Remember how years ago in school we had to memorize by using flashcards to study for our exams? When you have a better memory, you can be a better student, or maintain your competitive spirit at work or stay mentally sharp as you get older.
It’s now known that “losing your mind” or memory can be slowed or stopped; it is not just an age thing! Your brain can actually grow new cells, no matter your age, if you provide it with the memory boosters it needs. This is called neuroplasticity of the brain, a constantly changing ability of the brain to stay smart and healthy. As the saying goes, once you stop learning, you start dying.
14. Improve Your Mental Abilities by Learning
Learn a new language. You do not have to master it; even minimal knowledge helps keep your memory sharp. Games or hobbies where you learn a new skill, like chess, puzzles, or do-it-yourself projects keep your brain cells growing. Guess what, you may even find it fun!
13. Improve Your Lifestyle
According to recent research published in the journal Stem Cell Research, “the good news proves that we can keep making memories and boost health, no matter our age, especially if you embrace a healthier lifestyle”, said Zaldy Tan M.D. PhD, director of UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Program.
This includes rethinking your habits like smoking, alcohol, or any other addictions. Or eating less processed foods, sitting less and moving more, and perhaps losing a few pounds.
12. Practice Mindful Techniques Like Meditation or Yoga
These practices help reduce stress, which is toxic to the brain. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of time; studies have found that just five to 10 minutes a day, even just relaxing and quiet deep breathing if meditation is not your thing, can help lower risk of dementia. It can also make significant improvements in verbal memory and the ability to remember locations.
11. Try the Method of “Chunking” for Remembering
This is done by breaking off pieces of information into smaller bits called chunking. This was devised by companies to help people with numbers, like phone or social security numbers, and even zip codes. For example, a phone number like 507-123-4567, is a series of numbers with breaks.
10. Brain Foods That Give You Energy and Protect Your Brain
Foods for the brain are high in nutritious antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and minerals. Some of these include avocados, beets, blueberries, broccoli, extra virgin olive oil, and coconut oil to start.
Of course, like you’ve been told before, eat leafy green veggies, like kale, spinach, Swiss chard and lettuce. Studies have shown that eating greens once or twice a day slows mental deterioration. You can easily add more greens to replace some of the carbs in your meals.Related: 10 Brain Foods to Improve Your Memory and Brain Health
9. The Good Fats Your Memory Needs
The good fats are saturated fats, which help the brain cells function better, including coconut oil. Sustainably sourced salmon is a good supply of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which helps stimulate the growth of brain cells. And walnuts are a good source of omega-3, fiber, and vitamin E to support brain health.
8. The Best Diet Plan: Mediterranean or MIND Diet
What you eat makes a difference for your memory and risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Using the Mediterranean and DASH diets, university researchers came up with the MIND diet plan.
These foods, the top suggestions for brain and memory boosters, include vegetables, berries, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, fish, meat-free meals, beans and lentils, and occasional wine.
7. Strength Training Improves Your Memory
New research shows that strength training outperforms aerobics for boosting your memory. It turns out that exercise is the “golden bullet”, using weight lifting, walking and muscle tone, in preventing cognitive impairment.
Seniors can remain sharp and hold on to their precious memories by even doing simple strength and weight lifting at home with dumbbells or cans. Or they can hire a trainer or simply go to the website eldergym.com for help.Related: 11 Medications That Cause Memory Loss
6. Exercise Creatively to Stop Boredom
Try more aerobic exercise like moderate walking, rowing, swimming or hiking, which can be more fun with other friends. These help the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, the areas of the brain that govern memory.
5. Herbal Memory Supplements with Potential
Ginkgo biloba leaf is one herb that has been showing promise against dementia. It improves blood flow in the brain, which seems to help with Alzheimer’s and age-related mental disease. This herb is routinely prescribed in Germany and in France.
The spice plant turmeric, which contains the compound curcumin, has been found to be an anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants. It can benefit your thinking and memory.
4. Enjoy Nature: Go Outside
Being outside and in nature with the trees, birds and flowers improves memory and good positive feelings by 20% after an hour, just by listening or walking in the garden. If you add grounding or earthing, which is walking in your bare feet on the ground, it has proven to help all body systems to function better, including emotional moods.Related: 9 Risk Factors for Dementia
3. Music and Art Therapy Helps Your Memory
There has been a growing body of evidence that shows music or sound therapy can help people with memory loss and traumatic brain injuries. Of course, many of us enjoy music, as it energizes us, eases stress and soothes our souls.
Art therapy is another form of brain exercise. The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found art therapy helped engage the attention of people with dementia or memory loss. It gives people pleasure and improves your self-esteem and social skills.
2. Make Checklists and Notes
In today’s world, we have so many things to take care of; I know I definitely need notes myself. So, help your memory by keeping a checklist going or even visual cues by posting what you need to remember.
1. Keep Up Thriving Social Relationships
The famous Blue Zones of the world, where people live the longest, are known for having quality relationships with their family, friends and community. Studies show these increased social skills keep your brain from mental decline and help you hold on to your memory.Related: 11 Predictors of Alzheimer’s You Didn’t See Coming