7 hacks to improve your memory that are all backed by science


How’s your memory? Good? Not so good? It isn’t always easy to remember things, no matter how old you are. Sometimes your brain just doesn’t want to hold onto information, and you have that awful mental block. Unfortunately, it’s a natural part of life to slowly lose your ability to remember things, because the pathways in your brain that connect to your hippocampus start to degrade. The hippocampus being the place where memories are stored, in case you weren’t aware. While this decline may be inevitable, it doesn’t mean you can’t still have a good memory for many years to come. Give some of these life hacks a try.

Environmental hints

It’s possible to keep your memory in tip-top shape if you utilize the world around you. There are lots of little things we intend to do – call someone, for instance – but we always end up forgetting about it until it’s too late. By filling your room/house/workspace with environmental cues, you have a better chance of remembering to do things until they become like second nature to you. This doesn’t mean sticking a bunch of post-it notes on everything to the point that it looks more like you have amnesia rather than a bad memory. If you need to remember to call someone, have a photo of them around that you’ll see regularly. Little things like that can make a big difference.

Get moving

Everything is telling us to move around more often these days, but if everyone is saying it then it might be time to start listening. As well as being great for your physical health, getting more exercise into your routine can also benefit your mental health. Whether you take up an exercise class or just make a more active effort when traveling to and from work, it will all be beneficial to your memory in the long run. Why? Well, to put it simply, doing exercise helps to negate the effects of cognitive decline, and can even speed up your ability to take in information.

Practice using your memory

If you were someone who ever tried studying for an exam by repeatedly reading the same thing until you knew it off by heart, then this will probably make a lot of sense to you. By going over something that you’ve just learned or discovered, you have a better chance of remembering it in days, months or even years to come. For instance, if you want to remember what happened in a work meeting, run back through it all after it’s over. You’ll be amazed at how effective that simple technique is.

Memory athletics

Memory games and exercises are a good way of strengthening your brain and making it easier for you to hold onto information. Anything that acts as a mnemonic device is great for your memory, because the whole point of a mnemonic device is to aid with the retention of information. An example that’s often used in this situation is using your house (or another location that you’re extremely familiar with) and associating different rooms with the things you need to remember.

Sleep more

We’re all pretty useless if we don’t get enough sleep. Our brains don’t work as efficiently as they should do, and we gradually lose our ability to keep our eyes open until we’re basically taking a nap on the desk at work. With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that getting plenty of sleep is beneficial for strengthening your brain and making it easier to hold onto memories.

Less drinking

A lot of us like to have a drink every now and again as a way to unwind or enjoy our free time. No-one’s telling you that you can’t do that, but if your consumption is hitting excessive limits regularly, maybe you should tone it down slightly. If you’ve ever had a night of drinking and couldn’t remember what happened the morning after… well, you couldn’t remember. Your brain wasn’t able to retain any memories because of the drinking.

Eat well

Another component of living healthily (physical and mental health often go hand in hand), it’s important to eat well to feed your brain with what it needs to stay strong. Vitamin B, fish oil and dark chocolate are all effective at keeping your brain working at its best and will help ensure that you don’t lose track of your memory anytime soon.

See how much you can do to keep your memory alive? If you put all these hacks into action, then your memory will probably be off the charts great or something. Well, it will be fully functional at least.