Let’s be clear from the start of this article that we are here to talk about how to improve your memory from a position of good health.
If you have found yourself in a recent state of poor mental health, you may be wondering whether certain medical conditions run in your family (such as dementia, for example), and whether you are susceptible to diminishing memory loss and other conditions that could leave you bedridden and unable to communicate (see Are The Effects Of Locked In Syndrome Permanent Or Is It Reversible?).
For those answers, please see your doctor. For more information on how to naturally improve your memory – i.e. if you are the kind of person who can never find your keys – please keep reading.
Reduce your sugar consumption to improve your memory
Although it may seem like sugar gets the blame for virtually everything these days, excessive sugar consumption is a genuine concern when it comes to memory.
This is because sugar is linked to reduced brain volume, especially in the area of the brain associated with short term memory. So, the next time you forget your partner’s birthday, it may not be because you’re unloving, but because you are, in fact, too sweet (terrible joke, but I’d started it so I finished it).
Meditation can grow your brain
Meditation has been linked to an increase in grey matter, which contains neurons (needed for memory). Grey matter starts to decline as you age, meaning meditation can not only fight back against the aging process, but can help to calm your thoughts and increase the likelihood of remembering your reason for walking into the kitchen the next time you’re standing there dumbfounded as to why it is you even stood up from the sofa.
Regulate a healthy body weight
Studies have been carried out into the link between obesity and memory. As you’d probably expect with anything linked to obesity, memory recall is significantly lower in obese people.
The reasons appear to be complex, involving physical changes to the genes that dictate brain structure and function, as well as causing insulin resistance and facilitating inflammation that can impact ‘brain power’.
Sleep is more important that you might think
When we sleep, our short term memory is consolidated into long-term memory. Sleep is quite literally the body’s way of filing the events of the day.
Where we fail to get enough sleep, this natural filing system is disrupted. Events, names, the things we’ve seen and the things we’ve heard, can all become loosely lumped in together, creating a disjointed and unreliable jumble of memories.
As a last tip, check out mindfulness. Whereas meditation is more formal, mindfulness can be used in a less formal way to develop mental habits that improve concentration and memory.