It wasn’t so long ago that everyone assumed a failing memory was just a part of growing old. But in recent years, scientific research has shown us something contrary to that belief – memory is actually affected by modern lifestyles rather than just plain old aging.
When you think about it, it’s easy to see why. After all, you can’t expect your brain to be in tip-top shape if you surround yourself with chemicals, toxins, a poor diet, and a stressful and exhausting lifestyle. You are going to have memory problems of all kinds, and they might even end up developing into severe conditions like Alzheimer’s.
However, if you want to reduce your chances of losing your cherished memories, improve your overall performance, and keep your mind as sharp as a tack, there is plenty of good news. Your hippocampus is capable of regenerating until you are well into your 90s, and a few little tweaks to your lifestyle can help give your mind and recall a significant boost. Let’s take a look at some of your options.
Exercise your mind
The human brain is built for testing, and if you aren’t sharpening your mind, it will start to lose its sheen. If you are coasting in your job, have stopped reading books and learning new things, or don’t exercise your brain in any way, it will weaken just like any other organ – or even muscle – in your body. The good news is that it’s possible to improve things significantly with a little effort. Start to train up your brain more often by learning new skills, taking on new challenges, and forcing yourself to make a mental effort. Not only will your memory improve, but you’ll also start leading a vastly more rewarding life.
Exercise your body
Brain training should also include physical training – there is an active link between a healthy mind and a healthy body. Aerobic exercises are great for keeping your blood pumping around your body, which helps your brain regenerate cells. Exercise is also an excellent primer for learning – it gets your mind in active mode and enables you to remember relevant facts and figures. Bear in mind that challenging maneuvers that require coordination and lots of different movements also help you build up your brain’s neural connections.
Get some sleep
One thing many of us are guilty of these days is not getting enough sleep. If you are going to burn the candle at both ends, your brain will bear the brunt of it. The vast majority of people out there need at least 7.5 hours every night, and some even longer – 9 hours is still well within the average range. So, try sticking to a regular sleep schedule, including at the weekends. Avoid screens like smartphones and tablets, too, for at least an hour before bed. Don’t forget, sleep is vital for memory consolidation, and without it, you’ll find that you start forgetting all kinds of events and occurrences that you ought to remember.
Eat the right food
Your diet is also critical to your mind, as well as your body. A proper, nutritious diet promotes the growth of brain cells, boosts brainpower, and also protects against nasty substances actually doing damage to your mind. For example, if you overeat sugar and too many grain carbohydrates, it can actually have a negative impact on your gray matter. Consuming organic compounds like shilajit promotes brain health, also, apparently, as well as a whole bunch of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, B, C, and E are all recommended, as is magnesium and Folic Acid.
However, don’t go overboard on the food. Research suggests that one of the best possible fuels for your blood is ketone – not glucose as previously thought. Ketones are in the fat that your body starts to burn when you stop topping up your carbs, and instead start to consume other types of healthy fats like avocados and coconut oil. So regular fasting to allow your body to reset itself can be hugely beneficial to the brain. Try eating all of your meals through a 6-8 hour period, and you will, in effect, be fasting for somewhere in the region of 16-18 hours every day.
Watch some comedy
Everyone says that laughter is one of the best medicines, and science actually backs that theory up when it comes to a healthy brain. How? Well, when you laugh, it is a response that affects the whole of the brain, not just one particular part, which is the case for most of your other emotions. Your rain gets a lot of stimulation when you laugh, so the more you do it, the better. It also takes concentration and intelligence to understand and work out jokes. It helps you be more creative, which then leads to deeper thinking and using more brainpower.
Be honest – how aware are you of your current health? If you notice your memory starting to fail you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting Alzheimer’s or dementia. You could be suffering a small blip – but you could also have underlying health concerns. Heart disease, diabetes, hormone imbalance and many other serious illnesses sometimes interfere with your memory, too. So, don’t put your sudden forgetful nature to one side – make sure you get yourself checked out by your doctor, as it could be something far more severe.
Play brain games
Finally, if you really can’t be bothered to take up any of these ideas, you can still give your brain some important exercise. Brain games are available everywhere online and can be an effective way of providing your memory a boost. Try programs like Brain HQ once or twice a day. According to research, the first 5-6 minutes of using these games is the most important, so there is little need to spend hours trying them out.
Do you worry about a weak memory? If so, try some of these tips and let us know how you get on. Hopefully, they might help your brain retrain and get your memory back on track.