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11 Ways to Improve Memory and Brain Health*

October 26, 2015

 

There’s a reason why memory loss is one of the signs of old age because it naturally affects us when we are older. Forgetfulness and degenerating brain function are 2 issues that most people around the age of 40 are looking to overcome. Since we cannot turn back time, you might think that there are no anti-aging tricks to battle these.

 

Well, think again! I have here 11 ways to improve memory and brain health.

 

Meditate

 

According to a report published in Harvard Health, Harvard Medical School,  last year, meditation can help reduce anxiety,  mental stress and stress-related conditions. And we all know that being free of stress mean anti-aging for the body.

 

Another study from UCLA says that meditation aids in preserving brain health. Aside from these benefits, it can also help with anxiety and depression according to a research from Johns Hopkins. It is quite a powerful tool to spend your free time on. You can do this anytime of the day, for a short (or longer) period, without any expense.  You just need to find a spot to sit and meditate. And no worries for beginners! There are free guided meditations in the web that you can tap into (as I have done and stored in a couple of my hand-held gadgets!).

 

And what is one thing to help you develop your sense of focus? Meditating.

 

Focus

 

Sometimes life can get in the way when you are trying to focus on remembering things. It’s not always easy, this much is true. But in order to improve your memory health, try to tune out the buzz around you and get yourself to focus on what you’re trying to recall as best as you can.

 

Practice in seeing it clearly in your mind and return to it from time to time so that you won’t forget. If indeed it slips your mind when you are trying to recollect it, stop for a minute and bring yourself to focus. It’s like a habit, the more you do it, the less you will have to force yourself into doing it over time.

 

Prioritize

 

There’s always so much to do with so little time to do it. Yes, we all know how that is. It’s like preparing for a big test in a short amount of time. You cannot remember most of the things you’ve reviewed if you cram it all in your brain in one night.

 

So set your priorities. Make a list of the most important things you need to remember down to the least. Try your best not to skip the order of your priority list. Again, this is a habit you must impose on yourself. Continued practice will help discipline your mind to hone in the important data and will not be easily distracted with useless ones. In time, your brain health will easily bring into forefront the things you need to remember thus improving your memory health.

 

Organize

 

All those aforementioned will be of no value when the details under your priorities are in chaos. Organize your data, organize your thoughts. It’s just like a room full of books. It will be hard to find that title if they are piled unceremoniously on the table, on the shelf, or on the floor. Consolidate the data in your brain in a category. It is easier to call up that memory because the brain will have sorted the data the same way an organized person would in a physical realm. The less stress you put into your mind, the better your brain health will be.

 

Food for Thought

 

I’ve already written about how anti-aging nutrition beautifies you from the inside. And all of us know that whatever goodness you put into your body, it will shine through every part of you. It’s just that, not everyone puts it into practice! Well, to improve memory and brain health, you need to feed your brain with the correct fuel. The best examples would be foods high in anti-oxidant properties. Nuts, healthy oils, and seeds are high in Vitamin E, which is the vitamin known as a good anti-oxidant. Fish, green leafy veggies, and berries are also good brain food.

 

 

 

Alcohol

 

Sure, there are medical studies that a glass of red wine a day will aid you to better health. But alcohol is still alcohol so in excess CANNOT be good for you. And what it does best when there is an overflow in your system is fry your brain cells.

 

It’s the truth –when alcohol prickles off your blood, you brain cells die with it. Now, that’s not good for your memory health. Haven’t you noticed that too much drinking causes some people to experience headache and short term memory loss the next day? It’s what you would call normally call “hangover” but actually, that was their brain cells saying “Sayonara”!

 

Since the effect is short term, a lot of excessive alcohol drinkers think it’s not at all seriously dangerous to their brain. They think it’s more likely to damage their liver, intestines, or kidney. Long term damage is definitely something to worry about since one’s mental capacity will definitely be diminished.

 

H2O

 

Instead of hydrating with artificial liquids, why not stick with water? Water is like fuel to an engine. It keeps your brain from breaking down, so to speak. I’m pretty sure you have seen a survival movie a time or two and the first thing that happens when a person is dehydrated is lose focus and clarity.

 

It is true in real life as well. It is why water is essentially dubbed as “life giving”. But do not go rushing to the kitchen and inhale 3 gallons of water at one go. Take it easy and give yourself a glass in intervals throughout the day. Your body can only process so much water in a given time. Especially if you are one of those people who aren’t used to drinking 8 glasses or more per day. Shocking your system will only make you sick instead of helping boost your brain health.

 

Read

 

Reading through your social media following is not at all total brain exercise especially if the posts are just blurbs about food and OOTD (outfit of the day). Surely you can type and click on your computer to get information on-line but make sure it is going to feed the brain with exercising content.

 

This means a novel could do the trick instead of a blog or newsletters. A novel’s content will push your mind to remember details, accept new concepts, and fire up your imagination. Getting immersed in a good and heart-warming story will also help in de-stressing. A good book is always a good anti-aging escape.

 

Exercise

 

It’s not just the mind that you need to exercise but the body as well. You have to keep active to improve mental and brain health according to Harvard Health. There are direct and indirect benefits of exercise to your brain, the article states, causing for a better memory and mental capabilities. The reduction of stress and anxiety through exercise is definitely an anti-aging bonus.

 

Source: DNews

 

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you exercise like  there’s no tomorrow. You’ll only hurt yourself this way. Always start slow especially if you are not used to being active. Take a walk or a short run every morning or after dinner. Choose a route that’s safe and engaging so you’ll also stimulate your brain while doing so.

 

Music

 

I’m sure some of you are thinking “what can music do for my memory health?” Exactly what you want it to –you can meditate on chants, dance to the beats, or sleep to serenity. Music can alter you in a way nothing else can. Just a change in beat and rhythm will change your mood.

 

A study ten years ago from Frances Rauscher, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, and her associates made impressions with the find that listening to Mozart enhanced people's spatial and mathematical cognition.

 

Also, those who have learned to play music have the same enhanced skill-set than those people who haven’t. This may mean that learning to play music touches parts of our brain that other extra-curricular activities can’t.

 

Although these studies will prove true for some, please take note though that each person has a different taste in music and interest. Not everyone will like classical music or learning to play the guitar.

 

I have a friend that can truly sleep well when listening to rock music. No kidding! The sure benefit you can get from music is the relaxation and feel-good vibe when you listen to your favorite tunes. And surely, if you feel better, the better your brain health will be.

 

Sleep

 

This one word says it all. Sleep heals the body and therefore heals the brain. You will improve memory and brain health if you get a consistent and healthy amount of sleep every day. A 3-hour nap after lunch won’t cut it. You are considered to be lawfully drunk if you are up for 21 hours straight. And that will make you incompetent in so many ways! You have to get proper rest at the right time and with the right amount of hours for your age.

 

There you have it! Go ahead and try the 11 Ways to Iimprove Your Memory and Brain Health I’ve listed here. Let’s all age into better memories and better brain health!

 

 

Till next time,

 

Kellie

 

* Disclaimer:

 

 

References:

http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1809754

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01551/full

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/meditation_for_anxiety_and_depression

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110

http://www.wisc.edu/

http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/red-wine/art-20048281

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Amadeus_Mozart

 

Video Source:

https://youtu.be/Aj_5SGdx7Xk

 

Image Source:

http://www.brainhealth.utdallas.edu

https://socialanxietyinstitute.org/
http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

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