Blocks in our memory can certainly be frustrating. Whether you’re trying to remember the statistics you reviewed in your last meeting, a story from years and years ago, or even your favorite dinner recipe, nobody enjoys feeling as if they are “losing it.” Memory loss comes in all different shapes and sizes. Pinpointing the trigger of your memory loss will help you understand how to make improvements.
Memory Loss and its Causes
Memory loss can have a variety of causes. Common triggers can be due to emotional stress like depression, anxiety, and grief. Our ability to focus is often reduced during physically and emotionally strenuous events such as grieving periods. Head injuries, sleep deprivation, strokes, and fatigue can also cause memory loss -- anywhere from acute to chronic memory loss.
Memory loss can be frightful because of its association with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Although, aging and memory loss is a natural process, it’s important to know the difference between forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s. If you have any questions about the disease and whether you’re at risk, consult your doctor. Even though memory loss can be a completely natural process of aging, we can still take action to keep our memory as strong as possible for as long as possible. Here are four strategies for improving your memory:
Adjusting your diet
Fatty fish, coffee, nuts, fruits, and eggs are all great foods that support brain health and performance. Fish oils contain omega-3 which help to build brain and nerve cells. As previously mentioned, forgetfulness can be traced to our lack of attention. Coffee is beneficial to our memory because it heightens our alertness and allows us to absorb our environment more fluidly. Nuts are rich with vitamin E, which is used by our body to repair cell shield membranes. Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 as well.
While fish and nuts are a great source of healthy fats, there are, however, bad fats. Which is why it is important to limit the amount of red meat you have in your diet. Red meats contain saturated fats, which raise your cholesterol levels and your blood pressure. Protecting blood vessels with a heart healthy diet will also protect the mind. If you find it difficult to incorporate some of these food into your diet, there are alternatives to make sure you have sufficient daily vitamin intake. Natural liquid vitamins for adults can be a great addition to your daily routine, to make sure you get the nutrients missing from your diet.
Just as nutrition is essential for healthy muscle growth, nutrition is also important for healthy brain growth and development. Thus, improving your memory.
Getting more exercise
Aerobic exercise is great not only for our physical and cardiovascular health, but also for our mental health. Not only it will reduce anxiety, which is a trigger for memory loss, but it will also boosts the amount of oxygen and nutrients sent to our brain. In turn our brain performance is improved.
Exercise increases the secretion of neuroprotective proteins and help improve the development of neurons and brain health. Physical activity is also linked to reducing risk of dementia later in life. Simply going on a walk everyday for 15 minutes is sufficient exercise to notice an improvement in brain performance.
Now we understand that nutrition is associated with increased brain performance as well as physical performance. While physical activity is associated with increased brain performance, it is also linked to better sleep..
Dedicating time to better sleep
If you’re like a lot of sleepers, there have probably been instances in your life where you spent the waking hours of the night studying, only to forget most of it the next day for your exam or presentation. That’s because sleep deprivation can be responsible for the gaps in your memory.
Sleep helps rejuvenate and restore all the cells in our body, including our brain cells. Sleep supports our ability to consolidate short term memories into long term memories.
Research has found that sleep deprivation can affect your ability to learn new things and commit them to memory. Unfortunately, more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis according to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Getting more sleep is much easier said than done, especially with the hectic lives we live. If you toss and turn during the night struggling to find comfort, you may want to consider getting a new mattress. Light and noise disruptions are also common causes of sleep loss. Everyone sleeps differently, just as everyone has different nutritional and fitness needs.
Give your brain a workout
Brain exercises, that is, memory recall, will help improve your long and short term memory. Activities considered to be brain exercises include telling stories from your past, working on a crossword puzzle (don’t worry, it doesn't have to be the New York Times), and other recall games. All of which are excellent for strengthening memory.
In more ways than not, each of the strategies to improve memory are all linked together. Nutrition will improve exercise, exercise improves sleep, and sleep improves brain exercises. All of which can help improve your memory retrieval and prevent memory loss. Practice these four strategies to keep your brain in shape and your memory functioning properly.
#AlexLeaf host writer