We know you probably aren't trying to recall some of those calculus concepts, or attempting to memorize one of Shakespeare's great works, but keeping your memory fresh and awake is key to living a healthy life! Just like it is important to exercise and eat right, it is also absolutely crucial that you keep your mind in shape too! So regardless of whether you are battling the effects of a hazy memory as a mommy-to-be, a stay-at-home mom or a working woman, try some of these helpful tips to improve your memory. Increasing the health and vitality of your brain is essential to your overall wellbeing, so get started today!
Exercise is essential. If you're a fitness freak, chances are your brain feels pretty alert and in shape too! Studies have shown that exercise increases the amount of oxygen flow to your brain which, in turn, reduces the risk of disorders that lead to memory loss. Professionals also insist that working out can protect your brain cells by enhancing the effects of certain brain chemicals, so next time you're feeling a little groggy, consider going for a run! (via Helpguide)
>> Read more: Why Cardio is Good for the Brain
Get enough sleep. Like many deficiencies and health problems, lack of sleep can wreak havoc with your memory as well! Your brain struggles to operate at full capacity when you are sleep deprived. Your creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking skills rely heavily on your alertness, so make sure you are getting a solid seven to eight hours of sleep every night!
Convert information into a picture. Most people are very visual learners, so if you are struggling to handle abstract information (like a series of numbers), converting it into a picture allows your brain to visualize it more clearly. This also works extremely well if you are trying to figure out what an object would look like if it was rotated 90 degrees. Your brain will process the picture more quickly than the abstract data. (via Forbes)
Go out with the girls. While we may think that having a sharp memory means we need to study, study, study, research has shown that another critical element to mental health is having fun with your friends! Whether you are catching up with your girls over mimosas, or hitting the movie theater with friends for a night of cheesy romantic chick flicks, just remember that a little fun can go a long way in promoting cognitive health! (via Helpguide)
Play brain games. We don't want you to have to settle in with a textbook and flashcards to enhance your memory. Chances are, you had plenty of that in school, and aren't looking to relive it! Instead, try to develop a hobby that includes brain games like Sudoku, crossword puzzles, or brain-training apps on your phone like Lumosity. These will help boost your brain development and improve your memory! (via Health)
Involve multiple senses. Sure, endlessly repeating a string of numbers will help you to memorize them... eventually. However, if you want to remember things for a longer period of time, try involving multiple senses. Forbes recommends associating a distinguishing feature with the sound of the name of an object or person in order to better remember them.
Learn a new skill. Studies have revealed that practicing any new skill — regardless of whether it is learning a new language, crocheting, or mastering the art of cooking — goes a long way in promoting brain growth and development. Just keep in mind that learning a new skill requires more than the occasional attempt. You've got to practice this hobby regularly in order to reap the benefits! (via Health)
Laugh out loud. Whoever coined the popular phrase "laughter is the best medicine" really knew what he (or she!) was talking about! Studies have revealed that, unlike most emotions, laughter engages multiple regions across the whole brain. According to experts, laughter actually boosts our cognitive development and helps promote free thinking and creativity. (via Helpguide)
Eat the right foods. Just like physical health, mental health also relies heavily on what you eat. Foods like walnuts, olive oil, berries, coffee, spinach and dark chocolate have a ton of nutrients that will help enhance your mental alertness and help you to improve your memory! For a more complete list of superfoods that will boost your memory, check out Huffington Post's article by clicking here.
Use mnemonic devices: Mnemonic devices are techniques that people use to improve their ability to remember things. For instance, in order to memorize the order of operations in math, people often use Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, in order to remember parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. They are enormously helpful tactics, especially if you need to improve your memorization! (via Health)
If you feel like your brain is foggy, and you experience occasional blank spots in your memory, you don't need to worry! Think of your memory as a muscle — it just needs to be exercised in order to regain its proper function! These tips will go a long way in promoting mental health, so just stick with it and you will feel more alert in no time!