While most people take care of their bodies by exercising and dieting, they ignore that mental health is a thing too! Just like the body needs exercise, our brain also needs a workout to keep for.
Memories form an important part of life. Indeed, after a time, memories are what we are left with. But with age, our memory starts diminishing too. For many people, memory decline is a serious issue in their later years. It makes them dependent on someone else permanently.
There is a solution to this, though. Scientists have been researching relentlessly and making more and more discoveries about our brain’s neural networks and pathways and how we can change and even grow new neural connections even in old age. This concept is called neuroplasticity. In other words, neuroplasticity means that our memory is not fixed but a flexible capacity like plastic.
Here are some tips and tricks for you to exercise your brain and improve your memory and take full advantage of neuroplasticity.
Learn a new skill
Brain strength is just like muscle strength. It develops more and more with proper usage. But like muscles, brain also needs a variation in workouts, else it’ll burn out. Learning a new skill is a great way to challenge your brain to do something new and strengthen your memory. There are many activities you can choose from, but make sure whatever the activity is, it makes you come out of your comfort zone and make you focus your complete attention. You can learn a new language, learn a handicraft like knitting or pottery, learn a new instrument or even a new dance. Another simple but daily exercise for your brain is to solve the crossword or Sudoku puzzles in the newspaper daily.
Mnemonics have been used since a long time to teach students. They are nothing but use of abbreviations, acronyms, rhymes or songs to make the listener remember things easily. One of the most popular mnemonics you have been using all these years is VIBGYOR, which is used to remember the sequence of the colours of the rainbow. Mnemonics also help tremendously in remembering names of people by word associations.
If someone tells you to fix an appointment for 5 o’clock, repeat it to them immediately. Repeating a new information fixes it more permanently in your brain and you are less likely to forget it too soon. Even better, you can write it down. Writing is a sure shot way of imprinting information on your brain.
Don’t Google stuff immediately
How many times do we try to remember something, but it eludes us. So we do the next best thing; Google it. Modern technology has brought everything to our fingertips, so much that we have become mentally lazy. Stop reaching out to Google or Siri or Alexa every time you cannot remember something and try to work your brain in retrieving the information. It gives your brain a super workout and repairs your neural pathways.
Follow a diet and a good routine
Just like your body, your brain requires healthy food too. Include foods like green, leafy veggies, whole grains, nuts, legumes, chicken, fatty fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil and coconut oil in your diet. Red wine is also recommended in moderation. Reduce sugar, processed foods, butter, junk food, salt, cheese and red meat. You also need to follow a regular routine for good memory. Sleeping and waking up at fixed timings daily, reducing screen time before sleep and exercising regularly helps tremendously in improvement of memory.
Start small. Learn a new skill, then include exercise in your schedule. Start eating and sleeping at the same time each day. Set a routine. Maintain a healthy diet. Strat using mnemonics to remember new information. Keep a diary in your person always and write down any new information you may receive.
Memory is nothing but a skill, and it can be developed like you develop other skills. Just start with these and you will definitely see improvement.
Don’t forget to tell us what you did!