Four ways to improve your memory

Woman slapping her hand on her head
Woman slapping her hand on her head iStock/SIphotography https://www.istockphoto.com/za/photo/silly-woman-slapping-hand-on-head-having-duh-moment-gm519924320-90785343

It’s not uncommon to forget things like where you put your car keys or the name of the person you met 10 minutes ago at a conference.

But if you are struggling to keep track of all the important things you need to do on a daily basis, then you need to work on trying to improve your memory.

There are many reasons why we forget things. Sometimes we are not really paying attention, and other times it has to do with age, or “mommy brain” – which apparently is a real thing.

Here are four ways you can get a memory like an elephant – which has amazing recall abilities.

Exercise and eat right

Eating right and exercising does not only make your body look and feel good, but it can also do wonders for your brain. Eating fruit like blueberries that are high in antioxidants help protect your brain cells, while black beans, which contain B vitamins and folic acids, improve your brain’s health. Exercising also helps improve blood flow, which is needed to deliver much-needed oxygen to your brain. According to Reader’s Digest, some workouts can also improve your executive function. Researchers reportedly found that adults, aged 55 to 80, who regularly exercised performed much better on cognitive tests than those who didn’t. In fact, they performed four times better!

Practice makes perfect 

Improve your mental stimulation by testing how well you can recall things by making lists. Write down a list of things such as a “to do” list or grocery list. Memorise everything on the list, and then take an hour break. Then try to recall as many items as possible. Don’t get demotivated if you can’t remember much. Your memory skills will improve as you do the exercise daily, using spaced repetition. Check out the video below to learn about spaced repetition.

Change your lifestyle 

If you are someone who enjoys late nights, then you might want to change your sleeping patterns if you want better memory. According to the Sleep Foundation, a good night’s rest helps your brain process and retain information learned in the day. “Sleep also helps us synthesize new ideas, not just remember the old ones. While you’re sleeping, pieces of knowledge can be pulled together from different experiences and parts of the brain to create novel concepts or “ah ha” moments. That’s a big help when you’re trying to solve a problem or make an advance in your work,” the foundation says on its website.

Master a new skill

Mastering a new skill, like learning a new language, can have a positive effect on your brain function. According to Be Brain Fit, learning a new language has been proven to improve intelligence, concentration, and of course, memory. Learning a new language, especially as an adult, is not easy, and will definitely challenge your brain. “The benefits of learning a second language seem, in fact, to be proportional to the effort expended by the brain,” the publication says on its website. Learning to play an instrument or a new sport can also help with brain function.