The ability to remember things for a short or long time is crucial in order to perform the various activities of daily life. Our memory permeates throughout our lives. Without memory learning would be impossible, the past would be non-existent, the future would be uncertain. The good news is that there are ways to improve your memory through certain exercises and techniques, which you can use on a daily basis with out taking much of your time.
The loss of memory and cognitive functions affects mainly those who do not exercise their memory and do not use their minds.
The example of the great musician Xermpert von Karagian perhaps is no coincidence. He lost his father and grandfather due to Alzheimer disease. Because he feared that he would also suffer from Alzheimer’s, he started to train his mind on various learning exercises. At the age of 65 he learned to fly an airplane. He died at the age of 80 with absolute clarity!
Why we forget things?
Often we forget things because we do not give adequate attention to them or because we are concerned with another event. Many often we are unable to digest new information during a period we have stress or when we are emotionally charged because of an unexpectedly sad event. There are many things that affect and damage our memory, which we need to watch out for:
The stress is a bad adviser for memory. The most striking example is that of students, who can study perfectly but when it comes to exams they cannot remember anything. Their mind is somehow blocked and unable to recall what they memorized. Exam stress is bad for the memory and needs a special way to handle.
Loneliness – monotony
A person living alone always at home with no interests, living a monotonous life, who does not exacerbate the memory with new information and does not put the mind to work, will eventually weaken his/her memory. Depression that is also affecting lonely people is a major factor for damaging the memory.
Sadness and negative thoughts
When the mind is busy with negative and depressive thoughts, memory is disturbed. The lack of hope, confidence and positive thinking negatively affects memory. Without anxiety and sad thoughts the capacity of our memory is literally unlimited
How to improve your memory?
The memory is a complex operation through which the human nervous system records, stores and recalls information. How the brain stores information is extremely complex and scientists have not yet managed to fully explore it. What they have concluded though is that in order to improve your memory you need to practice and train your memory as well as follow certain tactics and strategies. Below we outline ways to improve your memory.
1. Continuous education and learning
Education and learning which is achieved through constant reading and study, strengthens the various functions of the brain and positively affects the performance of memory. One of the best training methods is the learning of a foreign language, because the information you have to learn is so much and the required effort so strong that manages to mobilize the memory and to keep it vigilant.
2. Learning of a musical instrument
Learning a musical instrument is a very good exercise for the brain since it requires the co-ordination of many brain functions such as memory, learning, movement, feeling, hearing and creativity. That is why the abilities of musicians is often the subject of several studies.
Having an active social life seems to help maintain your brain functions at a good level. The process of speaking arouses memory. Research proved that regardless of age, those who were socially active had better mental clarity than other people who were not so socially active.
4. Emotional balance
Emotional balance helps to protect the memory from the adverse effects of stress. There are indications that high levels of stress hormones can damage brain cells and the hippocampus (important brain function that regulates memory). The feeling that we are psychologically well slows down the production of these hormones.
5. Physical exercise
Many studies confirm that physical activity keeps alive our intellectual abilities. Regular physical exercise stimulates the regeneration of nerve cells and contributes to good cardiac function, which oxygenises the brain. The good blood circulation of the brain is proven to strengthen our cognitive functions and can improve memory.
6. Good night sleep
Sleep helps memory and is essential for the process of learning. More specifically, it helps to save and organise the information received during the day. Instead, when we do not get enough sleep for about two to three consecutive 24-hours, this may present inability to concentrate and memory loss. To improve your memory you need to make sure that you get 8 hours of sleep at night. A power nap is also very beneficial for the improvement of your memory.
7. Improve your memory with food
A balanced diet is essential for the improvement of your memory, since it balances the neurotransmitters of the brain. The lack of key nutrients can affect our mental functions, especially memory. It has been found that fruit and vegetables have beneficial effects on memory, because the many antioxidant substances they contain combat the slowing of cognitive functions.
A good breakfast reinforces the short memory. Children who eat breakfast at home are considered to have better performance at school, due to the better functioning of memory. Food rich in complex vitamins B (milk, yoghurt whole grain cereals) contributes to the protection of certain neurological problems such as the reduction of memory.
Finally, other foods that play an important role in enhancing memory are honey, sugar and sweets in general because they raise the levels of glucose in the blood, which is the main fuel of the brain. Often people who do intellectual work recommend the consumption of sweets.
Follow the 7 exercises to improve your memory and you will notice immediate results both in the short and long term.