Top 30 ways to boost memory

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Our brain

The average adult human brain can store the equivalent of 2.5 Petabyte of digital information. The human brain is a complex and powerful machine which can not only store huge data but also process complex information to give you unique solutions that can be difficult to do with powerful computers. 

Our brain however is limited to a certain extent and taking care of it is important to make it function efficiently in the long run.  Remembering is one of the important functions of our brain and is just like other skills; it can be trained and sharpened with practice and good habits.  Stress, anxiety, lack of sleep or depression can impair your memory and concentration. Chronic alcoholism, injury and certain medication can cause memory loss.

In order to boost memory you can do: 

  1. Meditation. Regular meditation can increase blood flow to your brain, which reinforces your memory capacity. Mindfulness meditation boosts your concentration. A study published found that meditating for 20 minutes a day can improve your memory. 
  2. Playing video games. A  study found that playing video games as a child can improve a person’s working memory, improve memory and protect against dementia. Video games improve your eye-to-hand coordination and sensitivity.
  3. Playing sudoku. Playing sudoku improves memory function, since sudoku puzzle solving gives your brain a good workout and improves speed of thinking thus helping you learn quickly. 
  4. Playing chess. Chess players have amazing memories because they have to  remember complex rules before making a move and avoid previous mistakes or remembering the playing style of the opponent. 
  5. Playing checkers. While playing checkers you need to focus your mind to become better problem solvers. It can help your decision making skills and improves memory concentration.
  6. Socializing. Socializing and participating in social activities are like exercises for your brain that improves cognitive function. Socializing can give you support, reduces stress, combats depression and enhances intellectual stimulation which reduces memory decline.
  7. Learning new skills. When you learn new skills you are exercising your brain, which improves your memory, concentration, attention to detail, and problem solving, which reduces the chance of developing dementia.
  8. Increasing personal vocabulary. Increasing your vocabulary can help you comprehend complex information. Learning new words can help you boost memory and improve brain functions.
  9. Sleeping. Sleep consolidates memories and helps you retain new information. If you are sleep-deprived, your brain is overstimulated, which can lead to permanent damage to the brain. So sleep is extremely important for memory formation and normal working of your brain.
  10. Practicing tai chi. In Tai Chi you do need to do balance exercise and learn a movement sequence, a perfect combination for improving memory as you age. Tai Chi improves cognition and reduces risk of memory decline.
  11. Engaging in sports. In a study researchers found that regular exercise can boost the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning. Exercise can also improve brain plasticity by stimulating the growth of new connections between brain cells..
  12. Dancing. Dancing boosts brain function and improves memory. Studies found that dancing reduces stress, increases serotonin, a feel good hormone. That further improves neural connections, long-term memory, and visual memories.
  13. Exercising regularly. Exercise boosts memory and cognitive functions by improving mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety. Exercise also improves physical health and well being of vital organs like heart and lungs functioning which directly impact our brain functioning.
  14. Hobbies. Spending time on hobbies that you enjoy can improve your mental health by reducing  stress, improving mood, and reducing risk of depression. Hobbies can challenge you to think, solve problems, and learn to improve your memory.
  15. Listening to music. Listening to calming music can reduce stress, blood pressure, and pain that can help your sleep quality, mood, and memory. It helps you feel all the emotions that you experience in your life. 
  16. Learning a new language. Using your brain to learn new skills improves the brain’s functions. Learning a new language makes your brain learn new grammar and vocabulary rules. It stimulates your brain which can improve cognition and memory.
  17. Repeat  & recall. If you repeat and recall, you will strengthen your  memory. Since anything you do repeatedly your brain can retain it for a longer period. 
  18. Eat less refined  sugar. Our body breaks down refined sugar quickly, causing blood sugar levels to skyrocket. Refined sugar doesn’t make you feel full after you’re so you eat a lot of it leading to sugar addiction.  Sustained elevated blood sugar levels can be harmful to the brain, resulting in memory problems and cognitive decline.
  19. Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can cause your brain to shrink and memory problems. Obesity also causes mood and anxiety disorders. This means that by losing weight, you can improve your brain and boost memory. 
  20. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness allows you to focus on the present moment and minimizes distraction from unwanted thoughts and memories. It improves your memory and can sometimes reverse the memory loss if practiced regularly.
  21. Drink less alcohol. Alcohol reduces short-term memory by slowing down the nerve communication in your brain. Alcoholism can permanently damage your brain by making it difficult for neurons to send important nerve signals.
  22. Eat more fatty fish & nuts. Walnuts are the best nut for memory and cognition. They have high Omega-3 fatty acids that protect your brain and  improve cognitive performance and prevent age-related cognitive decline.  Fatty fish like salmon, tuna  are some of the best sources of the omega-3 fatty acid.
  23. Avoid Stress. Stress is the primary cause of mental health issues and can cause memory problems. According to several studies, chronic stress can kill brain cells and reduce the size of the brain. Stress reduces the sleep quality which in turn reduces memory efficiency. 
  24. Organize important information. Our brain prefers to receive information organized in recognizable patterns. Organizing and connecting it helps move information from working memory to long-term memory. Thus organizing information can boost memory.
  25. Relax. Stronger and more lasting memories are formed when you are relaxed as your neurons in the brain are repaired. Being relaxed reduces stress. Reduced stress relieves anxiety, depression, and improves sleep quality. That improves your brain health and boosts memory.
  26. Avoid information overload. If you spend too much time on mobile it can  result in information overload which can erode the efficiency and quality of cognitive function. When we overload our brain to store too much in memory, the brain loses its efficiency leading to stress and burnouts which impairs memory functioning.
  27. Avoid depression and brain injury. Injury to the brain can cause confusion and inability to store memories. Which can affect your brain for weeks or months, depending on the severity of brain injury. Similarly depression has also been linked to memory problems. Antidepressant is also linked to memory problems,  sedation and confusion. So avoiding accidental brain injury and avoiding depression is important for brain health and memory
  28. Hydrate. A dehydration can result in short term memory loss and have trouble with problem solving. Chronic dehydration can cause brain cells to shrink in size and mass. Drinking an adequate amount of water is necessary since our brain is primarily made up of water. 
  29. Eat a balanced diet. Eating a balanced diet can provide you with necessary carbohydrates, protein, farm vitamins and minerals necessary for your body to function. When you have a healthy body you will definitely have a healthy mind with strong memories. So eating a balanced diet can also make you more resilient against day to day grind, which in turn protects you against stress and anxieties.  
  30.  Cultivate healthy long term relationships. A healthy and fulfilling life with loved ones can impact your quality of life. You will have reduced stress and lower chances of depression. Moreover they provide you strong support against setbacks in life. A healthy and long term relationship provides a better environment that nourishes your body and mind. 

By John Gurung

A former software developer who is now a blogging enthusiast. A true digital nomad.

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