Where are my keys? Where is my phone? Where are my glasses? Every day, how many times do you ask yourself these questions or questions very similar? Memory, or lack of it, seems to be something we all suffer from on a daily basis. I very often walk into a room and wonder why on earth I am there. I must have gone there for something but by the time I get there – no – it’s gone. Do you come back to the carpark and wonder where on earth you left the car? I do, constantly. Two very recent events known as ‘where on earth is the car’ and ‘uh oh, left my phone in the recently returned rental car’, have just happened to me. I had already driven 10 miles when I realised I had left my phone. I ‘lost’ the car when it happened to be pouring with rain, I had no jacket and I was wandering around a huge carpark thinking, it must be here somewhere! It didn’t help that it was a rental car and I couldn’t really remember what it looked like.
There must be a solution. There must be a way I can improve my memory skills. We have all heard of ‘brain training’ and similar programmes so I decided that improving my memory skills is now on my agenda for the next few months.
Within our brain the hippocampus is the very small place where memory function takes place. It is not a muscle. It is an organisational tool. A tool we must work at to keep in good working order. To improve our memory we must look at how we organise information and make changes and improvements. We have three stages of memory –
- Encoding – we learn something
- Consolidating – we fix it into our long term memory
- Retrieval – we call it up when required
There are many ways to improve your memory and this week will focus on key areas that you can very easily implement immediately into your daily life
Eat & Sleep Your Way To Improved Memory!
These are essentials to our overall health and play an important role in keeping our memory in good working order.
- Vitamins C, B, & K all assist in brain function
- Vitamin E, particularly from avocado, lowers the risk of brain degenerating disease such as Alzheimers.
- The superfood Blueberries provide us with anthocyanin, these are linked to improved memory
- Rosemary has been associated with memory power since Shakespeare wrote “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance” It is packed full of antioxidants that reduce the levels of free radicals that damage cells in our brains.
- Tomatoes give us Lycopene to protect against brain cell degeneration
- A glass of red wine provides us with Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant
- Dehydration causes memory loss and keeping hydrated by drinking water is important for good memory function
- Exercise that involves hand eye coordination is the best type for keeping your brain healthy
- Good sleep is important as while you are asleep your brain repairs and improves ……. connections. Here are two articles on tips on how to improve your sleep and create good sleep conditions
Organise The Chaos!
Our brains are not particularly meant to multi task. Have you found that you cannot read and hold a conversation at the same time. I cannot read and listen to music on earphones at the same time, my brain just will not do it. The same applies to our daily routines. If your life and home are chaotic you are not giving your memory the opportunity to perform at it’s best. Make a plan to organise any areas of daily life that are chaotic. Once your daily routines are planned and organised you will find that your memory improves dramatically.
- Use a planner
- Make lists, lists and more lists
- Prepare a daily chores list
- Keep your desk/workarea tidy
- Prepare and keep to a cleaning/tidying schedule to keep your home well organised
Laughter Is The Best Medicine!
You can improve your memory by laughing! Laughter uses lots of different areas of your brain unlike other emotions which use only specific areas. Laughing at jokes and anticipating the punch lines works areas of the brain used for learning new skills.You can improve your memory by laughing! Laughter uses lots of different areas of your brain unlike other emotions which use only specific areas. Click To Tweet
Making a conscious effort to bring laughter into your daily routine will help boost brain function and improve memory. You can combine this with another important element, socialisation. We are, by nature, social animals. We are not meant to be alone or in isolation. “In one recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health, for example, researchers found that people with the most active social lives had the slowest rate of memory decline.” Bring laughter into your daily routine –
- Watch funny shows on TV or You Tube
- Read funny books
- Spend time with children and pets, they are always good for a laugh!
- Roll down a grassy hill
- Dance in front of a mirror, laughter guaranteed!
- Reminisce over fun events
- Keep jokes and funny pictures on your computer or phone as screen savers
- Throw peanuts into your friends mouth
- Force it! Just make yourself laugh
- Take selfies with your friends (like my friend Annie & I did) guaranteed laughter! And you can look at them time and time again and laugh again and again!
Take a look here to find some funny little things to make you smile! Liz is an author and she creates lots of funny little images too!
“When we’re kids we do things just because they’re fun and they feed our creative spirit. The magic is in the doing not the results. Laugh heartily at your drawing that makes a man’s head look like a pumpkin. Crack up till you are totally and completely off-key. It’s still fun and it frees you.” ~ Suzanne Dosal Gray
Next time I will share with you more detailed tips and tricks that you can work on to help improve your memory.
PS! Brain improving books feature here this week!