One of the unfortunate side effects of getting older is losing our memory. Whether we have a hard time figuring out where we placed or keys, or we discover that our childhood memories are becoming a bit hazy, it can be frustrating feeling like we don’t have access to important information.
Luckily, preventing a decline in our memory is possible if you pick up the right habits.
Keeping your brain quick and active by playing memory games and reading about new topics is great, but there are a variety of other activities that help sharpen the mind and help prevent cognitive decline.
If you want to be less forgetful and possibly prevent diseases such as dementia, consider adopting the following 10 easy habits that can help improve your memory.
1. Listen To Music
Studies have shown a link between music and memory, especially when it comes to singing things you need to remember. Music can also activate widespread areas in the brain, helping to trigger memory recall.
2. Take Naps
Feeling a little groggy? Research has found that taking a one hour nap can improve your memory by fivefold. Enjoying a quick snooze can help improve memory recall, as the boost of brain activity during sleep can help turn short-term memories into long-term ones.
Regular aerobic exercise has been found to boost the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for verbal memory and learning. Running and other aerobic exercises increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which helps preserve neuron health and encourages creation of new brain cells.
4. Eat A Mediterranean Diet
Eating a diet high in healthy unsaturated fats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has been linked to a lower risk of dementia. Nutrients such as vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids can help protect the brain from cognitive decline.
5. Drink Coffee
Studies have found that the caffeine in coffee can help boost long-term memory and memory retention. The ideal dose of caffeine for an enhanced memory is 200 milligrams, which is about two cups of coffee.
Meditation is not only good for diminishing stress, but it can also help with working memory and focus. This may be because meditation encourages a single focus rather than multitasking, which can improve concentration and memory formation.
7. Learn Something New
Learning a new skill requires formation of new pathways in the brain, which can help improve your memory. Studies show that learning any new task can help ward off cognitive decline, but the harder the new task is, the more memory is improved.
8. Write Stuff Down
Keeping a list is a great visual way to remember things, but it also the task of handwriting that helps solidify memories. Using a pen and paper versus typing something on a laptop, as writing by hand helps the brain to receive feedback from your motor actions.
9. Play A Game
Brain-challenging games such as puzzles and certain video games can give you a cognitive boost by improving spatial attention and executive functioning as well as fighting mental decline. Games that require your focus can help improve your concentration as well as other cognitive skills.
10. Enjoy A Glass Of Wine
Although too much alcohol can actually impair your memory, one glass of red wine a day can improve your short-term memory recall. Resveratrol, the compound found in red wine as well as chocolate, peanuts, and blueberries, is responsible for the protective effects on memory.