What helps with memory and focus

14 Natural Ways to Improve Your Memory

Everyone has moments of forgetfulness from time to time, especially when life gets busy.

While this can be a completely normal occurrence, having a poor memory can be frustrating.

Genetics play a role in memory loss, especially in serious neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. However, research has shown that diet and lifestyle have a major impact on memory too.

Here are 14 evidence-based ways to improve your memory naturally.

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1. Eat less added sugar

Eating too much added sugar has been linked to many health issues and chronic diseases, including cognitive decline.

Research has shown that a sugar-laden diet can lead to poor memory and reduced brain volume, particularly in the area of the brain that stores short-term memory (1, 2).

For example, one study of more than 4,000 people found that those with a higher intake of sugary beverages like soda had lower total brain volumes and poorer memories on average compared with people who consumed less sugar (2).

Cutting back on sugar not only helps your memory but also improves your overall health.

Summary Research has shown that people who regularly
consume lots of added sugar may have poorer memory and lower brain volume
than those who limit sugar.

2. Try a fish oil supplement

Fish oil is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

These fats are important for overall health and have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, relieve stress and anxiety, and slow mental decline (3, 4).

Many studies have shown that consuming fish and fish oil supplements may improve memory, especially in older people.

A 2015 review of 28 studies showed that when adults with mild symptoms of memory loss took supplements rich in DHA and EPA, like fish oil, they experienced improved episodic memory (6).

Both DHA and EPA are vital to the health and functioning of the brain and also help reduce inflammation in the body, which has been linked to cognitive decline (7).

Summary Fish and fish oil supplements are rich in the
omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Consuming them may help improve short-term,
working, and episodic memory, especially in older people.

3. Make time for meditation

The practice of meditation may positively affect your health in many ways.

It is relaxing and soothing, and has been found to reduce stress and pain, lower blood pressure and even improve memory (8).

In fact, meditation has been shown to increase gray matter in the brain. Gray matter contains neuron cell bodies (9).

As you age, gray matter declines, which negatively impacts memory and cognition (10).

Meditation and relaxation techniques have been shown to improve short-term memory in people of all ages, from people in their 20s to older adults (11).

For example, one study showed that Taiwanese college students who engaged in meditation practices like mindfulness had significantly better spatial working memory than students who did not practice meditation (12).

Spatial working memory is the ability to hold and process information in your mind about the positions of objects in space.

Summary Meditation isn’t just good for your body —
it’s also good for your brain. Research suggests meditation may increase gray
matter in the brain and improve spatial working memory.

4. Maintain a moderate weight

Maintaining a moderate body weight is essential for well-being and is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind in top condition.

Several studies have established obesity as a risk factor for cognitive decline.

Having obesity can actually cause changes to memory-associated genes in the brain, negatively affecting memory (13).

Obesity can also lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, both of which can negatively impact the brain (14).

A study of 50 people between ages 18 and 35 years found that a higher body mass index was associated with significantly worse performance on memory tests (15).

Obesity is also associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive disease that destroys memory and cognitive function (16).

Summary Obesity is a risk factor for cognitive
decline. Maintaining a body mass index within the normal range may help you
avoid a host of issues associated with obesity, including a poorer memory.

5. Get enough sleep

Lack of proper sleep has been associated with poor memory for quite some time.

Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation, a process in which short-term memories are strengthened and transformed into long-lasting memories.

Research shows that if you’re sleep deprived, you could be negatively impacting your memory.

For example, one study looked at the effects of sleep in 40 children between ages 10 and 14 years.

One group of children was trained for memory tests in the evening, then tested the following morning after a night’s sleep. The other group was trained and tested on the same day, with no sleep between training and testing.

The group that slept between training and testing performed 20% better on the memory tests (17).

Another study found that nurses working the night shift made more mathematical errors and that 68% of them scored lower on memory tests compared with nurses working the day shift (17).

Health experts recommend adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night for optimal health (18).

Summary Studies have consistently associated
sufficient sleep with better memory performance. Sleep helps consolidate
memories. You’re also likely to perform better on memory tests if you’re well
rested than if you’re sleep deprived.

6. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a mental state in which you focus on your present situation, maintaining awareness of your surroundings and feelings.

Mindfulness is used in meditation, but the two aren’t one and the same. Meditation is a more formal practice, whereas mindfulness is a mental habit you can use in any situation.

Studies have shown that mindfulness is effective at lowering stress and improving concentration and memory.

One study of 293 psychology students showed that those who underwent mindfulness training had improved recognition-memory performance when recalling objects compared with students who did not receive mindfulness training (19).

Mindfulness has also been linked with a lower risk of age-related cognitive decline and an overall improvement in psychological well-being (20).

Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine by paying more attention to your present situation, concentrating on your breathing, and gently resetting your attention when your mind wanders.

Summary Practicing mindfulness techniques has been
associated with increased memory performance. Mindfulness is also linked to
reduced age-related cognitive decline.

7. Drink alcohol in moderation

Consuming too many alcoholic beverages can be detrimental to your health in many ways and can negatively impact your memory.

Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that raises your blood alcohol levels to 0.08 grams per ml or above. Studies have shown it alters the brain and results in memory deficits.

A study of 155 college freshmen found that students who consumed six or more drinks within a short period of time, either weekly or monthly, had difficulties in immediate and delayed memory-recall tests compared with students who never binge drank (21).

Alcohol exhibits neurotoxic effects on the brain. Repeated episodes of binge drinking can damage the hippocampus, a part of the brain that plays a vital role in memory (22).

While having a drink or two now and then is likely OK, avoiding excessive alcohol intake is a smart way to protect your memory.

Summary Alcohol has neurotoxic effects on the brain,
including reducing memory performance. Occasional moderate drinking is typically not an
issue, but binge drinking can damage your hippocampus, a key area of your brain
associated with memory.

8. Train your brain

Exercising your cognitive skills by playing brain games is a fun and effective way to boost your memory.

Crosswords, word-recall games, Tetris, and even mobile apps dedicated to memory training are excellent ways to strengthen memory.

A study that included 42 adults with mild cognitive impairment found that playing games on a brain-training app for 8 hours over a 4-week period improved performance in memory tests (23).

Another study of 4,715 people showed that when they did 15 minutes of an online brain-training program at least 5 days a week, their short-term memory, working memory, concentration, and problem-solving improved significantly compared to a control group (24).

Plus, brain-training games have been shown to help reduce the risk of dementia in older adults (25).

Summary Games that challenge your brain may help you
strengthen your memory and may even reduce the risk of dementia.

9. Limit refined carbs

Consuming large amounts of refined carbohydrates like cakes, cereal, cookies, white rice, and white bread may be damaging to your memory.

These foods have a high glycemic index, meaning the body digests these carbohydrates quickly, leading to a spike in blood sugar levels (26).

Studies have shown that the Western diet, which is high in refined carbohydrates, is associated with dementia, cognitive decline, and reduced cognitive function (27).

One study involving 317 healthy Korean children found that those who consumed more processed carbs like white rice, noodles, and fast food had reduced cognitive capacity, including poorer short-term and working memory (28).

Another study demonstrated that adults who consumed ready-to-eat breakfast cereal daily had poorer cognitive function than those who consumed cereal less frequently (29).

Summary Like added sugar, refined carbohydrates lead
to a spike in blood sugar levels, which can damage your brain over time. Diets
high in refined carbs have been associated with dementia, cognitive decline, and
reduced brain function.

10. Get your vitamin D levels tested

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that plays many vital roles in the body.

Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to a host of health issues, including a reduction in cognitive function.

A study that followed 318 older adults for 5 years found that those who had blood levels of vitamin D less than 20 nanograms (ng) per milliliter (mL) lost their memory and other cognitive abilities faster than those with normal vitamin D levels (30).

Low levels of vitamin D have also been linked to a greater risk of developing dementia (31).

Vitamin D deficiency is very common, especially in colder climates and in those with darker skin. Speak with your doctor about getting a blood test to find out if you need a vitamin D supplement.

Summary Vitamin D deficiency is very common,
especially in colder climates, and has been associated with age-related
cognitive decline and dementia. If you think you might have low levels of
vitamin D, ask your doctor for a blood test.

11. Exercise

Exercise is important for overall physical and mental health.

Research has established that it’s beneficial for the brain and may help improve memory in people of all ages, from children to older adults.

For example, a study of 144 people aged 19 to 93 showed that a single bout of 15 minutes of moderate exercise on a stationary bike led to improved cognitive performance, including memory, across all ages (32).

Many studies have shown exercise may increase the secretion of neuroprotective proteins and improve the growth and development of neurons, leading to improved brain health (33).

Regular exercise in midlife is also associated with a decreased risk of developing dementia later in life (34).

Summary Exercise brings incredible benefits for your
whole body, including your brain. Even moderate exercise for short periods has
been shown to improve cognitive performance, including memory, across all age

12. Choose anti-inflammatory foods

Consuming a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods may help improve your memory.

Antioxidants help lower inflammation in the body by reducing oxidative stress caused by free radicals. You can consume antioxidants in foods like fruits, vegetables, and teas.

A recent review of nine studies with more than 31,000 people found that those who ate more fruits and vegetables had lower risks of cognitive decline and dementia compared to those who consumed less of these nutritious foods (35).

Berries are particularly high in antioxidants like flavonoids and anthocyanins. Eating them may be an excellent way to prevent memory loss.

Summary Anti-inflammatory foods are great for your
brain, especially berries and other foods that are high in antioxidants. To
incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, you can’t go wrong by
consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables.

13. Consider curcumin

Curcumin is a compound found in high concentrations in turmeric root. It’s one of a category of compounds called polyphenols.

It is a potent antioxidant and exerts powerful anti-inflammatory effects in the body.

Studies have found that curcumin reduces oxidative damage and inflammation in the brain and also lowers the quantity of amyloid plaques. These accumulate on neurons and cause cell and tissue death, leading to memory loss (37).

In fact, amyloid plaque buildup may play a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (38).

Though more human studies are needed on the effects of curcumin on memory, some studies suggest it may be effective at boosting memory and preventing cognitive decline (39, 40).

Summary Curcumin is a potent antioxidant. Animal
studies have shown it reduces inflammation and amyloid plaques in the brain.
However, more research in humans is needed.

14. Add some cocoa to your diet

Cocoa is not only delicious but also nutritious, providing a powerful dose of antioxidants called flavonoids. Research suggests flavonoids are particularly beneficial to the brain.

They may help stimulate the growth of blood vessels and neurons and increase blood flow in parts of the brain involved with memory.

A study of 30 healthy people found that those who consumed dark chocolate containing 720 mg of cocoa flavonoids demonstrated better memory compared to those who consumed white chocolate without cocoa flavonoids (41).

To get the most benefit out of chocolate, choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% cacao or higher. That will help ensure it contains larger amounts of antioxidants like flavonoids.

Summary Cocoa is high in antioxidants that may help
improve memory performance. Make sure to choose dark chocolate with 70% cacao
or higher so you get a concentrated dose of antioxidants.

The bottom line

There are many fun, simple and even delicious ways to improve your memory.

Exercising your mind and body, enjoying a quality piece of chocolate and reducing the amount of added sugar in your diet are all excellent techniques.

Try adding a few of these science-backed tips to your daily routine to boost your brain health and keep your memory in top condition.

Power, Concentration, Retention, and Focus

Our memories are an integral part of who we are, but as we age our memory declines. For many older adults, the decline becomes so serious that they’re no longer able to live independently, which is one of the biggest fears adults have as they age.

The good news is that scientists have been learning more about our brain’s amazing capacity to change and grow new neural connections each day, even in old age. This concept is known as neuroplasticity. Through research on neuroplasticity, scientists have discovered that our memory capacity isn’t fixed, but rather malleable like plastic.

To take full advantage of neuroplasticity, you’ll need to exercise your brain and take care of your body. These 25 tips and tricks are some of the most effective methods for improving memory.

Memory strength is just like muscular strength. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. But you can’t lift the same size weight every day and expect to get stronger. You’ll need to keep your brain constantly challenged. Learning a new skill is an excellent way to strengthen your brain’s memory capacity.

There are many activities to choose from, but most importantly, you’ll need to find something that forces you out of your comfort zone and commands your full attention.

Here are some examples:

  • learn a new instrument
  • make pottery
  • play mind games, like Sudoku or chess
  • learn a new type of dance, like the tango
  • learn a new language

Research from 2007 showed that speaking more than one language can delay the onset of memory problems in people with dementia.

Any time you learn a new piece of information, you’re more likely to mentally record that information if it’s repeated.

Repetition reinforces the connections we create between neurons. Repeat what you hear out loud. Try using it in a sentence. Write it down and read it aloud.

But the work doesn’t stop there. Research shows that simple repetition is an ineffective learning tool if used on its own. You’ll need to sit back down later and actively try to retrieve the information without looking at where you wrote it down. Testing yourself to retrieve the information is better than repeated studying. Practicing retrieval creates more long-term and meaningful learning experiences.

Mnemonic devices can be in the form of acronyms, abbreviations, songs, or rhymes.

Mnemonics have been tested since the 1960s as an effective strategy for students. You’ve probably been taught a few mnemonic devices for remembering long lists. For example, the colors of the spectrum can be remembered with the name ROY G. BIV (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet).

Grouping or chunking refers to the process of dividing newly learned information into chunks to produce fewer, larger chunks of information. For example, you may have noticed that it’s much easier to remember a phone number if the 10 digits are grouped into three separate chunks (e.g. 555-637-8299) rather than one long number (5556378299).

The mind palace technique is often used by memory champions. In this ancient technique, you create a visual and complex place to store a set of memories.

For more instructions on how to create memory palaces, watch 2006 U.S. Memory Champion Joshua Foer’s TED talk.

Another tactic of memory connoisseurs is that they don’t just rely on one sense to help retain information. Instead, they relate information to other senses, like colors, tastes, and smells.

Modern technology has its place, but unfortunately has made us “mentally lazy.” Before you reach for your phone to ask Siri or Google, make a solid attempt to retrieve the information with your mind. This process helps reinforce the neural pathways in your brain.

Another common mistake is relying on the GPS every time you drive. Researchers found in 2013 that relying on response techniques — such as GPS — for navigation, shrinks a part of our brain called the hippocampus, which is responsible for spatial memory and moving information from short-term to long-term memory. Poor hippocampus health is associated with dementia and memory decline.

Unless you’re totally lost, try to get to your destination using your brain instead of just following the instructions on your GPS. Perhaps use GPS to get there, but use your brain to get back home. Your brain will thank you for the extra challenge.

A busy schedule can maintain your brain’s episodic memory. One study linked busy schedules to better cognitive function. This study, however, was limited by self-reporting.

An organized person has an easier time remembering. Checklists are one good tool for organization. Manually writing down your checklist (instead of doing it electronically) also increases the likelihood that you’ll remember what you’ve written down.

Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time each morning. Try not to break your routine on the weekends. This can greatly improve sleep quality.

The blue light emitted by cell phone, TV, and computer screens inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm). A poorly regulated sleep cycle can really take a toll on sleep quality.

Without enough sleep and rest, the neurons in our brain become overworked. They can no longer coordinate information, making it more difficult to access memories. Roughly an hour before bedtime, turn off your devices and allow your brain to unwind.

Diets such as the Mediterranean diet, DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension), and the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH intervention for neurodegenerative delay) have a few things in common. This includes their ability to improve memory and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

These diets focus on eating:

  • plant-based foods, especially green, leafy vegetables and berries
  • whole grains
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • chicken or turkey
  • olive oil or coconut oil
  • herbs and spices
  • fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines
  • red wine, in moderation

Fatty fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s play an important role in building brain and nerve cells. They’re essential for learning and memory and have been shown to delay cognitive decline.

Proponents of the Mediterranean and MIND diets say to avoid the following foods:

  • sugar
  • processed foods
  • butter
  • red meat
  • fried foods
  • salt
  • cheese

Sugar and fat has been linked to impaired memory. A recent study in humans found that a diet high in fats and sugars — common in a Western diet — impairs hippocampal memory. However, the study relied on questionnaires and surveys, which may not be as accurate.

While you should still take your medications prescribed by your doctor, remember to follow your doctor’s instructions for dietary and lifestyle changes too.

Some prescriptions, like statins for high cholesterol, have been associated with memory loss and “brain fog.” Losing weight and eating healthier may also play a role in treating high cholesterol.

Other medications that might affect memory include:

  • antidepressants
  • antianxiety medications
  • hypertension drugs
  • sleeping aids
  • metformin

Talk to your doctor about how to manage your medical conditions so you don’t have to rely on a prescription forever. If you’re worried about how a medication may affect your memory, talk to your doctor about your options.

Exercising has been shown to have cognitive benefits. It improves oxygen and nutrient delivery to the body, and helps to create new cells in the brain which are essential for memory storage. Exercise especially increases the number of cells in the hippocampus.

There’s no need for the exercise to be strenuous. Walking, for example, is a great choice.

When you’re stressed, your body releases stress hormones like cortisol. Cortisol has been shown to greatly impair the brain’s memory process, especially our ability to retrieve long-term memories. Stress and depression have even been shown in animal studies to shrink the brain.

Check out this article for 16 easy ways to reduce stress and anxiety.

Humans are social creatures. Research shows that a strong support system is vital to our emotional and brain health. One study from 2007 found that people with very active social lives had the slowest memory decline. Just 10 minutes of talking to another person was shown to improve memory.

Your brain is made mostly of water. Water acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord. It helps our brain cells use nutrients. So just a small amount of dehydration can have disastrous effects. Mild dehydration has been shown to cause brain shrinkage and memory impairment.

Aim for at least eight to ten glasses per day, or more if you’re very active.

Caffeine has actually been shown to enhance memory and reduce risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

But this one comes with a caveat. Having too much caffeine, or consuming it later in the day, can have the opposite effect as it can impair sleep in sensitive individuals.

It’s true that moderate consumption of alcohol may have a positive effect on memory, but keep in mind that moderate means just one drink for women and two for men each day.

Drinking more than that can have a negative effect on your ability to retain information as well as your sleep.

There’s mounting evidence for the health benefits of meditation. Studies show that meditation helps improve several cognitive functions, like focus, concentration, memory, and learning. Meditation may actually rewire the brain and encourage more connections between brain cells. There are several ways to meditate — find out which one is right for you.

Getting out into nature is incredibly important for our emotional and physical health. Enjoying nature can even be considered a form of meditation. One 2008 study found that a walk in a park improved memory and attention compared to walking in a city.

Likewise, daily gardening lowers your risk of dementia by 36 percent, according to one 2006 study.

One study from 2012 found that a mere 20 minutes of yoga significantly improved participants’ speed and accuracy on memory tests. Participants performed significantly better on the tests after yoga compared to aerobic exercise. The study, however, was limited by its narrow sample size of just 30 young, female students.

Yoga also emphasizes breathing from the diaphragm, which helps maximize our oxygen intake, thus improving mental function.

People with more fatty tissue tend to have less water than people with less fatty tissue. Overweight people also have less brain tissue. The more overweight you are, the more your brain is likely to shrink and affect your memory.

Follow this guide for tips on losing weight naturally.

Our memory is a skill, and just like other skills, it can be improved with practice and healthy overall habits. You can start small. For example, pick a new challenging activity to learn, incorporate a few minutes of exercise into your day, maintain a sleep schedule, and eat a few more green vegetables, fish, and nuts.

The next time you have to study for an exam, try one of the techniques suggested by memory champions, like chunking, mind palaces, or retrieval.

Talk to your doctor if you notice that you’re making many more mistakes than usual or have trouble completing simple daily tasks, like cooking or cleaning.

8 foods to improve memory


© Sasha Stories/unsplash

Author Irina Rudevich

January 15, 2019

Understanding and storing information are physical processes, and they can be accelerated by a well-chosen diet. We have compiled a list of products that contribute to the active work of the brain, improve concentration and memory.

© ORIENTO/Unsplash

Green tea, in addition to being a tonic, contains the rare amino acid L-theanine. This substance acts as a neurotransmitter - it transmits electrical impulses between the cells of the body, including from nerve endings to the brain. Green tea helps reduce anxiety and relieve depression. L-theanine increases efficiency and improves cognitive functions of the brain by increasing blood flow. Please note that green tea can lower blood pressure, so it is not advised to drink it in the morning on an empty stomach.

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Eggs are rich in vitamins, including B12 and choline. The latter plays a role in protein synthesis and is a neurotransmitter. A study by a group of scientists from the Norwegian organization Hordaland Health Study confirmed that students who consumed a large amount of choline in their diet improved their grades significantly. The lack of choline leads to a decrease in cognitive functions. Vitamin B12 also has a positive effect on memory capabilities and regulates blood sugar levels.

© Jonas Dücker/Unsplash

The fatty acids lauric and capric make coconuts and cold pressed unrefined coconut oil very healthy foods for the brain. They help his cells fight aging by improving their performance. Coconut oil is recommended for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. It is not necessary to eat oil with spoons, it can be added to cereals or fried on it instead of vegetable oil, as well as baked at low temperatures.

Cedar oil is produced from the seeds of Siberian pine. When cold pressed, the maximum of useful substances is preserved. Hot pressing and chemical extraction are also used to make oil. In the first case, the product loses some of its healing properties, and the chemical method can even make it harmful, so the oil obtained in this way should not be used for food. Cedar oil contains omega acids, vitamins A, D, K, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium. They improve the functioning of the central nervous system. In addition, cedar oil contains many phospholipids involved in the formation and development of brain cells.

Lentils contain a lot of vegetable protein and folic acid, iron and B vitamins. These elements support the flow of biochemical processes in the brain, improve memory and reaction speed. Iron helps provide the brain with oxygen, which is important for concentration and combating fatigue.

© Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

Nootropics Expert founder David Thomen has been studying nootropics, substances that affect mental functions, including the ability to remember and understand, for over ten years. He lists avocado as one of the important neurostimulant foods due to its content of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), which is responsible for long-term memory. The acid is also found in dairy products, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, shellfish and fish, but in much lower amounts. The lack of pantothenic acid leads to fatigue, depression and dyspeptic disorders. Regular consumption of this vitamin helps to produce antibodies that protect the brain from harmful substances.

Spinach holds the record among all vegetables and fruits in terms of lutein content. It is necessary for the prevention of eye diseases, slows down degenerative processes in the brain. In addition, spinach is rich in folic acid (vitamin B9), which improves memory and cognitive function. Spinach is best eaten fresh, as heat treatment reduces the beneficial properties of this plant.

© Carolina Cossío/Unsplash

Cocoa beans are used to make chocolate, but for memorization or serious projects, a cup of sugar-free cocoa is best. Cocoa is considered a nootropic. The drink contains many brain-healthy substances, including magnesium, flavonoids, and tryptophan. Magnesium acts as fuel for the cells of the body, eliminates nervousness and helps to focus on business. Flavonoids in cocoa help strengthen and dilate blood vessels, which increases blood flow and the brain begins to work better. A study by Professor Franz Messerli, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, confirms that regular consumption of cocoa improves memory. In his work Chocolate Eating, Cognitive Function and Nobel Laureates, the scientist argues that in countries where a lot of cocoa is consumed, most of the winners of the prestigious award were born.

8 ways to improve your memory | RBC Style

Remembering the name of an actor or finding the keys left in the evening can sometimes be difficult. Retrieving the information you need from memory takes a lot of effort. Forgetting is a natural process that is designed to unload the nervous system from unclaimed information, to protect it from overstrain. But increased forgetfulness can significantly complicate life. It can be caused by lack of sleep, stress, addictions, or information overload.

If this problem is not related to injury or illness, it is possible to solve it on your own. Memory can be developed and improved like any other ability. To activate its potential, regular classes are necessary, as in sports or music. And vice versa - in their absence, the ability of the brain to memorize will decrease. We talk about the most effective ways that will help strengthen memory and improve brain function.

1. Create associations and visualizations

Remembering something new will be easier if you connect the unknown with the knowledge you already have. The essence of the association method is to combine the known and the unknown into a single story, to mark new information with familiar markers. So the information received can be easily remembered and quickly reproduced at the right time. With the help of associative parallels, it is easy to learn road signs, passwords and dates, phone numbers and credit cards.

In 1980, the Olympic Games opened in Moscow, and 600 years before that, the Battle of Kulikovo took place. The number 5813 can be represented as a numerical expression 5+8=13. In this case, images are remembered even more efficiently. It is better if they are unusual and even absurd. For example, the figure eight resembles a woman with large hips and voluminous breasts, and the number five resembles a circus unicycle. Mentally draw a plump lady who buys such a bike and rides it around the city.

Such illustrations should be large, voluminous, in color and as detailed as possible. The skill of coding into visual images is trained and quickly automated. In the future, it will not be difficult to restore in memory both these images and the meaning that is embedded in them. Once again, putting the keys in one place or another, imagine how a flower blooms here. In the morning you will definitely not forget exactly where the flower grew in your house, and you will quickly find the right thing.

© Master Wen/Unsplash

2. Learn poetry and read aloud

A time-honored method is memorizing poems. This is not about mindless cramming, but about understanding the meaning, its conscious perception. Make it a rule to study one short piece every week. Gradually increase the amount of material. It will be easier to remember it if it is divided into several parts in advance and taught in quatrains. You can do this anywhere: at lunch, while walking or in transport. Don't be afraid of lots of repetitions. Over time, you will notice how it takes less and less time to memorize.

The effect will be even better if you take the works of those authors whose collections do not arouse your interest. To learn such verses, more strength is required. Try to delve deeply into their content and reflect on the artistic techniques that the author used. Poetry can be recited in front of a mirror or written down from memory. It is equally helpful to read aloud. This improves diction, intonation and develops auditory memory. If you don't like poetry, learn the lyrics.

© Kinga Cichewicz/Unsplash

3. Try to remember what you forgot

You don't have to take a shopping list before you go shopping. On the one hand, such a list will help not to miss anything and at the same time not to buy too much. On the other hand, its absence will have a positive effect on the state of memory. Don't buy something this time - there will be an incentive to better remember the items from the list and keep them in your head for the next trip. Forgot someone's name, phone number, password, or ingredients in a recipe? Try to remember. Take the time and take a few minutes to do this, instead of looking for the answer in your smartphone or address book. This is great for enhancing memory.

© Andrej Lisakov/Unsplash

4. Learn foreign languages ​​

You can learn poetry and songs not only in your native language. If you don't know a foreign language, start learning it. This is one of the best ways to activate brain cells and expand your memory capacity. If you memorize a few words every day, then after a couple of months you can feel a noticeable result. Learning a new language develops the ability to structure, analyze and remember information. In addition, it is a good prevention of age-related diseases. For example, Alzheimer's disease. The most popular way to memorize foreign vocabulary is cards with words and expressions. This technique is based just on visual associations.

© Florencia Viadana/Unsplash

5. Recall the events of the day

Another way to activate memory is to plunge into the past day and remember all its events. Before going to bed, try to restore fragments of dialogues, images of people, their facial expressions and gestures, every phone call and meals that your diet consisted of. Try to recreate the sequence of all actions from the moment you wake up. Present these pictures in as much detail as possible. It is important to connect the imagination, visual, auditory and olfactory memory.

If it's boring to remember the day in the form of imaginary illustrations, start a diary and regularly describe events on paper. The same is recommended to be repeated with watched films. After the next movie show, scroll through the story in your head again. Remember not only the main points, but also the dialogues of the characters, the details of their clothes, the interiors of the filming locations. It is even more useful to retell the content of films, performances, read articles and books to your friends. This not only trains memory well, but also develops speech, enriches vocabulary.

© Erik Witsoe/Unsplash

6. Play mind games

It can be puzzles, chess, backgammon, sudoku, poker, various puzzles and puzzles. Intellectual games activate the brain, train memory and attention. It is equally important to perform memory exercises and reaction speed. Choose a complex that will be interesting and convenient for you. This approach will set you up for systematic execution and help you get results faster. Learned how to solve Japanese crosswords - switch to a new puzzle. The brain gets used to solving the same type of problems quickly enough.

Close your eyes and try to describe the location of all the objects in the room. Now throw a handful of matches on the table and look carefully to remember their order. After that, take a picture of the matches and mix. Your task is to recreate the composition. For the development of visual memory, it is useful from time to time to perform ordinary activities with a blindfold or closed ears. In addition, on the Internet you can find a lot of applications that are aimed at developing memory and attention. For example, the electronic version of the pictures "Find differences".

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Change your route

Do you always take the same route to work? Change route. Even if it is more convenient and shorter. The brain needs constant variety and new experiences to function. At the same time, try to mark around you any minor details, the clothes of passers-by, the filling of shop windows, signs, houses and shops. You can count the number of pigeons, red cars, or objects that begin with a certain letter. Non-standard actions, unusual sensations and smells provoke the emergence of new neural connections and affect the processes of memorization.

For the same reason, it is recommended to introduce new habits more often. Start brushing your teeth with the other hand, or do the traditional morning rituals in a different order. Traveling is no less useful for strengthening memory: try new dishes and products, discover unfamiliar places, visit exhibitions and museums, listen to new music more often. The processing and comprehension of such information from the brain will require additional resources.

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