If you want to succeed in life, you must have a sharp memory but this depends mainly on your brain's health. Earlier, there was a notion that those who were old might not be able to boost their brain power. But researchers have disproved this theory. It has been proved that human brain, regardless of the age of the person, has a tremendous capacity to adapt, change and improve. Researchers have named this phenomenon as "neuroplasticity." But you have to make use of the right kind of stimulation for creating fresh neural pathways in your brain and for making modifications to the existing connections. The right types of stimulation will help your brain adapt as well as react in the ways you wish.
By using the concept of "neuroplasticity" and developing a good memory, you can not only improve your cognitive capabilities but can learn new things as well. Let us look at some of the tips that may help you.
1. Brain workouts
Biologists have found that before a person reaches adulthood, her brain will have developed countless neural pathways that may help her process information, recall details, solve familiar issues, and execute tasks that she already knows. In fact, she need not put forth much effort for carrying out all these. But if the person is complacent and limits her activities within these neural paths, it means she is not giving her brain the necessary stimulation for its growth or development. So, she must opt for brain workouts for shaking things up.
Memory is very much similar to muscular strength. You should therefore exercise it. The workouts you try should be challenging enough to help you develop fresh neural pathways. Learning a new language, solving mathematical problems, writing poems, indulging in creative activities, etc. are ways to exercise your brain.
Key elements of good brain-boosting activities
The most important element is that the activity should push you out of your comfort zone. This means you must be ready to explore a territory you have not treaded earlier. Learning a new thing or developing a new skill belongs to this category.
Secondly, the activity should be challenging and should demand your complete attention and mental effort. Learning to play a difficult music score belongs to this category.
The third element is that the skill you choose to develop should be such that you should be able to work to build on it. This means when you begin, you will begin at a very easy level and you will be growing your skill levels as you move ahead and improve. This also means stretching your capabilities to reach higher levels.
Lastly, the activity should be rewarding. Your learning process may stop if you do not remain motivated. Rewards take care of this part.
2. Physical exercises can greatly help brain development
You may wonder how physical exercises can help you develop a sharp memory. Biologists confirm that when you indulge in strenuous physical activities, your brain gets a good supply of blood and oxygen and this does a world of good for its development. It is a known fact that ailments like diabetes or cardiovascular diseases can negatively impact memory power. Physical exercises will help you negate the ill-effects of these ailments. It has also been proved that exercises stimulate creation of fresh neuronal connections.
3. Importance of adequate sleep
Though there are experts who say that it is enough if you sleep for about 6 hours a day, the fact is you must sleep at least for 7.5 hours to 9 hours for functioning with optimum efficiency. If you have a good sleep, you can certainly develop sharp memory. Your creativity and critical thinking and problem-solving abilities will also improve drastically.
If you spend a good amount of time with your friends and socialize with them, you are more likely to develop a sharp memory. Researchers have proved that socializing and meaningful friendships bestow cognitive benefits also.
5. Learn to manage stress
Stress can negatively impact the brain power. If you are not able to manage your stress, you will very soon face memory issues. Stress is the destroyer of brain cells. It also damages hippocampus, the brain's region where creation of new memory cells takes place. Some of the ideas for managing stress are:
- Have realistic expectations.
- Take frequent breaks and relax.
- Don't bottle up your feelings.
- Have a good work-life balance.
- Concentrate on a single task instead of multi-tasking.
- Learn and practice meditation, yoga and breathing exercises.
6. Laugh as often as possible
One of the ways to develop a sharp memory is to laugh at every opportunity. Especially, those who are capable of laughing at themselves are known to have a very good memory. Since they do not hesitate to criticize themselves, they do not take criticisms seriously. Researchers have established that those who take criticisms seriously and keep brooding about them may lose their memory power soon.
7. Opt for brain-boosting diets
Nutrients like Omega 3 Fatty acids, fiber, proteins especially lean proteins, etc. can boost brain health. You should therefore eat more of fruits, vegetables, and wholesome grains for improving your memory. Avoid eating junk and oily foods, red meat, butter, whole milk, cheese, ice cream and sugary items because they may trigger dementia and affect your memory as well as concentration.