Natural Ways to a Better Memory
Your brain can create new neural pathways with the correct stimulation. This means that it is remarkably adaptable and you can improve your memory even when you are well into old age. There are several ways to improve your memory and concentration naturally.
Giving your brain correct nutrition is important when it comes to retaining and improving your memory and concentration. Omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish, soy, walnut oil, flax-seed and canola are essential for maintaining a healthy brain and keeping your memory sharp.
Caffeine, ideally from green or black tea without milk, can help improve memory. It's antioxidant and stimulating properties aid brain function. Procyanidins, which are found in dark chocolate (with over 60% cocoa content) can aid memory by increasing brain blood circulation whilst at the same time preventing oxidation and inflammation, both of which can otherwise cause neural deterioration.
Foods with high antioxidant and vitamin content like green leafy vegetables, berries, nuts, fruits and vegetable oils are beneficial to the central nervous system and therefore good for the brain and improving your memory. Complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice and whole grain foods should ideally be chosen over simple carbohydrates which include sugar and white bread. The complex carbohydrates are better for improved mental stamina and, therefore, your memory skills.
Appropriate supplementation can help keep your brain healthy and aid your memory and concentration. Vitamin B12 is essential for good brain function. A couple of teaspoons of cod liver oil each day can give you enough Omega-3, if you aren't already eating plenty in your diet, whilst also providing you with more A and D vitamins.
Other supplements and natural substances that can help improve your memory and concentration by removing toxins, improving circulation and giving your immune system a boost are ginseng, almonds, water, green tea, herbed thistle and ginko biloba.
Social interaction and mental exercises help to keep the brain sharp and improve your memory and concentration. The brain needs stimulation to create new neural pathways. Conversing with others and doing crosswords, Suduko puzzles, quizzes and other mental games will help to keep your brain and memory active.
Neurobics is another method of improving your memory, concentration and other cognitive abilities. This involves purposely doing ordinary things differently to stimulate new neural pathway creation. For example, you could start to do certain tasks using your left hand instead of your right, if are normally right-handed. This will help stimulate different bits of your brain.
Supportive family environments are also helpful as people with good family relationships tend to have lower stress levels. This helps to prevent excessive cortisol production which can kill off brain cells. Other ways to cut stress could include keeping a pet, practising meditation or doing a gentle martial art such as Qi Kung or Tai Chi.
Doing at least thirty minutes of exercise a day also helps to relieve stress and cut cortisol production. This aerobic exercise will also improve the blood supply to the brain. This will give it increased oxygen and give it more nutrients, thereby improving neural function.
Mnemonics is a method of improving the memory that involves using clues to help you remember. You can associate mental images with phrases or words which will help you to recall them later. For example, if you find it difficult to recall people's names, to remember someone called Bill Carpenter, think of a bill coming through your door from a carpenter. Next time you see the person, think of the mental image you associated with them. It will then be easier to remember their name.
Another useful mnemonic tool to use is acronyms, like AWOL, for absent without leave. Make up your own to help you memorize phrases. Method of loci is a mnemonic device which involves creating a story, perhaps an imaginary journey, throughout which you come across certain items sequentially. When you want to memorize a list of items, run through the journey in your head and this should help you to remember the list. Using a variety of these mnemonic techniques is a good way to improve your memory.