Memory is an essential part of life. Without memory, we wouldn’t be able to do things like learning new tasks or skills. This article will discuss the importance of memory, the types of memory, and the exercises to improve your memory.
What is Memory?
Memory is the element of the mind that allows us to form new memories, retain information long enough to make it useful, and recall memories from the past.
Kinds of Memory
- First, there’s sensory memory. It is the ability to allow information to enter and be processed by the brain. An example would be listening to a song for several minutes and holding onto that information long after the music has stopped playing.
- Another type of memory is short-term or working memory. This type allows you to remember what an individual told you earlier today or where you put something like your keys or cell phone last night.
- Then there’s long-term memory which holds onto pieces of information such as the name of a person you’ve just met or when your mother’s birthday is this year.
- Finally, another type is called semantic. It stores information on a larger scale about things like people, objects, places, or events.
Importance of Memory And Its Improvement
Improving your memory is one of the best ways to keep your mental faculties in good shape. Most people believe that you can’t do much once you get into your old age to prevent the decline in memory that is a common part of growing older. But new research says otherwise. In fact, there are many things that you can do to improve your memory, regardless of how old you are right now.
Improved memory is such a blessing! Everybody is looking for ways to improve their memory!
Are you among them? If yes, then keep on reading…
I will tell you the most effective and easiest way to improve your memory – exercise!
Good News — You Can Improve Your Memory With Exercises!
When we talk about the importance of memory and how to improve it, we must talk about exercises. There are so many exercises to improve your memory.
Exercises strengthen your cognitive abilities and will also help you improve all aspects of your memory. These may include recall, retention, and recognition. These types of activities might include playing brain games, reading, and practicing healthy living habits.
Let’s talk about it in detail…
There are different ways people exercise their brains; some read books and actively seek out new information, while others play games or solve puzzles.
Puzzles such as jigsaw puzzles have been shown to increase both grey matters in the brain (associated with decision making and reasoning) and white matter (associated with creating memories). People need to know that these activities help with memory; they also promote general mental health and wellness. As a result, these types of exercises will likely improve not only your memory but all aspects of your life.
Types of Exercises to Improve your Memory
The following suggestions are some simple things exercises to improve your memory:
As said, Jigsaw puzzles and sudoku are both great exercises for your memory. But there is some other fun yet challenging games that you can play to improve your memory.
Some of these games include Memory card games, Crossword puzzles, etc. All of these games are very fun and challenging. They will improve your memory in a short amount of time. So, you can get yourself out of that rut and start improving your memory in no time.
If you haven’t been exercising your brain, now is the time to do it!
Brain exercises to improve your memory, cognition, and creativity
Following are ten brain exercises to improve your memory, cognition, and creativity.
Take a photo of your taken items
When you put an item away, please take a picture of it or write the object and its location down. Ex. You are writing the location of your keys in a notebook, taking a photo of them with your phone or camera. This will help you remember where it is when you need it.
Meditate and Breathe
Meditation can change brain structures associated with how we perceive stress and anxiety. Do yoga to improve memory. You don’t have to be flawless at it. Start with small movements and gradually build up (e.g., cat/cow pose and downward-facing dog).
Professors from the University of Southern California found that students who wrote about what they learned right after studying had higher test scores than those who didn’t record their thoughts until later. Even recording simple notes in a journal about what you do each day can help.
Nurture social interaction
Build social connections by talking with friends, family, and colleagues at home or work. You can communicate with them on the phone, via email, or face-to-face. There are many means to communicate with other people that will improve your memory and cognition.
Start a new hobby
If it’s something you love and get excited about, there is a lot of motivation to stick with it until you master the new skill. Anything that is fun helps to keep your brain sharp! (e..g., painting, baking, learning how to play an instrument).
Learn something new
Read a book or magazine on current events, economics, or history. If knowledge is power, learning new things can help you brainstorm better ideas. And, what’s more, you can think more creatively.
Drink green tea
Green tea contains caffeine that increases alertness. The L-theanine found in it may improve memory. If you don’t like its taste, add honey or lemon to make it easier to drink. Or, if you are on a low budget, green tea bags are inexpensive and last for several servings!
Take in beautiful nature (and get some exercise)
This doesn’t have to be as ambitious as camping for days or hiking twenty miles through a mountain range. Just going outside once a day helps the brain release serotonin. Also, it eases anxiety and mood swings.
Explore something new every day
You don’t have to make this a monumental task. Just jot down a few new things each day. (e.g., learn how to use a word differently or pick up on the latest local news). Learning keeps your brain sharp and can inspire you to think in new ways!
Memory is as complex as it seems — there’s no “one size fits all” solution. Memory doesn’t work as your computer does. It means you need to engage with learning activities to push forward when improving memory. Doing so may be more of an art than anything else. But if you’re willing and open-minded enough, you will notice that doing these things will improve your memory.
Engage in physical activities
Most people don’t like to be physically active. But, believe me, physical activities are critical for your memory skills. When you’re walking, running, or playing a sport, you’re exercising your brain.
Study in groups
According to research from Psychological Science, studying in groups may improve memory and cognition. It was also found that students who studied material with peers performed better on tests.
Practice yoga and meditation
Yoga and meditation are becoming more common as people learn how they can improve their health. Both have been presented to improve mindfulness and clarity. Meditation will also help your mind stay calm, which leads to improved memory skills.
A game like crossword puzzles isn’t just good for relaxing or passing the time. They’re also a great way to exercise your brain muscle. They help in increasing vocabulary and building memories through word association.
Play a musical instrument
According to a research study from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology at McGill University, both adults and children who play music tend to have increased language skills and memory of events. However, playing an instrument isn’t just beneficial because it grows your brain. There’s a real pleasure too!
Merely looking outside has been shown to improve cognition. An observational study with Alzheimer’s patients found that those who spend more time outdoors may slow the disease’s progression. It also helps in enhancing mood and mental well-being.
Engage in creative activities
Engaging in creative activities you love is one of the best ways to build new brain pathways (mental maps). So, engage in creative activities as much as you can.
Engage in social activities
Being around people is essential for your health and your memory skills. Studies show that time spent with friends and family also helps to build new brain pathways. This means you get a double benefit when you spend more time with the people you love!
Avoid stress and depression
Stress can have significant effects on learning ability, particularly long-term anxiety or chronic stress. So it’s important to avoid stressful situations and try as much as possible to manage the stress you already have. Depression has been shown to reduce memory capacity by as much as 20 percent in some cases. So, if you’re feeling blue, your memory suffers even more.
Foods to improve your memory
To this point, you already got to know about the best exercises to improve your memory. Now know about the foods to improve your memory. Your brain needs essential vitamins and nutrients to function well, so nourishing your brain with healthy foods.
Eggs are one of the fittest diets on the planet. They boost memory and cognition. They also help support healthy brain function as you get older.
Blueberries, blackberries, & strawberries are full of antioxidants and flavonoids. Thye help protect your cells from damage and prevent degenerative diseases. All berries can improve cognitive skills, including long-term memory formation. It happens when you sleep.
– Oily fish (salmon)
Fish is an excellent source of DHA (a type of omega-three fatty acid). It has been shown to improve cognition. Oily fish is also high in vitamin D, improving memory and preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Nuts are a complete protein, fiber, and healthy fat — all things that help keep your brain sharp. They’re also packed with omega-three fatty acids (found in oily fish). Interestingly, they contain many of the same benefits as fish.
– Whole grains
Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and oatmeal have B vitamins essential to maintaining a healthy nervous system. Having a healthy nervous system helps your memory skills.
– Chia seeds
Chia seeds are another food high in omega-three fatty acids. They have an anti-inflammatory effect on your brain and are also rich in fiber, improving memory and cognition. Overall, they’re a great addition to any smoothie or salad.
– Dark chocolate (in moderation)
Yes, you read that right: dark chocolate — specifically cocoa flavonoids found in cocoa! Dark chocolates can improve short-term memory. If you’re going to indulge, make sure it’s at least 70 percent cocoa. Thee lower percentages tend to use a large amount of sugar that messes with your blood sugar levels and puts them too high too fast.
How to improve your memory quickly and naturally – in brief!
Many of us know that drinking water has many benefits for the body. And this is true for the brain as well; it will help keep your mind healthy in the long term. Other tips that have been put out there are to cut back on stress, quit smoking, sustain a healthy diet with plenty of foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon is a great resource). Also, get some physical activity such as walking every day. It’s also essential to get an adequate amount of sleep each night. So, your brain may rest and rejuvenate itself properly in no time.
All in all, these are all things that you can do daily to help improve your memory. You may find that some activities work better for you than others or that not all of them are feasible for you every day. However, it’s worth your time and effort to try new things out. After some trials and errors, you will see which ones work the best. After all, having an active memory is very important in our modern lives as we are surrounded by distractions everywhere we go!
Top 10 Fitness Facts – WebMD https://www.webmd.com/men/features/exercise-benefits
Benefits of Exercise – MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/benefitsofexercise.html
The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise – HelpGuide.org https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm
Physical activity – it’s important – Better Health Channel https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/physical-activity-its-important