As we age, our brain cells mature, and our brain starts getting older and slower. It is said that as we grow old, we possess an increased level of experience and wisdom, which we can further increase, but not without proper guidance and assistance. That is where brain training sessions or brain games come into the picture. Brain games are proven to help in maintaining and increasing one’s level of intelligence. People lose the ability to concentrate properly and their memory starts failing.
As we all know, age decreases the retention power of our brain, which makes us forget certain aspects of our life, objects or even memories. This is when these games prove themselves essential. Psychologists and neurologists are of the opinion that spending a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes on a daily basis with these memory improvement techniques and brain training games will do wonders for your mind power. So, let us take a look at the top 10 things you can do to improve your memory:
1. A Good Night’s Sleep Is Always Beneficial
When you sleep, your mind is at rest, which causes your brain to solidify the links shared by the neurons in your brain, which in turn boosts your power to remember. The best way to sharpen your mental skills is to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep on a daily basis.
Furthermore, certain forms of long-term potentiation, a neural process associated with the laying down of learning and memory, can be elicited in sleep, suggesting synaptic connections are strengthened while you slumber. So, get your fair share of sleep starting from today!
2. A Little Exercise Is Another Good Method
Doing some workout is good for the entire body, as well as for the brain. Jogging regularly balances your heart rate, which increases the flow of blood to your brain, thereby boosting your memory power. Other than jogging, you can opt for running, cycling and swimming for at least 40 minutes every day. Any physical activity that includes effective eye-hand coordination is good for your brain.
During exercise, the neurons release proteins known as neurotrophic factors. Particularly, Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health, and directly benefits cognitive functions, such as learning.
3. Avoid Multitasking As Much As Possible
People say that multitasking shows off the ability of your brain to handle multiple tasks at a single go. But the concept is entirely wrong. In fact, researchers are of the opinion that due to multitasking, we lose focus and concentration, which causes memory loss, i.e., we forget certain things. That is why you will see that when you read a book and talk to someone, you cannot do either properly.
The opposite of multitasking is mindfulness, which helps you achieve complete focus. Students who took a mindfulness class improved their reading comprehension test scores and working memory capacity, as well as experienced fewer distracting thoughts. If you find yourself trying to complete five tasks at once, stop and focus your attention back to the task at hand.
4. Try Some Age-Old Herbal Remedies
For many centuries, our elders have taught us that the consumption of herbs for mental growth is always beneficial. This fact is absolutely true. Herbs like Ashwagandha are extremely good for boosting one’s memory, as well as curing brain-related diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Also, naturally occurring oils such as fish oil, help the neurons in our brain to grow properly, which reduces the chances of becoming prey to several neuron-degenerative illnesses.
5. Make Effective Use Of Mnemonic Devices
These devices are extremely useful tools which allow your brain to efficiently absorb anything and everything into your memories. The use of acronyms, rhymes, and acrostics is considered to be an extremely smart move to improve your memory capacity. For example, to remember the names of vegetables you have to buy, use their acronyms and form a meaningful world, or create rhymes in your head to remember the names of the people you meet.
Also, try brain games! If you decide to try brain games, ideally it would be wise to invest at least 20 minutes a day, but no more than five to seven minutes is to be spent on a specific task as, when you spend longer amounts of time on a task, the benefits lose their effectiveness.
6. Being Mentally Active Is Always Useful
Keeping your mind and brain active is an extremely beneficial idea. Activities like solving crossword puzzles, playing brain games on apps, etc. are challenging for your brain, which basically increases the level of activity your brain goes through. This has been known to improve your memory and retentive capacity.
7. Try To Stay Organized
A messy house creates blocks in your memory, as you cannot remember where you might have put a certain item. Keeping your house organized makes it easier for you to remember things, as well as to create a healthier habitat for you.
8. Try Your Hand At Some Meditation For A Change
Yogic experts are of the opinion that meditation can help you remember anything you want, as long as you have read, seen or heard it. Such information always exists in our brain, and meditation is key in accessing these stored memories for future use at any time you want. Meditation also boosts your level of focus.
9. Try To Balance The Stress Levels
People suffering from depression and chronic stress suffer regularly from the problems of memory loss due to brain cells being damaged. The best way out of this problem is to join a laughing club to reduce your level of stress. In addition, try to make a habit out of listening to some soothing music, as music has been known to be an amazing stress buster for many years now.
10. Eat Right
A healthy diet goes a long way in inducing the growth of new brain cells, as well as helping you in boosting your memory power. There are some food items which you can consume that are known to induce an increased retentive capacity in your brain. As discovered by researchers, our brain consumes at least 20 to 25 percent of our daily energy intake. So, it is essential to eat right to keep your body healthy and your mind sharp.
The foods you eat and don’t eat, play an essential role in your memory. For instance, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, and walnuts contain antioxidants and other nutrients that protect your brain health and may even stimulate the production of new brain cells.
Increasing your animal-based omega-3 fat (found in fish oil) intake and reducing the consumption of damaged omega-6 fats (found in processed vegetable oils) to balance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, is also essential. Coconut oil is another fat resource for brain function. Just over two tablespoons of coconut oil can work as a preventive measure against degenerative neurological diseases, or as a treatment for an already existing one.