Your memory is only as strong as the health of your brain. Without a healthy brain and body, your memory will begin to decline as you get older. When you consider disorders that impact your memory like dementia, retaining your memory can feel like a hopeless thing.
But it doesn’t matter how old you are or the strength of your current memory, there are steps you can take to improve your memory retention.
Our brains have the ability to adapt and change no matter how old we are. If we take the right steps, we can assist our memory in making new connections.
If you want to know how to take better care of your brain and improve your memory retention, keep reading!
Take Your Brain for a Jog
The best thing you can do for your memory retention is to find activities that will keep your brain active. Just like with your physical muscles, if you don’t use your brain over time you will start to lose some of your cognitive clarity.
There are lots of activities you can do that can boost your brainpower and keep dementia symptoms at bay. You can tell an activity is good for your memory if it:
- Teaches you new things
- Challenges you
- Teaches you a skill you can build
- Rewards you
Anything you want to try can be a good brain-boosting activity. Brain boosting apps and programs aren’t necessarily the best tools for improving your memory, everyday activities are!
Work Your Body Too
Exercising your mind is the best thing you can do for your memory. But that doesn’t mean that your job begins and ends there. You have to make sure that you have an active, healthy body as well.
Physical exercise can help you improve your memory retention as well. Any time you have an activity that increases the amount of oxygen flowing to your brain, you’re improving your ability to remember things.
If you want a physical exercise that can specifically help improve your memory retention, try a sport that requires you to use a lot of hand-eye coordination.
Get Adequate Sleep
When you live a busy life, getting enough sleep can sound like a far off dream. But when you’re sleep-deprived, your brain and body don’t function at their best! If you don’t want to feel the effects of sleep deprivation, make sure you get between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep every night.
Sleep is an important part of your memory retention process. When we dream, our bodies work on storing our experiences in long term memory. Without enough sleep, it gets easier and easier to forget things!
Getting enough sleep can be difficult. Make sure that you put yourself on a regular sleep schedule and stick to it, put your phone down before bed, and cut back on the amount of caffeine you drink.
Work On Personal Relationships
As human beings, we aren’t meant to live in isolation. We use relationships for a nearly infinite number of functions, and brain stimulation is one of them. Interacting with other people can be one of the best things you can do to improve your brain activity.
If you find yourself lonely more often than not, consider joining a local club, volunteering, or even getting a furry friend!
Monitor Your Stress Levels
It’s impossible to live a life without stress. And little bits of stress here and there are totally normal. But when your brain is subject to constant, chronic stress over time, it can play a huge part in memory decline.
The hippocampus is one of the regions of the brain most damaged by stress, and it also happens to be the part that’s responsible for forming new memories and helping you locate old ones.
If you find yourself stressed, consider talking to a therapist and giving meditation a try!
Another great thing you can do for your brain and your body is to eat healthy foods. By now it’s no secret that eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein is good for your body. But it can also improve your memory health as well!
Make sure that you get enough omega-3s in your diet. Fish like salmon and tuna are great sources of this healthy fatty acid.
You should also limit the amount of saturated fat you take in. Red meat, whole milk, cheese, and ice cream can actually increase your risk for memory-related diseases.
When your body is healthy, you’re giving your brain the best environment to get healthy as well. But when you’re sick, your brain has to compensate for that.
Some physical issues are linked with some cognitive decline. Issues like heart disease, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances are all linked to memory loss and cognitive impairment.
Some medications can also be the culprit to a loss of memory. Talk to your doctor if you think that your medications might be causing you to lose your memory.
Improve Your Memory Retention
These are just some of the things you can do to improve your memory retention in the short- and long-term. When you couple all of these things with paying more attention in your day to day life, involving all of your senses with your favorite experiences, and using mnemonic devices, you can improve your memory functions at any age!
If you liked this post and want to learn more about improving your life, keep checking back for more!