We all forget things from time to time. To avoid this, we tend to have a set routine, even if we don’t know that this is what we are doing. We keep our car keys in a certain place so that we don’t have to go looking for them when we need to go somewhere. We keep our sunglasses on top of our heads knowing if they are put down, we may forget where we put them.
We perform even the simplest tasks without thinking as part of our daily routine.We brush our teeth before going to bed; we take a shower after waking up. When we receive emails we file them away in the same specific folders every time. We set our digital recorder so that we will always see our favourite television show. If we regularly purchase lottery tickets in hopes of winning the jackpot in EuroMillions, we take out a subscription so that we never miss a single draw.
Following a set routine, you would think, should help us make sure that we won’t forget anything. But invariably, things do slip our minds. If something gets out of sync, we may not be able to remember what we planned to do next. Clearly we could use some tips on how to improve our memory.
The first tip may come as a bit of a surprise, and that is to simply break your routine! Doing things a bit differently will challenge you, forcing your mind to get out of automatic gear. When you drive your car, do you navigate with the GPS app on your phone? Relying on modern technology makes you mentally lazy. Instead, shut off the phone and try to find your way manually.
Speaking of your mind, it needs as much exercise as your body. The brain may not be a muscle, but when you exercise it, it will become stronger. Mind exercises can include reading, playing the piano, playing a mentally challenging game like chess, and learning a new language. Even meditation keeps your brain fit. When your brain is active, it is more capable of processing memories.
Exercising your body is also important. If you’re confined to an office most of the day, go outside and breathe fresh air. Even something as simple as taking a walk gets your blood going and stimulates your nerve cells. Physical exercise, even when done in moderation, helps sharpen your brain.
Keeping fit is vital to mental health. First of all, you need sufficient sleep. The benefits of getting enough sleep should not be understated. While we may not totally understand the need to sleep, it is certain that sleeping refreshes the brain and strengthens the connections between brain cells. Getting a good night’s sleep helps us consolidate our memories, leading to better memory abilities.
Keeping fit also mean getting proper nutrition. There are those who say certain foods boost your brainpower. Food types recommended for better mental health include berries, green leafy vegetables, eggs, walnuts, avocados, cold-water fatty fish, and dark chocolate. A daily glass of red wine is also recommended by some.
Needless to say, staying healthy is vitally important. Losing weight, quitting smoking, avoiding sugar, and drinking alcohol and coffee in moderation are all essential steps to better health, both for our bodies and for our minds. Improved health means improved memory.
And of course, it never hurts to write things down. Afraid that you’ll forget something? Make yourself a note.