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How to Keep Your Memory Sharp

WholeLife Matrix: Health & Well-Being

“We don’t remember days, we remember moments.” — Cesare Pavese

 

Having a good memory is important in many aspects of life, such as remembering the details of a presentation or studying to pass an exam. It is even important for building relationships. A good memory helps us formulate ways of tying concepts together to arrive at effective questions and answers. There are many ways to keep your brain healthy and vital and your memory sharp.

For continual brain development, you need to break out of routines and create new pathways in your brain by doing new activities. The activity should be something that requires mental effort and teaches you something new. It should also be something that you enjoy doing and offers various skill levels so you can keep improving and growing.

Keeping your body physically healthy is also important for good mental health and memory. Exercise increases oxygen to the brain and helps to build connections. Exercise that involves hand-eye coordination is best. Getting enough sleep is also important to memory. Stress destroys brain cells, affecting memory, so it is important to manage stress. To do this, have a balanced life, take breaks during the day and do not multi-task. Set realistic goals and express your feelings as needed.

A healthy diet including whole grains, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables and lean protein can improve memory. Omega-3 fatty acids are great for the brain, so choose foods that contain Omega-3 such as fish, walnuts, and kidney beans.

Making time for meaningful relationships and laughter will boost your brain power. When we communicate with others, we use several aspects of our mind such as learning new information, problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity. When we learn to be funny by developing a sense of humor, we also use these aspects of our mind. Having a sense of humor benefits us by exercising our brain, relieving stress and creating a cheerful, positive atmosphere for ourselves and for those around us. Surround yourself with fun people and things.

Pay attention to the things you want to remember. Often, we forget someone’s name right after they introduce themselves because we are not really paying attention when they give us their name. When possible, connect information you already know to new information and use as many of your senses as possible to remember. Visualization can also help you to remember. For example, if you meet a lady named Summer, you might image a Summer’s day. Grouping related items together is another way to improve memory.

Reading the information that you want to remember out loud or writing it down can also be helpful. Repeat the information to yourself as often as you can until it is firmly cemented in your mind. When there is a lot of information to take in, such as for a course, focus on the key points and teach what you have learned to someone. It is said that we only really know something well when we can teach it to someone else.

 

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September 15, 2015

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