Have you ever imagined how life would be without long-term memory? Not remembering your phone number, your friend’s name, where you live, or what to say in speech class can be quite embarrassing, not to mention a little bit scary.
The truth, however, is that memory loss can happen to anyone and at any point in life. There was a time when memory loss was often linked to aging but things have changed. Nowadays, due to the combination of busy schedules, workplace stress, unhealthy diets, excessive smoking, and large consumption of alcohol, memory loss is now a common problem.
Could your mental capacity be improved? According to scientific studies, it is possible to increase your brain capacity. Several medical research studies have concluded that different types of techniques like exercise, hypnosis, cognitive therapy, special diet, stress management, memory improvement games, and certain natural medications can help increase mental capacity.
Memory loss should not be taken lightly. If you are experiencing any kind of memory loss, it may be time to start focusing on your memory issues. There are several simple and advanced techniques available to improve short-term and long-term memory. The following five simple memory improvement tips are some of them.
Memory improvement tip #1: Grouping and relating words
Whenever you what to remember new information, try relating the new information to old knowledge that you know. This technique works well for learning new names. The next time you meet new people, when they tell you their names, connect their names to people you know and it will increase your chance of remembering their names.
Another simple way to help you remember things is to split them into groups. This works well for remembering certain words or numbers. A good example of this is to split a phone number into smaller groups. Instead of trying to remember this long number 8004567890, you can split it up into smaller groups similar to these three groups of numbers 800, 456, 7890.
Memory improvement tip #2: Physical exercise and healthy foods
Exercise is as essential to the body as it is to the brain. Studies have shown that physical activities can significantly improve brain health. Proper physical exercise (i.e., aerobics, walking, jogging, martial arts, yoga) is great for increasing oxygen to the brain and thus improving your brain’s ability to store information. In addition, it can reduce the risk of certain brain disorders that can lead to memory loss. Avoid over exercising because it can disrupt the chemical balance in your body, causing it to release too many free radicals.
Studies have suggested that participation in any type of physical activity can delay the onset of and reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. Intervention studies have demonstrated that people suffering from Alzheimer’s who exercise daily have shown improvement in memory function.
Aerobic exercises and cardiovascular training along with simple weight training or targeted movement therapy are recommended memory improvement exercises. If you do not feel like being active, playing memory improvement games indoor is a great way to increase your brain’s ability to store data.
What you eat can also affect how your brain will function. The best foods to eat for brain health are organic and whole foods that are rich in antioxidants, proteins, and essential fatty acids. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants are acai, blueberries, cranberries, and red beans. As for proteins and essential fatty acids, nuts and seeds are some of the best sources.
The main reason why you want to eat organic foods high in antioxidants is because antioxidants are essential for preventing free radicals from destroying your brain cells and harming your DNA. For a great article about foods high in antioxidants, read this informative article titled Five High Antioxidant Foods for Energy and DNA Health.
Memory improvement tip #3: Sleep
Sleep is imperative for mental and emotional health. If you are sleep deprived, your brain will not be able to function at its full capacity. Sleep deprivation can compromise some of your basic skills, such as problem solving and creative and critical thinking skills. These skills are essential for helping you to make better decisions.
According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, losing three or four hours of sleep for just one night can negatively affect brain memory. Some researchers believe that sleeping for eight hours straight allows the brain to shift temporary memories to an area of the brain that is responsible for long-term memory.
Memory improvement tip #4: Meditate
Meditation is one of the most effective techniques for improving memory. Researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara did an experiment on 48 undergraduate students to see if meditation improves brain function. They divided the students into two groups. One group was initiated into a nutrition class and the other into mindfulness meditation class. After the experiment, they recorded that the students who used meditation scored significantly better in memory tests.
The nice thing about meditation is that you can practice it any time of the day and for any duration of time. Plus, it is simple and does not cost you any money to use this simple technique to improve your memory. For some simple tips on how to meditate, read this article titled 5 Tips on How to Meditate for Beginners.
Memory improvement tip #5: Reduce stress
Stress plays a key role in memory loss because it can interfere with your capacity to encode memory. Depending on the type of stress, it can cause acute as well as chronic changes in specific areas of your brain. This can affect short-term memory, long-term memory, explicit memory and implicit memory.
The simplest way to reduce stress is by clearing your mind using relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises. These techniques are very effective for reducing stress, because they improve blood flow to the brain, relax muscles and put you in a peaceful state of mind. Another great way to relieve stress is to do things that you enjoy doing. Once you learn to control your stress better, you will notice an improvement in your memory and brain power.