Retention of Memory and Optimized Focus
The brain has unlimited capabilities, but, at some time, in your life, you may need a few strategies to improve memory retention and focus. You should follow a healthy diet and work out regularly to help regulate blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. If you smoke, you should quit. These are all proven measures to protect the most important muscle we have, the brain.
You want to live until you’re old and gray, but not everyone prepares to live a long, healthy, and active life. You must keep your mental skills sharp along with your body. To help you achieve those goals, here are 10 ways to improve memory at any age.
- Use your brain first
You’ve gotten so used to searching for the answers using the internet or an app that you hardly use your brain anymore. The web has made more people lazy in more ways than one. The brain is like any other muscle you have– if you don’t use it, you will lose it. The more you exercise your brain, the more you strengthen the relationship between learning and memory. Before you Google it or ask Siri, make an honest attempt to use your brain.
- Learn something new
Contrary to how you lose memory, you build memory strength by using it. However, you must challenge yourself. Learn a new skill to improve memory games or the brain’s capacity by:
- learning how to play a musical instrument
- learning another language
- playing brain training apps (sudoku, crossword) or mind games
- learning a new dance
- shaping pottery
- Get organized
When you’re organized, it may be easier to remember things. However, it’s human to forget, especially when you have a lot on your plate. Stay on schedule with a checklist. Instead of relying on recall or other devices as a backup, write down your goals or to-do list in a journal. Writing down information boosts memory and learning.
- Eat more of these foods:
Certain foods or diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, help improve memory. Reduce the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease by eating:
- plant-based foods (green, leafy vegetables and berries)
- herbs and spices
- fatty fish (salmon and sardines)
- coconut or olive oil
- whole grains
- baked chicken or turkey
Fatty fish are a rich source of essential fatty acids. Omega-3s play a significant role in developing brain and nerve cells. They slow cognitive aging and are crucial for learning and memory.
- Drink water
Your brain is made mostly of water. Water helps our brain cells use nutrients. Even mild dehydration can lead to brain shrinkage and memory impairment, so drink up.
- Repeat and retrieve
Time has proven that by repeating something, you are more likely to memorize what you saw or heard. Teachers knew this as they reinforced the relationship between memory and learning. You were required to read aloud, write down the information, use it in a sentence, and repeat what you heard. This practice produced worthwhile results.
- Use acronyms, abbreviations, and mnemonics
Mnemonic devices in the form of acronyms, abbreviations, songs, or rhymes are effective strategies for students of any grade level.
Meditation is a powerful way to improve learning and memory. Studies show meditation helps improve focus, concentration, memory, and learning. Meditation may encourage links between brain cells.
- Set a bedtime
As you get up around the same time in the morning, you should attempt to go to bed every night at the same time, including on the weekends.
- Avoid certain medications
Some prescriptions are associated with memory loss and brain fog. Medications that might impact your memory include:
- sleep aids
- anti-anxiety medications
- medication for hypertension
Talk to a seasoned herbalist or pharmacist about alternatives for your medical conditions. You could ditch some prescription medicines. Talk with your medical provider if you are nervous about certain medications affecting your relationship between learning and memory from a functional perspective. There may be options you do not know about.