-to-improve-your-memory-instantly-part-two

Here are the URLs for the other articles I used in my research:

health line.com/nutrition/ways-to-improve-memory

The name of the article I used on this website was “14 Natural Ways to Improve Your Memory”

fastcompany.com/3028359/6-science-based-methods-to-improve-your-memory

webmd.com/balance/features/tips-for-better-memory

If you enjoyed this article or found value in some of the information, please leave a comment at the end of this post. I really appreciate your letting me know if you found the information helpful, or if you have some things to add to our experience.

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16 Replies to “How Can You Improve Memory?

  1. A great piece of article and surely, a helpful and insightful one. Improving memory has been a major task for me these days as everything around me often disturb me and keeps me from focusing and as such, I tend to lose consciousness of some things. You gave shared some excellent tips here, though I found some of them very new to know of and would definitely be incorporated into my daily routines. Thanks so much for sharing the tips

    • You are so welcome, Roland.  I think all of us can use a refresher on memory tips now and then.  I’ve found as I grow older that memory is much more apt to disappear, just when I need it.  

      You know, I think we are helping keep our mind/brains healthy by our activities in Wealthy Affiliate.  Hopefully this improvement will extend to our memory as well.

  2. This is very interesting as I expected to see a bunch of cool mental / mind exercises to help with memory, but hadn’t considered that diet and vitamins / minerals might play a significant role as well. I appreciate the tip about timing coffee as well… it’s something I really enjoy and nice to think that by timing it right it could help boost memory power as well! Thanks so much for the helpful list of tips to improve memory!!

    • Thanks for your comment, Aly.  It is important to find out the ways we can help our memory, as it is a significant part of our mental landscape.  You mentioned the exercises to help with memory, and it is my intention to include some of those later. I have a friend who has some information on the exercises, and when I get a chance to talk to her some more, will be gathering them for another post.  Be on the lookout!

  3. Great article! It is really important to take care of our brains and memory. Everything about improving and maintaining memory is also important and your post offers plenty of good tips on how to do it. Way too often people focus only on normal physical health and forget how important it is to improve your memory. Thank you for a great article. 

    • I’m glad you liked the article.  Memory is so important, and as I age, I find I forget lots of things.  So, the tips are also helpful to me.  

      It is important to keep our brain healthy as well as the rest of our body.

  4. WOW! Fran,
    This is a great piece on the importance of taking care of our brain memory. It is right on target and very educational and informational. The link between food and having a good brain memory is so refreshing and l really learned a lot from this piece. Thank you for writing such a great piece. Good job.

    • I am so glad you found this article helpful. Yes, isn’t it interesting, how much what we eat can affect us? If our brain gets the correct nourishment, our memories will be better. I, too, love the link between food and many other aspects of health.

  5. Wow, this are really good tips if one wants to make the best out of their memory. Honestly, I woulve never thought that I would need to cut down on some kinds of foods to help my brain. Exercises too help? Wow, that a big deal there I must say. You spoke about talking to oneself out loud. Do you think its appropriate to do that out in public? I should check out those websites you put up there.

    • Well, you can talk to yourself out loud if there is no one around.  People might look at you and point and whisper if you talk out loud and it’s obvious you aren’t talking to someone.

      The first time I saw someone with one of those phones that you wear on your ear, I thought she was talking to herself, and was concerned.  Then I realized she was talking through that little hook hanging on her ear.  Good thing I didn’t call the guys with the straitjacket.

  6. Hi Fran,

    I recently read about how retirees undertaking a few hours of online brain exercises per week have improved their memories and mental acuity. I find this fascinating. What are your feelings about these exercises, and would you care to comment on what led you to undertake this research in the first place?

    Cheers,

    Henri

    • Yes, I believe such brain exercises can be quite helpful.  That is a very good idea.  My “exercise” is crossword puzzles, as I do enjoy them.  However, I’m guessing that those exercises could be quite effective.

      I wrote the article because I feel it important to our ongoing success to keep our memories as clear as possible.  My aim for the website is to help folks as many ways as I can, and understanding how memory works is one helpful subject.  

  7. Hi, Fran Kelso
    I want to say that your article about how can you improve memory is so interesting, especially the view of diet can influence memory I have not heard of before, but now you let me know that diet does affect memory.
    My dad is more than 60 years old. Sometimes his memory is not very good. I guess he hasn’t changed Diet’s habits. In the evening, I will tell you about this aspect of the article and keep him healthy. Dietary habits.

    • What we eat can affect so many things that have to do with health.  There is certainly some truth in the saying, “We are what we eat.”  

      Our memory can often become less clear as we age.  Perhaps since I love crossword puzzles so much I’ll be lucky and won’t lose mine.  Since I am 81, I need to do what I can to keep everything working.  So far so good.

  8. Thanks for the tips, and I appreciate some of the truths mentioned here especially how lack of sleep can actually harm short term memory. But I’d like to know if overuse of computer can also lead to memory loss or it does the opposite? I use computer a lot and since then, I noticed that my mind now relies too much on computer that if there’s no computer beside me, it’s hard for me to recall terminologies.

    • Interesting question.  I wonder if anyone has researched it?  I’m also on this computer for hours each day.  It may make us more dependent on it instead of our own memory.  I’ll be watching for any research about computer use vs. memory.  Thanks for asking.

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