We all wish we could lock away our memories and stop them from fading or being forgotten. But too much goes on in our lives to remember all of it. Sometimes, though, this glitch in our memories can prove annoying – whether you’re cramming for exams, working as a professional or just living your day to day life. So what can you do to help? Take a look at five easy ways to improve your memory.
Work your brain
You’ve seen all the apps, and all of the games that claim to give your brain ‘a workout.’ Hands up if you just bypass these and go about your day? In fact, these apps are onto something. We’re not saying these apps are the best thing for you, but the concept behind it is exactly what you need to do to help your brain and memory. Your memory is like muscular strength – if you don’t work it out, you’re going to lose it. The more you work on your brain, the more it will improve, and your brain will be able to process and remember information more easily. This doesn’t mean having to stay up until all hours of the night and studying for a MENSA test. It’s about trying new things and testing your abilities. Why not learn a new language? Learn how to play the piano? Or even learn how to juggle?
Work your body
As previously stated, your memory is a muscle. As well as working your memory, working your body can also help to improve your memory. It has been proven that physical exercise allows your brain to stay sharp and collected. Increasing your heart beat increases the blood flow to your brain, which, in turn, reduces the risk of mental disorders – which can all lead to memory loss. Aerobic exercise is classed as the best form of exercise for getting your blood pumping – but if you’re a self-confessed couch potato, anything that gets your body moving and your blood pumping is a start.
Get your Z’s
Sleep is important for two things – to make sure you’re not classed as the office grouch, and to enhance memory function. Scientific research has stated that sleep is one of the most crucial aspects of memory conversion because, during sleep, your short-term memories are transferred into your long-term memories. So, if you don’t get enough sleep (the recommended amount for adults is 7.5 to 9 hours a night), your memory could suffer, as they will stay in your short-term memory, and eventually fade.
I know, easier said than done, right? But stress is a huge debilitating factor when it comes to memory. Over long periods of time, chronic stress can damage the hippocampus and destroy brain cells. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that deals with the forming of new memories and the retrieval of old memories. If you are less stressed – this is less likely to happen.
Laugh at yourself
It’s often said that laughter is the best medicine. Well, they’re not wrong. Scientists claim that laughing can help reduce memory loss and actually strengthen brain activity. This is because laughter is associated with various areas of the brain, rather than just the one part, like other responses. Whether it’s creating your own jokes or listening to others and working out punchlines, this stimulates the brain. And as we’ve already learned – brain stimulation = enhanced memories. So go on, have a laugh.