25 Surefire Ways To Improve Your Memory And Keep Your Brain Sharp

Although every once in a while you may come across a person who has trouble forgetting anything at all, most of us struggle with the opposite problem. Heck, some of us can’t even remember what we ate for breakfast this morning. If this is you, then you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to show you how to develop a superhuman memory. Okay, so maybe not superhuman, but pretty close. Here are 25 surefire ways to improve your memory and keep your brain sharp.

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25. Avoid Stress

Stress is not only harmful to your body but also your brain. Prolonged stress can affect an important part of your brain called the hippocampus, which is responsible for generating new memories and recalling old ones. Go for a walk, take a breather, and keep yourself away from stressful situations.

24. Be a Teacher

They say that only when you can teach something do you really know it. Of course, not all of us have the time to teach in a formal school but how about friends and family? Learn, teach, learn, repeat.

23. Build a Healthy Relationship

Research has showed that a healthy meaningful relationship and strong support system are not only good for emotional health but for the health of your brain as well. Humans are naturally sociable and the saying ‘no man is an island’ holds true. Start socializing by volunteering for community services, joining a club, and by making it a point to see friends or call them over the phone once in awhile. Even pets would be a good idea.

22. Eat the Right Food

Your brain needs fuel like your body, so make sure to eat the right kind such as those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, choline and vitamin D. You can also splurge on foods rich in complex carbohydrates for mental energy. You can get your omega-3 in coldwater fish like salmon, sardines, herring, tuna, etc. and from walnuts, flaxseed, soybeans and pumpkin seeds. Limit your calories and saturated fat intake, but instead eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoid red meat and other processed foods.

21. Exercise Your Brain

Aside from keeping your body fit, you will also need to engage in some brain fitness like playing chess, Sudoku, mahjong, or card games. Use it or lose it.

20. Find Your Inner Talents

Let your creative juices flow by learning something new. If you do not know how to draw, write, sing, or take photographs – it is not too late. By trying out new skills, you are letting your subconscious express itself, creating new connections in your brain, and possibly building a social network.

19. Focus on the Basics

You don’t have to learn the details of Einsteins Theory of Relativity, but making your brain hurt every once in while is good for it, even if its just learning how to update your computer.

18. Get Enough Rest

In today’s busy world, sleeping for 6 to 8 hours a day may seem like a dream. Sleep deprivation, however, is bad for your mental health and can lead to memory loss. At least take a nap!

17. Give Yourself Time to Form a Memory

Memories are very fragile and they can be easily lost by simple distractions. It is therefore important to focus on the thing that you need to memorize for awhile without thinking about other things. Stay away from distractions and complicated tasks. Maybe studying in the library wouldn’t be a bad idea.

16. Involve all Your Senses

You can relate the information that you need to remember to colors, tastes, smells, and textures which will help to imprint them in your brain. Smell is very closely related to memory which is why when you smell a certain type of odor you will remember the smell of the kitchen or your mom’s cooking when you were young.

15. Laughter, the Best Medicine for the Brain

It’s cliche but true as laughter engages a number of regions across the brain, unlike other emotional responses. It can actually activate some areas in your brain that are needed for learning and creativity.

14. Learn Some Tunes

Remember when you were young you could remember all the songs being played on the radio but found it hard to memorize the poem your teacher asked you to? Music can help a lot if you want to remember something. Most people associate familiar songs with important events in their lives.

13. Listen to Classical Music

Some people say that if you want your child to be intelligent, you have to let them listen to classical music while still in the mother’s womb. Also known as the “Mozart Effect,” classical music can greatly relax the mind, clarify your thinking, and even boost your IQ. According to some researchers, the complexity of the classical piece is what activates the brain to make it solve spatial problems more quickly. Nowadays, classical concerts are organized in the hospital to help patients with autism, Parkinsons disease, and hearing loss.

12. Avoid the bad stuff

A healthy lifestyle does not only involve getting enough rest, exercising daily, or eating the right food. If you want a healthy lifestyle, you also need to avoid habit-forming activities like drinking alcoholic beverages and too much coffee which have harmful chemicals that can damage your brain cells.

11. Relax

Very closely related to number 25 (avoid stress), actively seeking out relaxation every now and then is a good habit if you want to keep yourself sharp into old age.

10. Move Your Body

It might sound like we’re starting to beat a dead horse but trust us, exercise is just that important, even for brain.

9. Pay Attention

If you find yourself forgetting the name of the person you were just introduced to or where you have placed your eyeglasses (usually on your head) or pen that you have kept for only a few minutes, you are definitely lacking concentration. You can harness your concentration skills by repeating the name of the person in your head three times. It comes down to force of habit.

8. Plan

It sounds obvious but in the short term the easiest thing to do is often the most overlooked – plan things out! Don’t just think you’re going to remember everything. With smart phones these days it shouldn’t be that hard.

7. Play

Basically, act like a kid. Whether that means playing tag with your coworkers or actually hanging out with your own kids, it’s a surefire way to break your mental funk and set the stage for a stronger memory!

6. Read out Loud

This may not work for everybody, but especially for the auditory learners among you, reading out loud can be hugely helpful. Psychology tells us that listening to something being read to you forces deeper comprehension than reading it yourself and makes things easier to remember.

5. Rehearse the Information

Don’t wait to go over everything. Review it as soon as you learn it…and then the next day, and the next. If you wait too long, you’ll have to learn it all over again.

4. Relate Information to What You Know

You can connect new information to what you already know, even if it is a simple one or a new material that requires previous knowledge. For instance, you can easily remember the address of a person by associating it with someone that you know who also lives within the same area. This is why most teachers prompt their students to think about what they know about a topic before studying them. Relating their prior knowledge to the texts that they are about to read can greatly improve their comprehension.

3. Take a Deep Breath

Of course this is more of an “on-the-spot-quick-whats-the-number” type thing but it goes along with what we’ve been saying. Take a minute, chill out, and then see if you can remember anything.

2. Think in Pictures

This was the technique used by famous scientists Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla, who had poor memory with words. Einstein visualized scenarios to answer complicated scientific questions, while Tesla carried out the whole experiment in his mind before writing the procedures down. You can make visual information fun by engaging in interesting images such as charts, diagrams, maps photos, etc. rather than being a passive observer. This will help you retrieve the information later rather than just stuffing paragraphs of text into your mind.

1. Use Mnemonic Devices

Mnemonics are actually clues that can help you remember a word, a sentence or a visual image. They may include acronyms, rhymes, or some sort of memory technique. For example, a method called chunking can be used to break down a long list of numbers into smaller, easier to remember bits. Because humans are designed to retain about 7 pieces of distinct information in short term memory at a time, if you have a long phone number to remember, just split it up into 3 or 4 smaller numbers. In fact, in many parts of the world this is done for you.

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