If there are two big things that I’m committed to working on in the last quarter of 2018, it’s improving my memory and concentration. Unfortunately, my memory isn’t necessarily going to improve with age … unless I do something about it.
The brain is like a muscle that you have to use if you don’t want to lose. Lifestyle is a huge factor when it comes to keeping your memory and concentration sharp. Here are my 8 tips to get started with right away.
- Get enough sleep! Most of us know that our memory (and in particular, our long term memory) can be enhanced by getting enough sleep. Most sleep experts agree that 8 hours is optimum. However, newer research shows that sleep may help consolidate memories. This is where our brain convert short-term memories into long-term memories. Sleep is nature’s way of allowing our brain to create the neural network involved in memory consolidation.
- Keep Stress in check: My biggest tip for this is to avoid too much multi-tasking. And this is especially true when it comes to your phone and computer. Do ONE thing at a time. If you are sitting down to work on your computer, switch off all notifications, email, texts, and anything that can distract you from the job in hand. In our ADD society, being disciplined about focusing on one thing at a time decreases stress. When stress is decreased, we are better able to both focus, and recall memories (short- and long-term).
- Diet: Limit saturated fat, as some studies have shown that it can increase your risk of dementia, and exacerbate the decline of your memory and concentration. Eat as many colorful fruits and veggies as you can because they contain powerful antioxidants. Get your Omega 3s from seaweed, walnuts and ground flax seed. Drink green tea.
- Supplement with Natrol Cognium, which is a breakthrough brain health supplement designed to keep your mind sharp and your memory strong. It’s been clinically proven to improve memory and concentration – in as little as 4 weeks! It’s safe and stimulant free. It’s one of the few supplements on the market that can boast these claims. I’ve found that when I take Cognium regularly for about 4 weeks, my concentration tends to be stronger. I also like knowing that this supplement is backed by multiple human clinical trials that show statistically significant improvements in memory and cognition.
- Exercise for 5 Minutes After Learning: A study found that women who engaged in just five minutes of low-impact exercise after learning, had significant memory consolidation. I was so happy to discover this because as a writer and researcher, I need to retain the many facts that race across my screen every day. So, I have started the practice of getting out of my chair to do 5 minutes of low-impact exercise every thirty minutes. It works! And if I do something like kettlebell swings, I get to tone my lower body for free!
- Stay social because humans are biologically wired to be social creatures: We need daily social interaction to keep our memories sharp. My parents (and their generation) are a great focus group! Those who are hugely social (like my mum and dad) have extremely sharp brains. Those who tend to live alone and isolate do not. It’s literally night and day.
- Laugh a lot: There’s not a lot that laughter won’t improve. Again, as humans we’re wired to laugh a lot. Laughter relieves stress, which helps our brains to rest. As already pointed out in my tip about sleep, a rested brain is one that’s better able to consolidate memories.
- Mindful Meditation has been shown to improve your working memory and concentration. I know this to be true first hand because when I meditate in the morning, I almost always recall important things that I needed to remember. And it I hadn’t meditated, I wouldn’t have remembered!
We all want a sharp brain so we can live life to the fullest, right?? So, why not try all the above tips. They’re low-cost and easy-to-implement lifestyle changes that could significantly help you long-term.