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How to Improve Your Memory

Improving your memory isn’t as impossible as it seems. Simple things like eating the right foods, exercising and getting adequate sleep on a regular basis, get you high points towards a good memory.

Improving your memory isn’t as impossible as it seems. Simple things like eating the right foods, exercising and getting adequate sleep on a regular basis, get you high points towards a good memory.

You met some interesting people recently.

Now just a few days later you can’t remember the name of even one person, even if your life depended on it. And just the other day you walked around in a daze for half an hour trying to remember where you put your wallet and cell phone. It wasn't funny.

Don’t be too hard on yourself because you’re not alone. As we get older memory takes its place among the faculties that begin to decline. It is one of the things we just have to work harder at maintaining if it’s important to us because it’s part of the aging process. The bit of good news in this scenario is that we don't have to sit back and let it happen without a fight. But keep in mind that all worthwhile things will take some work.

That old saying about losing it if you don’t use it is truer than you can imagine and very noteworthy for those who desire to keep their memory at its optimum performance. If you value your memory you will have to nurture it in a variety of ways that will push or encourage it to improve and excel. The human mind is simply amazing and will perform as it was designed to, far beyond what we imagine it could when given what it needs to operate.


Remember Everyone’s Name

Preserving The Integrity of Your Brain

Every effort made to improve brain function is a step towards a better memory.

Every effort made to improve brain function is a step towards a better memory.

Your memory is a living organism that needs constant usage in order to thrive.

Your memory is a living organism that needs constant usage in order to thrive.  The brain needs to be challenged regularly.  Photo courtesy of clarita at morguefile.com

Your memory is a living organism that needs constant usage in order to thrive. The brain needs to be challenged regularly. Photo courtesy of clarita at morguefile.com

A Mind Needs Water

Although many of us still take water's importance for granted, water remains vital for our survival. Every single function that goes on our bodies both major and minor requires water to do an effective job. So it should come as no surprise to learn that our brain is the first to suffer when it doesn't have enough to function. Do you have trouble focusing? Have foggy thinking? How much water do you drink everyday? Have you ever wondered what would happen if you stopped drinking water?


A Mind Needs Nutrition

Just as our bodies require nutrients to grow, function and maintain themselves, our mind also needs a healthy balanced diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, dairy, fish, poultry, grains and nuts. Most important among foods are those rich in folates and B complex vitamins which especially nourish the brain. You could accurately call it fuel for performance.

Power Foods for the Brain

A Mind Needs Rest And Exercise

The mind benefits and responds remarkably well when given regular rest, sleep and physical exercise. Neglect any one of them and the mind is usually the first to suffer from the neglect whether you think so or not. Don’t believe it? Take a moment to ponder the many unwise choices you’ve made on an empty tank of rest, sleep and exercise. Dare say we mention the implied repercussions of a lifetime of this type of neglect.

How Exercise Benefits Your Brain

How To Fix The Exhausted Brain

A Mind Needs Fresh Air And Oxygen

Just as our brains require water to function, our brains also require fresh air and oxygen every single day. The thought of stagnant air or the same air being recirculated and re-breathed many times over during the day and night in your home by you, your family, visitors, pets, etc probably doesn't sound too good. And it isn't. Yet many live with a fresh air and/or oxygen deficit everyday.They may even notice feeling more energized away from home than in their own home. The bad air connection hasn't been made yet.

A good air purifier is worth its weight in gold. Find a good one for your home. In the meantime, throw open a screened door or window at least once or twice a week. It won't be very long until you notice a difference in how you feel. In addition try some deep breathing exercises to clean out the old oxygen from your lungs, making room for fresh air and oxygen. If you're serious about improving your memory, give your mind the added advantage and benefit of the freshest air you can get.


Use It Or Lose It

Use your brain. If you want a good memory you need to use your memory. The law of use applies to your memory too. If you don't use it - you will lose it.

Use your brain. If you want a good memory you need to use your memory. The law of use applies to your memory too. If you don't use it - you will lose it.

A Mind Needs To Learn

The mind has a need to be active and always learning. It needs to be challenged. Our minds are capable of much more than the daily and routine tasks we ask of it; the things we need to do for survival or livelihood. Our mind was created to be used extensively but few of us actually do that in our entire lifetimes. Coupled with that, as we grow older we seem to gravitate more towards home, towards safety and the familiar. Many are prone to become home bodies. It’s not a bad thing in itself except that the tendency also lends itself to a lot of romanticizing of the past. Don’t misunderstand; reminiscing definitely has its place as we laugh, share and pass down to our loved ones our exciting family histories. The concern is that people wind up spending too much time in the past, so much in fact that they are out of touch with the present. Incredibly, the price one pays for living in the past is difficulty remembering what’s going on in the present. A common and immediate rebuttal dismisses this view arguing that it sounds too much like symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, but it is not. This view instead offers a viable and often overlooked solution that is simple and can be used by the majority. Being aware of the health threat gives one an opportunity to do something before it becomes serious. For instance, as you're sharing the past with your kids and grand kids, incorporate it with something in the present. Share and illustrate an old sewing tradition with a new modern sewing project; an old woodworking tradition with a new updated woodworking project. That way you can honor your past, make new memories with your family and keep your mind in good shape too.


How to Get Your Brain to Focus

Sugar, Stress, the Brain - It’s All Connected

A Mind Needs An Active Life

Want to remember more? Then get out and live more. Fight that urge to stay close to home and to play it safe. In short you need to live and not just a little. Live like you used to when life was fresh and new and everyday was an adventure. Think like a kid. There’s still more adventure out there. It’s critical that you become as fully involved in life as you possibly can; with family, friends and your community. Try some new things.

When asked what the secret to their obvious mental acuity was, often those well into their 90's and above, without hesitation attributed it to the fact that they were still living. They still played cards with their friends, went swimming, dancing or bowling whenever they felt like it and they regularly tried new things and volunteered their time helping others.

Now that is a picture of life fully lived. So get moving. It could be as simple as trying new foods and restaurants, movies, games, travel –even to the next town or maybe try some new technology. You’re not dead yet, so don’t act as though you are: giving your body signals that you are on your way out this world. That’s like giving it permission to start shut down procedures. Surely that’s not your intention. Get back to living life. It’ll give you new things to talk and think about. It will keep you in the present and it will do wonders for your memory.


10 Morning Brain-Power Habits

Useful Resources

Six Habits That Can Sabotage Your Memory

While you’re working hard to improve your memory, make sure you’re not doing anything that will cancel out all of your good efforts.

  • Alcohol Consumption - although it’s an individualized thing, alcohol has an effect on the brain.
  • Air Pollution - since our brain requires good oxygen, try not to be somewhere you you the air may be compromised.
  • Junk Food - our brain is maintained by healthy whole foods. It only limps by on anything substandard we give it.
  • Not Enough Sleep - we all stumble in the middle of the night after only a couple hours of sleep. Our brain stumbles too on inadequate rest and sleep.
  • Skipping Your Vitamins - even the best diets don’t contain every nutrient our bodies require. Make sure you’re taking quality daily supplements that give your brain what it needs.
  • Sugar Consumption - a high-fructose diet sabotages learning and memory according to a 2012 UCLA study. The study added that damage could be minimized with the addition of omega - 3 fatty acids to the diet.

Sugar Shrinks Your Brain ?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2008 Barb Johnson

Comments: How To Improve Your Memory

Barb Johnson (author) from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula on October 02, 2015:

Yes, an active mind seems to be key in keeping the same in good working order. Thanks for stopping by ezzly!

ezzly on October 01, 2015:

Excellent points and very true about keeping an active mind !

Barb Johnson (author) from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula on April 16, 2015:

I totally agree peachpurple. Insomnia is horrible. Nothing works for me if I miss my sleep. The whole day can be a bust. I use gingko biloba and red ginseng everyday. It helps a lot and finding your perfect exercise adds tremendously.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on April 15, 2015:

exercise , sleep and gingko bibola can revive memory, insomnia is the worst culprit

amord from nigeria on January 04, 2013:

This is a very wonderful Hub, thanks for sharing it.

projectmaster on April 29, 2010:

great article It will help with my bad memory

mr. Parker on September 21, 2008:

Another resource I use is http://www.pmemory.com/campaigns/evg/memory-loss.p... you might want to check it out too.