A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Whether you’re a student studying for final exams, a working professional interested in doing all you can to stay mentally sharp, or a senior looking to preserve and enhance your grey matter as you age, there are lots of things you can do to improve your memory and mental performance.
Challenge Your Mind – One of the simplest methods to boost your brain function is to keep on learning. The size and structure of neurons and the connections between them actually change as you learn. This can take on many forms above and beyond book learning to include activities like travelling, learning to play a musical instrument or speak a foreign language, or participating in social and community activities.
Meditate – The power of meditation is beyond what many people realize, and it can actually increase the working size of your brain. People who consistently meditate experience new connections within their brains, and an increased capacity to think. Combine that with the peaceful, calm feelings that meditation creates, and it is easy to see way meditating is a great way to increase brain power.
Exercise regularly – It’s been proven that regular exercise helps to increase brain function and enhances neurogenesis. This means that every time you exercise you are creating new brain cells! Get off the couch and get moving! Your brain will thank you for it. Exercise provides protective effects to your brain through:
1. The production of nerve-protecting compounds
2. Greater blood flow to your brain
3. Improved development and survival of neurons
4. Decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke
Train your memory – How often do you hear people say “I wish I had a better memory’ yet no-one does anything about this! If you discipline yourself to memorise phone numbers and other important numbers (passport, credit card, insurance, driving license) you will start to see a marked improvement in your memory.
Stress-busting – Stress & anxiety kill existing brain neurons and also stop new neurons from being created. Research has shown that positive thinking, especially in the future tense, speeds up the creation of cells and dramatically reduces stress & anxiety. Try and get a handle on negative thoughts and make an effort to replace them with positive ones. Laughter is best therapy for busting stress. Looking for ways to bring more laughter in your life? Start with these basics:
1. Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take ourselves less seriously is to talk about the times when we took ourselves too seriously.
2. When you hear laughter, move toward it. Most of the time, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humour you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and try to join in.
3. Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily—both at themselves and at life’s absurdities—and who routinely find the humour in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious.
4. Pay attention to children and emulate them. They are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing.
Be curious – Instead of taking everything at face value, get into the habit of questioning everyday things/products, services that you come into contact with. By being ‘curious’ and questioning everything, you force your brain to innovate & create new ideas. Curiosity may have killed that cat, more importantly it created super important things like electricity and computers!
Eat healthy – Eating well is good for your mental as well as your physical health. The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs or muscles do. Our diets have a HUGE impact on brain function. Our brains consume over 20% of all nutrients & oxygen that we consumed – so remember to feed your brain with the good stuff! I.e. fresh fruit and vegetables (blueberries, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, nuts) & plenty of OMEGA 3 oils found in oily fish.
Get enough sleep – Sleep is like a mini detox for the brain. This is when your body regenerates cells and removes all the toxins that have built up during the day. Get to bed between the hours of 9pm and midnight to benefit from the most effective hours of sleep! Sleep removes the blinders and helps “reset” your brain to look at problems from a different perspective, which is crucial to creativity.
Ban the calculator – Remember back at school when we were taught to use our brains to do simple sums like times tables?! It’s incredible how we now rely on devices like smart-phones and laptops to calculate really simple equations. Resist the urge to work things out using an external device – and use the device you were born with – your brain!
Listen to Music – Listening music increases the emotional intelligence and provides strength to the right hemisphere of your brain. It reduces your stress and gives you feeling of relaxation and peace. Besides, try to think in a positive way. If you keep thinking positive, you will observe a clear change in your way of looking things and problem solving capacities. Make sure to use this simple technique to boost brain power.
DON’T do these things –
1. Oversleep damages brain cells and reduces brain’s efficiency so don’t sleep more than 7 hours consecutively.
2. Don’t indulge yourself in one activity only, different activities compels brain to thin out of box and boosts your intelligence.
3. Don’t linger out of depression on the problems of life that is going nowhere even after spending considerable time on it.
4. Avoid over use of technologies. Let your brain solve little puzzles of life and reduce your dependence on technology.
5. Noise can also damage your brain cells. So avoid loud music and jarring noises.