Though it seems unnecessary, memorization is important for many reasons beyond being great at trivia night. For one, it disciplines the mind, making it more focused and productive; what you hold in your memory also informs how you think about things, and helps you understand concepts more quickly. By reducing stress, improving your diet, and changing the way you think, you can increase your memory power.
Meditate. Mediate every day for 10 to 15 minutes each day physically changes your brain, making you less anxious, and more rational and empathetic. In addition, research has shown that meditation enhances concentration and improves sleep.
- The four best times of day to meditate are first thing in the morning, whenever you’re stressed out, on your lunch break, or at the end of your workday.
Do yoga. Besides increasing your physical strength and flexibility, yoga changes your brain. Research suggests that in addition to reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, yoga protects the brain from shrinking with age.
- Yoga prevents shrinking mainly in the left hemisphere of the brain, which is associated with positive emotions such as joy and happiness.
- Along with meditating, yoga will also help you be more present or “mindful” in your everyday life.
Laugh. Laughter can improve short-term memory in older adult. It also increases endorphins and boosts the immune system, lowering stress and improving memory amongst all age groups.
- Watch comedic films or YouTube videos, share jokes with friends, attend a stand-up comedy show — do things that make you laugh on a regular basis.
Drink enough water. The brain is made up of roughly 80% water; when your brain is chronically dehydrated, it does not function properly.
- Drink more water on days where you sweat more, from exercise or hot weather.
Eat whole grains. Eating whole grains promotes cardiovascular health, which promotes blood flow throughout the entire body, including the brain. Aim for 1/2 cup of whole-grain cereal a day.