Memory is something many of us believe we have, or don’t have. It can seem like it’s something that we’re born with, and if you can’t remember a new coworker’s name or the next doctor’s appointment, it’s just because you aren’t very good at remembering things.
The truth is, memory is something we can all cultivate. This is especially good news, as memory can decline as we age if we aren’t careful. With these tips, you can build a stronger brain with memory muscles that will serve you well into old age.
One of the best things you can do is protect your brain from injury. There are many different types of traumatic brain injuries, and all of them can have profound effects on your memory and your overall quality of life.
Protecting your brain from injury means wearing a helmet whenever you ride a bike or a motorcycle. Driving safely can prevent you from getting into an accident and potentially hurting your head, while avoiding contact sports can prevent you from experiencing a concussion.
When your brain isn’t focused on healing, and if important brain centers aren’t damaged due to an accident, it’s a lot better at preserving and increasing your memory.
Can you remember important phone numbers? If you can’t remember your child’s or your spouse’s number, you aren’t alone. Technology today has made it easy to forget information we once would have memorized. The trouble is, if you don’t practice using memorization to remember things, you’re going to find that you forget things more often than you would like.
Make it a point to remember things, even if you technically don’t have to. Memorize important phone numbers, repeat your next doctor’s appointment over and over until you commit it to memory, and when you meet someone new, find creative ways to remember their name. Not only will it improve your memory, but you’ll find that it makes your life easier too.
It can sometimes feel more relaxing to go home at the end of every day and binge watch your favorite TV shows, but you should make it a point to get out there and socialize too. Having friends and being social regularly can preserve your memory, especially as you age.
Don’t have a lot of people to spend time with? Close connections are important, but having a large social network with fewer close connections can still be beneficial. Join a workout class, join a book club, or start eating with coworkers at lunch. It will help preserve your memory, and you just may find it makes you happier too.
In addition to spending more time with people you enjoy, you should also try new things. By doing new things, you encourage your brain to think in new ways that can help you improve your memory.
Trying new things can be big, like traveling to a new country or switching to a new job, but it doesn’t have to be scary, life changing, or expensive. Trying new things can be as simple as learning how to play a new game, trying a new recipe, or learning how to play an instrument. Even taking a different route home from work every once in a while can stretch your thinking and encourage you to build a better memory.
There are few things in our life sleep doesn’t affect. It can affect your energy levels, your weight, your mental health, and your physical health. It should come as no surprise that sleep can greatly affect your memory as well.
Sleep deprivation doesn’t allow your mind to consolidate memories, which means you’re less likely to remember tomorrow what you did today. It’s important to make sure your brain gets plenty of sleep so that it can function properly.
Getting eight hours of sleep every night is a good start, but the quality of that sleep matters too. Make sure you are able to fall asleep quickly by creating and sticking to a nighttime routine, and create a dark, cool, quiet sleeping environment so you can stay asleep.
Memorization isn’t something you’re either born with or not. It’s something that can be cultivated with practice. With the right activities and brain support, you can increase your memorization skills today, and practicing today will help you enjoy a healthy brain well into old age.