Do you sometimes go into the kitchen to do something important, but forget what it was and then stare at the fridge for a moment as if you could find the answer between vegetables and yoghurt cups? In the supermarket, the shopping list does not keep us away from the ice cream counter, but without it we would probably be completely lost. And without the subtle reminder of social networks, we would forget the birthdays of some family members!
It’s normal that you’re not quite at your mental level before your morning coffee – and even that little bit of scatterbrains in between makes us loveable after all. Nevertheless, all our favourite memories are attached to our memory, which is what makes us the person we are. Reason enough to declare war on the increasing forgetfulness!
7 ways to improve memory
The good news is that we can influence our memory performance to a large extent ourselves. Effective memory training does not start with chess and Sudoku, but with our everyday behaviour. The way we live, what we eat and drink, and how we treat our bodies affects our fitness and well-being as well as our memory. Here are 7 everyday things to sharpen your memory:
1. reduce your stress level
Urgent deadlines, petty discussions and annoyance over unimportant trifles keep our subconscious constantly on the go. No chance to focus your thoughts there and to call up the full memory capacity! But even worse are constant feelings of fear, which can worsen the entire memory. So for the sake of your memory, take a step back! Conscious deep breathing in and out, mediation and yoga can already have a great effect. In general, try to go through life more attentively.
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2. allow yourself a restful sleep
People who sleep badly at night tend to be more forgetful than those who sleep deeply and soundly. However, a good night’s sleep is necessary to properly store the memories of the day and to shift them from short-term to long-term memory. Nevertheless: Keep your hands off sleeping pills & Co. Because many medications for sleep disorders can impair your memory and brain functions.
You should therefore only take medication in an emergency and keep the period as short as possible and the dose as low as possible. For a permanently restful sleep, it can already help to put sport into the morning hours, to maintain a regular sleep rhythm and to create a calm atmosphere in the bedroom at a room temperature of 15 to 18 degrees Celsius.
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Deadlines and constant stress are not healthy at all. For the sake of your memory, take a step back! © GaudiLab / Shutterstock.com
3. stop smoking
Easier said than done. But anyone who smokes more than two packs of cigarettes a day between the ages of 40 and 60 doubles his risk of developing dementia later on. Nevertheless, there is hope: if you smoke less than half a pack a day or even stop smoking completely by mid-life, the risk of dementia falls back to the level of non-smokers over time.
4. if alcohol is to be used, then in moderation
Not only the liver is attacked by excessive alcohol consumption, but also the brain. If a particularly large amount of alcohol flows on an evening, the messenger substances of the nerve cells can no longer dock to the brain cells. The result: short-term memory loss, better known as film tearing. Long-term consumption also damages long-term memory, nerve cells die and the brain’s overall performance decreases. Spatial orientation, language skills and emotions are also affected.
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5. Eat yourself smart
Even with the right diet, memory performance can be pushed in the long term. Because the brain needs a lot of energy for concentration and memory, complex carbohydrates are necessary. These can be found, for example, in wholemeal bread, oatmeal, fruit and vegetables. However, it is particularly important to drink a lot to ensure that the head and body are sufficiently supplied with oxygen and well supplied with blood. Experts recommend 2 to 3 litres of water or unsweetened tea per day.
6. sport is doping for the brain
Regular exercise is not only good for the body, but also has a positive effect on your brain. Studies show that sport not only improves your ability to concentrate and memory, but can also prevent dementia. Endurance sports such as running, walking, hiking or swimming are particularly effective for this purpose – half an hour a day is already enough. Physical exertion increases the blood supply to the brain, concentration and retentiveness increase and new brain cells can even form.
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7. protect your brain from injury
Severe external head injuries are the main cause of memory loss, according to Harvard Medical School. Therefore, it is important to always protect your head with a suitable helmet when doing contact sports or such at high speed – such as inline skating, cycling, motorcycling or skiing. The safety belt when driving a car also greatly reduces the risk of serious head injuries, as car accidents are by far the most common cause of brain injuries. Therefore: Please always fasten your seat belt!
Improving memory performance can be quite simple
Our memories are among the most valuable things we have – after all, it is they that make us the person we are. This makes it all the more important to preserve them and protect our memory in the long term. Even small habitual changes in favour of a healthy lifestyle can have a great effect on our precious memories.
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