13 Ways to Improve Memory

How many times have you had to face embarrassment when you could not remember something that your colleague and friend could easily do? Perhaps you forgot the name of an acquaintance, or where you left your car keys. It’s not an uncommon situation when your memory stops functioning as well as you are used to! or if you forget the smallest things. Often, it is just the result of mindlessness and stress.

Memory is one of the most fundamental things in human nature that allow us to function, communicate, and empathize to the best of our abilities. And just as our muscles grow stronger as much as we use them, so do our minds and memory just as it is important to exercise your body, your brain needs the workouts, to boost up your memory game.

According to Harvard Medical School, memory loss or confusion are often the results of human choices; poor diet, lack of exercise, and lack of brain stimulation are potential causes of memory loss. As such, there are certain things that you can do to improve your memory and return your mental health to optimum productivity, like learning a new language or doing some math. Even relaxing your mind from the undue stress and anxiety of a day at work through the mediation of nature walks can be greatly beneficial. Here are thirteen ways that you can boost your memory!

  1. Chew gum

People who chew gum regularly have shown an increase in their memory retention and better processing speeds where remembering is required, according to this 2011 study. Participants who chewed gum five minutes before completing a series of test questions performed better at cognitive and memory functions than participants that did not chew gum.

The idea is that chewing helps the brain wake up, and that stimulates better memory function. Chewing also speeds up heart rate, increases blood pressure, and improves blood flow to the brain.

So, the next time that you need a little memory boost, start chewing gum to help yourself out a little.

  1. Play Chess

Chess is a game that has been linked with intelligence, critical thinking, and logic since its inception centuries ago. It involves strategies, planning ahead, judging the opponent’s moves, and planning yours accordingly, not much different than an actual battlefield that the pieces are set to mimic.

Playing chess improves brain functions, especially the logical and strategical areas. A study showed that chess also improves memory, since chess players think differently than those that do not play, because the players have memorized millions of chess moves that reversely improve their memory.

  1. Eat well

What you consume has a great impact on your body and mind. Food cannot directly reverse cognitive decline, but healthy food items can help empower your body and mind with the best of nutrients to improve functions such as memory.

Vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, such as berries and leafy greens, are healthy food for the brain, stimulating the release of positive hormones and providing the body with necessary minerals. Fatty fish has fats that are essential for brain development, such as Omega 3 and 6. Caffeine has a positive effect of cognition and memory, and walnuts (which are even shaped like a brain) are linked to better memory, as well as good heart health.

A good and healthy diet can help your short-term and long-term memory and make it sharper.

  1. Laughter Therapy

Ever heard of ‘Laughter is the best medicine’? Well, it is true in this case. A study conducted at the Loma Linda University in California suggests that laughter helps in improving short term memory and boosts brains cognition. It also delays cognitive decline and conditions like dementia.

Laughter therapy works great because stress and anxiety are a common factor these days, and laughing helps release the hormone cortisol, which is excellent for our health and happiness, and lowers blood pressure, thereby reducing stress. Laughing with friends, or watching humorous content for some time daily can help you with better memory in the long term.

  1. Memory Games

Brain boosting games, such as puzzles, are a great way to exercise your brain and improve memory. It is important to exercise your cognitive and problem-solving skills through games like these.

According to Dr. Santosh Kesari,

“The brain is actually like a muscle. You use it or you lose it.”

With this philosophy in mind, a study in the University of Exeter shows that puzzles help promote better short-term memory, and sharper cognitive functions later in life.

  1. Hydration

We often underestimate the importance of water and hydration in our lives. Water is necessary for proper bodily functions, physical activity, neural and circulatory systems, and makes us more energized mentally. There are countless benefits that water provides to the human body, not the least of which is help with memory retention.

Drinking a good amount of water daily not only keeps your body refreshed, but also provides your brain with enough hydration have better thinking, memory, and cognitive functions due to increased oxygen saturation and blood flow. Make sure that you drink enough water throughout the day, at least three liters or ten glasses.

  1. Drink coffee

We all know how good coffee, technically caffeine, is at waking you in the mornings. A recent study at the John Hopkins University suggests that coffee also has a hand in helping you remember memories more clearly and preventing you from forgetting them. the study included participants who were given caffeine tablets, whose effects were then judged through image recall.

Caffeine can give a positive push to your memory and enhance your cognitive skills for a better start. So, drink your morning coffee with ease, but do not overdo it!

  1. Sleep well.

Sleep is a crucial driver in your well-being. While you may think a few hours of sleeplessness here and there will not matter, or that you can get more work done if you just stay up for a few hours, but in the long term, you are doing more harm than good for yourself.

Sufficient sleep with good sleep quality is necessary for better memory and information retention. Also, in order to retain the information that you consume, you need sleep, just like the phrase ‘sleep on it,’ holds true. So, if you think that staying up all night before an exam or presentation is the way to be well prepared, then you may want to think again.

  1. Eat dark chocolate

Chocolate as the food of love is well known, due to its antioxidants and ‘happy mood’, but dark chocolate can also help in improving brain wave functions and memory. Studies show that consuming dark chocolate enhances neural elasticity, which means it increases benefits for consumers such as better cognitive and emotional judgments, and improved memory. It can also reduce cardiovascular disease risks, and lower blood pressure, not to mention that it is a great mood elevator.

So, indulge your sweet tooth and have some dark chocolate for a better memory!

  1. Do yoga

As mentioned previously, stress is a leading factor of memory loss. Whether you are watching the daily news or have a stressful job, stress can lead you to thinking pathways that are repeatedly harmful to your mind and memory. Yoga is a way to reduce stress and detoxicate from the anxiety-inducing stressors around us, which is why it is a helpful tool in memory improvement.

  1. Breathe deeply

Although also a variant of yoga, essentially deep breathing is the best calming method advised by nearly all customs. But now, deep breathing also has a great impact on your memory. According to research, deep breathing stimulates the release of noradrenaline, which is a hormone responsible for brain health and creating new neuron connections. Noradrenaline is released when you are focused, curious, or emotionally attentive, and deep breathing holds a similar effect.

Mindfulness breathing, where you focus on all aspects of breathing like how it feels, and the way the air moves through your body, is a great way to help your brain remain youthful and active, resulting in better memory functions.

  1. Reduce stress

Stress and reduced brain functions go hand in hand, so, it is only natural if the opposite is true, and the reduction of stress leads to better cognitive and memory functions. Stress has been linked with cell destruction in the hippocampus which a part of the brain that deals with memory recall and storage. This means that in addition to indirect effect, stress also directly affects your mental development.

Incorporating any activities that help you reduce stress, such as a hobby, socializing, or watching comedy, in your daily life is a good idea for promoting memory health.

  1. Socialize

Since the evolution of the human species, we have been a part of a social group, whether those are tribes, families, civilizations, or nations Society is such an important part of being human that our interactions with others directly affect our mental and physical health.

Socializing with your friends and family is also an excellent way to destress and ultimately improve memory. In modern life, there is very little time left for socializing, and there has consequently been a higher rate of mental health problems. Try to focus on your social life as well for overall good health.