You’ve walked into a room and you start looking around. You stop and think to yourself, “Wait. Why did I have to come in here?” It’s not the first time this has happened, and you feel frustrated.
You’re not alone. In fact, 1 in 9 adults over the age of 45 report having problems with memory loss. Whether you fit into this age group or are on the younger side, you should know that your experiences are common.
Luckily, there are many things you can do to help improve your memory. From taking supplements to adopting new eating habits, there’s sure to be an option or two that’s right for you. Read on to learn about 10 natural ways to improve memory.
1. Meditate – One of the Best Free Ways to Improve Memory
You may have heard that meditation can help with an array of issues, like stress, anxiety, and insomnia. If you haven’t felt pulled to try mediating before, you may now. Meditation has shown to help improve short-term memory in people of all ages.
Research shows that meditation can increase grey matter in the brain. Grey matter can decline as you age, affecting your memory and cognition. Meditation can introduce more grey matter to the brain, helping to improve spatial working memory.
2. Practice Mindfulness – Work on Staying Focused and Aware
Mindfulness is another term you may have heard, often in conjunction with meditation. Mindfulness can be part of meditation, but they are not the same thing. Being mindful means focusing on the present and being aware of your current surroundings and feelings.
Practice mindfulness by paying more attention. Taking the time to focus on your breath can help you reset your focus when your mind is restless. Over time, this practice can help you become more aware in your day-to-day, without having to think about working at it.
3. Take Supplements – Boost Your Intake of Certain Vitamins
Like most ailments, memory loss may improve when you commit to taking certain supplements. There are many vitamins and minerals that affect memory and cognition. You can take one or several individual supplements, or click here for a complete option for focus and memory support.
Omega-3 fatty acids – like those in a fish oil supplement – have shown to help slow cognitive decline. Certain herbs like ginseng may also help improve memory function. Vitamin D is also important, as studies have linked vitamin D-deficiency to a greater risk of dementia.
4. Change Your Diet – Focus on Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Foods
What you eat affects so much of how your body functions, including how your brain functions. That’s why changing your diet is one of the best ways to improve memory. By increasing the number of antioxidant foods you eat, you can make a difference in your memory function.
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant are two ways to describe the same types of foods. Antioxidant foods like berries, certain vegetables, and teas help lower inflammation in the body. Studies have shown that decreasing inflammation can help prevent dementia.
5. Eat Less Sugar – Another Way to Change Your Diet for Improved Memory
While adding more antioxidant foods to your diet, you should also focus on reducing high-sugar foods. Eating too much added sugar can cause many health issues, including cognitive decline. Research has shown that a diet too high in sugar can contribute to poor memory and reduced brain volume.
6. Consider Your Alcohol Intake – Reduce Alcohol Consumption to Reduce Memory Loss
We all know the stories of people who had too much to drink and don’t remember the details of their night. You may have even been one of those people on more than one occasion. But alcohol consumption can also have a long term effect on our memory.
Studies have linked binge drinking to delayed memory-recall. And repeated binge drinking can actually damage the hippocampus, a part of the bain that is important to memory function. Re-evaluate your drinking habits and consider if they are having an effect on your memory function.
7. Make Time to Exercise – One of the Many Ways to Improve Memory and Overall Health
Many of the tips we’ve mentioned are also great tips for improving your general health. Exercise is another habit that can improve your general health and brain health. Physical exercise keeps your body and your brain in shape.
Exercise increases oxygen flow to the brain. Increased oxygen can help reduce the risk for disorders associated with memory loss. Exercise can also help stimulate new neuronal connections in the brain.
8. Exercise Your Brain – Work Your Brain Like You Work Your Muscles
Like any muscle in your body, your brain will get stronger the more you use it. If you’re already experiencing symptoms of memory loss or are trying to be proactive, brain exercises are a great choice. You can find brain and memory exercise books and even gaming apps for your phone.
There are also many other activities that you may not realize are great for brain exercise. Things like crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and reading can help improve your brain function. And while these activities can strengthen your brain, they can also be rewarding in other ways.
9. Manage Stress – Reduce Stress to Improve Brain Health
Chronic stress can do a number on your brain, and in turn, affect your memory function. In the worst cases, chronic stress can kill brain cells and damage the hippocampus. This can all contribute to memory issues and memory loss.
To keep stress under control, adopt some habits for managing your stress better. Set realistic expectations for yourself, express your feelings, and set aside time for breaks and relaxing. Meditation and exercise can help with stress, too.
10. Get Enough Sleep – Let Your Brain Rest
Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night, though it can vary for the individual. If you aren’t getting enough rest, this can wreak havoc on your brain and all its main functions. Memory especially can suffer, as sleep is vital for memory consolidation, which occurs during the deepest phases of sleep.
Luckily, there are things you can do to improve your sleeping habits. Create and stick to a schedule, avoid screentime an hour before bed, and cut back on caffeine. You can also use meditation to help you relax and fall into a quicker, deeper sleep.
Improve Memory and Commit to Better General Health
Working on your memory is one way to improve your brain health and general wellbeing. If you found our list of ways to improve memory helpful and are looking for more health and wellness tips, you’re in the right place. Browse our blog for articles on mental health, sleep and rest, and more.