How To Improve Your Memory (…Tips You Won’t Forget) Memories from the corners of my…Wait, how does the rest of that song go? We’ll have to get back to our showtune singing later, because today we’re going to talk a bit about the wacky way our brains work and how to improve your memory! Seems appropriate considering I’ve already misplaced my iPhone (while I was talking on it!) and forgotten where the car keys were (in my pocket). Have you ever had days like this? Days when you can’t remember who, what, where, why and how of something pretty important. Odds are you have unless your hippocampus is like a steel trap for memories, in which case, we need to know your secrets! For those of you on the forgetful side and in need of a memory intervention, this one’s for you! Sit back, relax and prepare to gain some awesomely useful tools as we let you in on how to improve your memory, now! How to Improve Your Memory Pay close attention here, kids! Prime that hippocampus because these are going to be some actionable ways to get the brain boost you need to remember all of those dates, names, assignments and even the name of the cute co-ed you ran into on your way to Biology. Eat Foods That Help With Memory One way to improve your memory is through your stomach! You’d be surprised by the incredibly amazing power food has on your memory. The wrong foods can really impact your brains ability to function at its best. Sugary foods and those containing simple carbohydrates like soda, candy, white rice/bread/pasta, potatoes and cookies are best to avoid if you’re hoping to keep your brain functioning at its best and keep those memories intact. Opt for foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, antioxidants and other memory saving minerals and vitamins. Some foods are so beneficial to the brain that they actually help produce new brain boosting cells and protect the brain form deteriorating. Fill up on plenty of leafy greens, fish, nuts, legumes, berries and add coconut oil to your diet in order to improve your memory and brain function. Exercise To Improve Memory Power Slip on your Nike’s and prepare to work up a sweat when you’re hoping to help your memory. Your brain is such a complex ball of nerves that feeds off of ways to get the good juices flowing and a simple way to do it is through some exercise. Apparently, scientists have been able to pinpoint the proteins released during exercise, which are called brain-derived neurotrophic factors. These little guys are said to increase the brain’s blood flow and help cognitive function as a result. Interesting, huh? Surely any physical activity that gets these protein factors zooming around is going to help your memory to some extent. However, you can up the memory boosting ante with high intensity training (short workouts that will kick your booty), yoga, core workouts and even injecting intermittent exercises (short, frequent workout sessions throughout the day). You’ll improve your overall health and get more out of your memory when you sweat a bit. Sleep And Memory Retention Grab a comfy pillow and snuggle down for some serious snoozing all in the name of improving your memory! Sleep has some amazing brain benefits and is a good friend to your memory as it helps to sharpen its performance. Essentially, the better your sleep habits, the better your memory. You brain needs that down time to hold onto all of the important things you take in on a daily basis. Getting too little sleep is a frenemy to your memory. If your brain doesn’t have the right amount of down time, there’s less time for it to strength those important memory supporting synapses that get a boost while your drool on your pillow. So, take those naps, go to bed early and watch your memory improve as a result. Socializing May Boost Memory Resist the temptation to keep to yourself and become antisocial. It’s hard for some of us solitary creatures, especially when there’s a lot to juggle like exams, classes, work and studying. Embrace your friends and become a social butterfly at least a few times a week. Hanging out with your BFF or even just interacting with those around you is said to be a great defense against feeling depressed and stressed out. Both of these pesky things can also take a hit to your memory. So, put on some pants, brush your hair and crawl out of your antisocial hole for long enough to take advantage of the benefits and enjoy the memory boost that follows. Laughter And The Brain Laughter really is the best medicine with a lot of medicinal uses. A good chuckle can get your brain working in the right way to boost your ability to remember important things, increase creativity and learn a bit better. Your brain kind of loosens up in a way that allows it to reach further than it was able to previously and make different connections once some of the road blocks were knocked down as a result of your church giggles (my favorite kind). There’s no wrong or right way to access your belly laugh. Hang around funny people who liven things up with their humor and playful nature. Enjoy the fun things in life by wearing a shirt with a funny saying, reading silly meme’s on the internet and taking joy out of silly things like gag gifts. Watch funny shows and embrace your inner little kid, too. Laugh when someone passes gas and don’t be afraid to let your silly side show. Use Meditation To Improve Memory Tapping into your inner Yoda is said to be a pretty big help when trying to improve your memory. The EOC Institute says, “Meditation can help you remember things that you may have already forgotten. With no place within your brain to discard memories, memory stays stored in your brain subconsciously, and only needs to be accessed. Often, our tools for accessing memory are what we lose. Meditation is the very best way to harness the power of the subconscious mind, thereby retrieving seemingly long forgotten information, healthy and naturally.” That’s a fancy pants way of saying that it’s a good idea to tuck yourself into a corner and “ohm” your way to a better memory. Hey, it’s easy enough to try and certainly can’t hurt anything, so give it a try and meditate for 10-15 minutes a few times a day. Try Games To Help Memory Challenge yourself to a battle of wits and memory with a variety of brain boosting games. You can get those memory inducing juices flowing with ease when you spend just a short amount of time each day exercising your brain just like you do those biceps. Scientists actually suggest lifting some mental weights in spurts of 5 minutes four times a day or more. You can turn nearly anything into a brain game, too. Work up a mental sweat with a word search, cross word puzzle, Sodoku or various card games to start. You can even play an instrument, put together a puzzle, learn a new language and work on your word association skills to add to the brain strain. These brain games are pretty fun and it will be loaded with bits of instant gratification as you start to see your memory improve. Develop Close Relationships To Improve Memory Make like Olaf and start enjoying some warm hugs! Seriously, having close and healthy relationships is actually really great for your memory. The research done by the Harvard School of Public Health has given a nod to these relationships and has said that people with personal relationships experience slower memory loss and better overall health. There’s no strict definition for these close relationships, though. This means that you can have close friends, a romantic relationship, spend time with co-workers, volunteer for a good cause and even count your four-legged friends as part of your brain boosting mission. Multi-tasking Is Bad For Your Brain Do yourself and your memory a favor: stop trying to do so many things at once. This is likely to be a hard thing to accomplish since we currently live in a world where we are expected to multi-task and wear many hats all at the same time. Your brain isn’t able to keep up with this frenetic pace of task hoping, so chill out and drop a few of the plates you’re trying to juggle. Help yourself out by getting organized, creating a schedule and setting a list of priorities. These three little tasks will allow you to focus more on the individual tasks at hand while allowing your brain the necessary time to actually soak up the information needed to story in its memory bank. Health And Memory Loss Something that is often overlooked when trying to find ways to improve your memory is definitely the overall health of your body. It’s easy to overestimate the power an underlying health issue may have on your brain’s ability to function at its best. Take a trip to the doctor at least once a year to make sure you don’t have any chronic health issues that may be contributing to your slacking memory. It’s a good idea to get you kidney, thyroid and immune system checked since they can be secret memory vipers lurking in the shadows. Also do a mental health check now and then as depression and anxiety are also known to be frenemies to your memory.