11 Great tips to improve your memory
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Memory comprises three processes by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved. Memory need not fade as we age, though. Here are 11 great tips to keep you sharp.
“Memory: We retain: 10 percent of what we read; 20 percent of what we hear; 30 percent of what we see; 50 percent of what we hear and see; 70 percent of what we say; 90 percent of what we say and do.” ~ Unknown
Tip 1: Play games and activities to improve your memory
Cryptic crosswords, Sudoku, chess, jigsaws, bridge, etc., are all games and activities that stimulate the mind. This helps the brain grow new neural pathways, which in turn improve mental ability and memory.
Tip 2: Eat rosemary and sage for memory recall
Both rosemary and sage stimulate memory – especially regarding recall tests. Students in ancient Greece wore rosemary in their hair on test days.
Tip 3: Dance!
Jump around to music, go dancing, jog, or do anything that gets your pulse racing. Physical activity rushes oxygen to the brain and builds new cells in the brain region linked to memory.
Tip 4: Take catnaps
Research has found that a catnap during the day will improve your memory. People who manage a quick snooze retain twice as much information learned that day than those who don’t.
Tip 5: De-stress yourself to improve your memory
Take up some activity like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing to relax your brain and relieve stress. Stress causes the brain to activate an enzyme that impairs short-term memory.
Tip 6: Be social
One study found that people who socialize regularly do far better on memory tests than those who don’t. Participating in conversation exercises the brain.
Tip 7: Take bacopa
For 500 years, people in India have been using the aquatic plant, bacopa (Bacopa monnieri syn. Herpestis monniera), to improve memory. Western research now indicates that it really does work.
Tip 8: Eat bright red or purple foods
Try to eat bright red and purple vegetables and fruits every day. Fruits such as blueberries, grapes, and strawberries, and veggies such as red peppers, tomatoes and beetroot, are all high in antioxidants. They also contain many other chemicals that improve memory.
Tip 9: Move your eyes
Moving your eyes up and down, from side to side, and from corner to corner can improve your memory. Do this for 30 seconds every morning. These exercises get the two sides of the brain working in harmony.
Tip 10: Drink tea
The antioxidants in tea will help to improve your memory, but green or white tea is best. Green tea may also help combat an underlying cause of Alzheimer's disease. However, according to The Journal of Neuroscience, to be effective, green tea must be used in its purified form.
Tip 11: Smell the flowers
A smell can bring back a flood of memories and influence your moods at home and work This is because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain's limbic system – an area closely associated with memory and feeling.
… and finally …
If you’re trying to memorize something, do it on an empty stomach. The hormone that improves memory is highest when the stomach is empty!
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