20 June 2020
Have you noticed that you are becoming more forgetful? If so, you are not alone. Many people see a decline in memory as they age. Memory loss can also result from other factors such as lack of sleep, depression, anxiety, prescription medications, alcohol, and other health issues.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to slow memory decline and help to improve your recall skills. Here we discuss six of the best ways to keep your memory sharp, whatever your age.
Loneliness can have a significant impact on mental health and brain function, as feeling isolated and alone can cause depression. Talking to others and telling stories helps to exercise your recall skills. Also, talking about things out loud helps you to remember them, and provides a therapeutic effect.
Vitamin and mineral deficiency can cause symptoms such as mental confusion, brain fog, and lack of clarity. There are certain nutrients, for example, omega 3 essential fatty acids that are crucial to brain health. Also, water plays an important role - if you are just 2% dehydrated, you will begin to experience deterioration in mental faculties. Ensure you eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, and you drink plenty of pure water.
A mnemonic is a study trick to help you remember lists of items. You take the first letter from each item and create an acronym or phrase for it. An example of this that almost everyone knows is the mnemonic for remembering the planets: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nuts. The first letter of each word represents the first letter of each planet in the correct order: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. Try making your own next time you need to remember a list of important items.
Your brain needs downtime to recover and rejuvenate. If you do not get enough sleep, you will struggle with cognitive function. Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep a night. If you struggle with sleep, try creating a bedtime ritual that begins at the same time each night. Include activities that help your brain and body to relax, such as reading, meditation, a warm bath, or a warm, caffeine-free drink. You should finish using screens at least two hours before sleep time and rise at the same time each morning. These things will help you to regulate your body clock.
Your body was designed to move. If you do not exercise regularly, many of your bodily rhythms and functions are disrupted. Exercise increased blood and oxygen flow around the body, including the brain, which aids memory and cognition. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes exercise 4-5 times a week to help keep your body and mind in shape.
Last but definitely not least is meditation. Science has proven that regular meditators enjoy many physical and mental benefits, including better sleep, mood, and memory. Research has found that mindfulness helps to improve short term memory recall because when you are present, you pay closer attention to what is happening and can, therefore, recall it with greater clarity and ease.
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